What is the name of Earth’s moon?

【翻译自quora,答主C Stuart Hardwick】

When I was a kid, there was a corner in my grandmother’s fence where we cousins had bent the wire repeatedly climbing over. Do you know what we called it? “The place where we bent the wire.” You don’t especially need to name things there is only one of. Even if you invent a new word for such a thing, it isn’t a proper name—a name—but a common noun—a descriptor like, the planet of the apes, the third reich, the moon.

我小时候,祖母的篱笆上有一个角落,我们堂兄总是把那儿的电线掰弯并且爬上去。 你知道我们把那个角落叫什么吗? “我们弯曲电线的地方。”您不需要特别命名,就算 您为这样的事情发明了一个新词,它也不是一个专有名称,而是一个普通名词。

Until about 1600, most people thought the Earth and its environs were all there was, that it and those handy lights in the sky, the sun and moon, were the whole of creation. Sure, there were hundreds of stars and we gave them proper names, but no one had a clue what they were. Some thought they were angels moving on crystal spheres around the Earth. But at least in western cosmology and theology, there was one thing everyone agreed on: there was only one Earth, one creation, and the moon and sun didn’t need any names because they were the moon and the sun.

直到大约1600年,大多数人都认为地球及其周围就是全部,至于天空中的那些亮光,sun和moon中,就是被创造出来的。 当然,有几百颗星星,我们给它们起了适当的名字,但没人知道它们是什么。 有人认为他们是在地球周围的水晶球上移动的天使。 但是至少在西方宇宙学和神学上,每个人都同意一件事:只有一个地球,只有一个创造物,并且 moon 和 sun 不需要任何名称,因为它们是 moon 和 sun 。

And then the telescope came along, and it became clear that those funny wandering stars called the “planets” weren’t stars at all, but were worlds like the Earth, and had moons like the Earth. These planets already had related names based on Greek and Roman mythology, so it made sense to keep on naming them, and to name the moons around them, but there was no reason to suddenly name Earth’s moon or the sun. After all, the sun was still the sun, the one and only, and it would seem weird to name the moon now.

然后望远镜出现了,很明显那些被称为“行星”的有趣的一直绕着某个东西转圈的星星,根本不是恒星,而是像地球这样的世界,而有地球一样的卫星。 这些行星已经具有基于希腊和罗马神话的相关名称,因此继续命名它们并为它们周围的卫星命名是很有意义的,但是没有理由突然为地球的 moon 或 sun 命名。 毕竟,在太阳系中, sun 仍然是唯一的 sun ,现在给 moon 起个名字似乎很奇怪。

Galileo used his primitive telescope to discover that the Milky Way, that gorgeous glowing band across the night sky, was made up of countless stars, but everyone knew that was all there was. Stars were stars and the sun was the sun and the milky way was the universe was the cosmos. The words all meant the same thing.

伽利略用他原始的望远镜发现,银河系,夜空中那华丽的发光带,是由无数的恒星组成的,但是每个人都觉得银河系包括了所有的恒星。 所有的星星都是银河系的星星 ,银河系就是宇宙 , 太阳系的sun就是宇宙的 sun 。 这些词都是同一回事。

It wasn’t until the much, much better telescopes of the twentieth century that Harlow Shapley argued that what were then called “spiral globular nebulae” were actually discrete collections of stars that he called “island universes” or borrowing from the ancient Greeks, “galaxies.” Now Earth and its neighborhood were part of the Milky Way, but the Milky Way was the universe was the cosmos, and these all still meant the same thing.

直到20世纪好得多的望远镜,哈洛·沙普利(Harlow Shapley)才辩称,当时所谓的“螺旋球状星云”实际上是离散的恒星集合,他称之为“岛屿宇宙”,或者是从古希腊人那里借来的,“ 现在,地球及其附近地区已成为银河系的一部分,但银河系就的宇宙,而这些全都仍然是同一回事。

Then in 1924, Edwin Hubble used the 100 inch Hooker telescope on Mt. Wilson to show that Shapley was more right than he knew. Those nebulae were not star clusters within the Milky Way, but completely separate structures, vastly far beyond it. They were structured like it, and in many cases bigger than it. The Milky Way was no longer the universe, it was a galaxy, one of many, and only one tiny part of the universe.

然后在1924年,埃德温·哈勃(Edwin Hubble)在山上使用了100英寸胡克望远镜。 威尔逊证明沙普利比他所知道的更正确。 这些星云不是银河系中的恒星团,而是完全分离的结构,远远超出了它。 它们的结构像它一样,在许多情况下都比它大。 银河不再是宇宙,它只是一个银河系,是宇宙中的一个,而且只是宇宙的一小部分。

About this time, science fiction authors started realizing what an oversight it had been not to give our moon and sun names, if for consistency’s sake alone. It particularly becomes a problem when you start writing stories about people to whom our home world, and indeed our home star system, are but one of many. Authors pretty quickly settled, following linguistic precedents as best they could, on the names Luna and Sol for our moon and local star, and on Terra when referring to Earth in grammatical contexts in which “Earth” is awkward, i.e. “Earth’s civilization is the product of the Terran people.”

大约在这个时候,科幻小说的作者开始意识到,如果仅仅是为了保持一致性,就不应该给我们的moon和sun起个名字了。 当您开始撰写有关科幻故事时,你会发现如果要描写广阔的宇宙,而不仅仅是我们的地月系统,我们的太阳系的话,就会与别的地方混淆就会有很多问题。作者尽可能快地遵循了语言上的先例,把地球的卫星叫做Luna,把地球所处的太阳系的太阳叫做Sol上,以及在语法环境中提到“Earth”很尴尬的时候用 Terra 来代替,例如“ Earth’s civilization is the product of the Terran people. ”

The International Astronomy Union say the name of the moon is the Moon, but editors around the world haven’t got the memo. Science fiction authors like to call it Luna, though that is an adaptation of the Latin “lunaris” meaning “moon.”

国际天文学联合会(International Astronomy Union)说,地球的moon的名字是Moon,但是全世界的编辑者都不把这当回事。 科幻小说作者喜欢称其为Luna,尽管这是对拉丁文“ lunaris”(意为“月亮”)的改编。

Alas, these terms have not been widely adopted. Neither the sun nor moon have any officially or widely recognized names, and I can’t see they are terribly likely to unless a whole lot more people start reading scifi, or at least science, or start building Luna City.

哎,这些术语尚未得到广泛采用。 sun 和 moon 都没有任何正式的或广泛认可的名字,除非有更多的人开始阅读科幻小说,或者至少读懂科学,或者开始建造 Luna City ,否则觉得使用这些术语的可能性很小。

[Me, with the 100 inch Hooker Telescope, at which Hubble redefined the universe three times.]


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