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The Moon - Easier to learn the Latin?


UTMonkey
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Hi All,

Just reading and waiting, reading and waiting (ad infinitum).

In particular the section on the moon from "Turn Left at Orion" - great book by the way.

I do wonder though, if people have actually made the effort to learn the latin for the "Mare's" or prefer the english translation:-

Mare Serenitatis - Sea of Tranquility

Mare Nubium - Sea of Clouds

Mare Vaporium - Sea of Vapours.

I do think the english translation means more to me (obviously) but I think also adds to the mystery and general feeling of how utterly ancient the moon is.

Mark

p.s. someone is going to reply to this post and tell me it isn't Latin!

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I do think the english translation means more to me

"Sea" doesn't have much more meaning than "mare" or the equivalent word in any other language in relation to the Moon. I use the Latin names even though I learned no Latin.

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Hi Mark, nice to meet you. :o

Rukl's 'Atlas of the Moon' uses the Latin names, so that's how i learned them.

Even so, the English translations just don't sound right to me.

Given a choice, i'd rather say 'Palus Putredinis' than 'Marsh of Rot'. :)

(...where did they get some of those names?)

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The reason that Latin was / is the language of science is:

a)Latin was considered the language of culture and learning

b)People who spoke Latin pretty much invented science in the west.

and

c) regardless of its origins it soon became clear that having a universal language that nobody spoke, was good idea. Now everyone could talk about the same thing in common terms, without really having to 'learn' the language.

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People who spoke Latin pretty much invented science in the west.

I'd disagree with that. The first "modern science" was the theory of optics derived by Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (965-1039 AD) who was unlikely to have spoken Latin. He is commemorated on the Moon by the crater Alhazen, a clumsy latinization of his name. If you include mathematics as a science (dubious since one does not perform experiments in mathematics) then it goes back to the ancient Greeks who existed before Latin was spoken.

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I am guessing that other than micro-meteorites there is no reason why another crater could be created by a substantial impact.

If it was big enough to warrant a name, what do you think it would be called.

how about:-

"ut familiarissimus fuit unus" - That was a close one!

Edited by UTMonkey
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