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kfiscus
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Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object?
      #5829385 - 04/29/13 12:07 AM

The clouds come in again and the mind wanders...

What are some objects that just don't match or live up to their names. I don't criticize the Great Red Spot too harshly since it's a living, breathing storm. I refer to it now as the "Okay Beige Spot".

I'd nominate the Crab Nebula, for one.


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Joe Bergeron
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5829465 - 04/29/13 01:51 AM

How about the Veal Nebula? It doesn't really look like the flesh of an anemic, penned-up calf.

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David Knisely
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5829483 - 04/29/13 02:17 AM

Quote:

How about the Veal Nebula? It doesn't really look like the flesh of an anemic, penned-up calf.




Uh, I've never heard of the "Veal" nebula (if you aren't just kidding around). If you are more serious, I think you might be referring to the "Veil" Nebula (as in formerly "the Bridal Veil Nebula" as it was originally called). The large main arc section (NGC 6992) is the one that resembles the bridal veil and train the most. The other bright section (NGC 6960) is sometimes called, "the Witch's Broom", as it kind of resembles one. Clear skies to you.


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David Knisely
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5829484 - 04/29/13 02:18 AM

Quote:

The clouds come in again and the mind wanders...

What are some objects that just don't match or live up to their names. I don't criticize the Great Red Spot too harshly since it's a living, breathing storm. I refer to it now as the "Okay Beige Spot".

I'd nominate the Crab Nebula, for one.




I would nominate "the Ghost of Jupiter" (NGC 3242), as it looks more like an eye than a planet. In fact, I once called this one, "The CBS Eye" after observing it at over 700x one night in a 10 inch Newtonian. Clear skies to you.


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RogueGazer
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5829525 - 04/29/13 03:45 AM

Uranus is the only one that comes to mind. No matter how you say it everyone is still thinking it.

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beanerds
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: RogueGazer]
      #5829552 - 04/29/13 04:57 AM

Crux , what a boring name , its only saving grace is the 'jewel box' and ,oh I supose 'A-Crux' , but who would name a constilation 'Crux'?
Brian.


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Michael2
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: beanerds]
      #5829554 - 04/29/13 05:04 AM

Quote:

but who would name a constilation 'Crux'?
Brian.




Possibly Augustin Royer!!

Michael.


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Qwickdraw
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Michael2]
      #5829577 - 04/29/13 06:05 AM

Although we amateurs will never see it (at least in our lifetime)

"Nearest Alien Planet Gets New Name: 'Albertus Alauda'"


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FirstSight
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5830012 - 04/29/13 12:04 PM

Although this name is generic to a class of objects, and not to a specific one, I'd nominate the term:
"bright galaxy"

That said, I do love my faint fuzzies.


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blb
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5830025 - 04/29/13 12:10 PM

Quote:

How about the Veal Nebula? It doesn't really look like the flesh of an anemic, penned-up calf.




Just where is this Veal Nebula located? Is it in Taurus the bull or is this just a bunch of bull?


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Kraus
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: blb]
      #5830035 - 04/29/13 12:19 PM

I think the eskimo nebula needs renamed to 'when I was in Northern Japan freezing to death whilst walking in waist-high snow wearing my military issued heavy-weather outerwear' nebula.

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Javier1978
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: beanerds]
      #5830046 - 04/29/13 12:23 PM

Quote:

Crux , what a boring name , its only saving grace is the 'jewel box' and ,oh I supose 'A-Crux' , but who would name a constilation 'Crux'?
Brian.




Itīs a beautiful sounding latin word, and there is beauty in its simplicity. Itīs an obvious cross in the sky, how would you call it? In spanish we call it "Cruz del Sur" (Southern Cross) and itīs a simple and beautiful name for a simple and beatiful constelation.

Now, B33 has always looked like a cobra to me, not a horse head, I think the real horse head is in Scorpio.

Edited by Javier1978 (04/29/13 12:27 PM)


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BSJ
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5830292 - 04/29/13 02:02 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

The Flame Nebula looks like a Squirrel to me…

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csrlice12
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: BSJ]
      #5830369 - 04/29/13 02:30 PM

The Moon....I donno, just doesn't seem magnificent enough.

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JimMo
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Javier1978]
      #5830465 - 04/29/13 03:06 PM

Quote:


Itīs a beautiful sounding latin word, and there is beauty in its simplicity. Itīs an obvious cross in the sky, how would you call it? In spanish we call it "Cruz del Sur" (Southern Cross) and itīs a simple and beautiful name for a simple and beatiful constelation.

Now, B33 has always looked like a cobra to me, not a horse head, I think the real horse head is in Scorpio.




I agree, Crux, or the Southern Cross for us yankees is a great name.

With B33 I see a knight from a chess set so Horsehead works for me.


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JimMo
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5830468 - 04/29/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

The Moon....I donno, just doesn't seem magnificent enough.




Yes, but Luna is a great name for it.


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Cotts
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: JimMo]
      #5830560 - 04/29/13 03:45 PM

The North America Nebula is more like the "Mexico and the Adjacent American South West" Nebula to me...

Dave


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okieav8r
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Cotts]
      #5830677 - 04/29/13 04:40 PM

How about the 'Dark Doodad'? Not that it's so much a bad name, but it just sounds like someone didn't want to come up with anything more creative.

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mogur
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5831214 - 04/29/13 10:12 PM

I've heard NGC 457 referred to as the "E.T." cluster. I never could see that. It looks more like a lobster to me.

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davidpitre
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: mogur]
      #5831224 - 04/29/13 10:17 PM

Stephen O'Meara has given so many objects bizarre obscure names that mean nothing to anyone other than himself that I lost count years ago. Take your pick. As often as not, I read an object that he has named, and I just scratch my head.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: mogur]
      #5831249 - 04/29/13 10:31 PM

Quote:

I've heard NGC 457 referred to as the "E.T." cluster. I never could see that. It looks more like a lobster to me.




I see the E.T. clearly, the two bright eyes, the arms outstretched to the sides, the legs straight and slightly spread.

With all the creative names out there for rather diminutive, nondescript object, it seems to me the Orion Nebula deserve something better...

Jon


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jrbarnett
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5831254 - 04/29/13 10:34 PM

Why stop a objects. There are entire constellations with nearly incomprehensible names. Coma Berenices anyone? How's about Camelopardalis?

Misnamed objects the "Horsehead Nebula". Does that...

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/742879main_hubble_horsehead_cropped_946-71...

...even remotely look like a horse head? Of course not. It is *clearly* the Twi'leh Nebula. Jeesh.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/29/13 10:36 PM)


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Joe Bergeron
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5831282 - 04/29/13 10:48 PM

What about the Triffid Nebula? I never could see an ambulatory killer plant in that thing.

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krp
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5831298 - 04/29/13 10:57 PM

Quote:

What about the Triffid Nebula? I never could see an ambulatory killer plant in that thing.



I always thought the Trifid nebula looked more like the Pepsi logo.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: krp]
      #5831408 - 04/30/13 12:19 AM

Anything that wasn't named at the eyepiece, before the invention of Pong.

Pac Man Nebula indeed.


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Asbytec
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: RogueGazer]
      #5831781 - 04/30/13 08:46 AM

Quote:

Uranus is the only one that comes to mind. No matter how you say it everyone is still thinking it.




I don't. (See sig...)

Yea, as Jim said, the constellations. Some really look right, like Scorpio and Leo, and Sagittarius the t-pot. But Cassiopeia looks like the letter "W" which looks like the letter "M." Taurus looks like the letter "A," Corona Borealis the letter "C." So maybe we could rename all the stars using the English alphabet. Left over stars could be punctuation marks. That would make the naming convention much easier pronounce (I still cannot pronounce many of them.) Sounds good to me, but that would be boring, too.

Edited by Asbytec (04/30/13 09:15 AM)


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RussL
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5832211 - 04/30/13 12:38 PM

Canis Minor. Come on, just two stars. Should be called "The Line."

Also Coma Berenices. No hair there as far as I can see.


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Kraus
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5832250 - 04/30/13 12:50 PM

Let's call Messier 42 the Dustpan or Handheld Fan nebula.

I learned NGC-457 as the Owl cluster.

And I have named NGC-2903 the Pizza Dough galaxy. The longer I look at it, the more it spreads outward as if God were working the dough to the edge of the pan. He likes pepperoni and swiss cheese only.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5832286 - 04/30/13 01:04 PM

Quote:

Why stop a objects. There are entire constellations with nearly incomprehensible names. Coma Berenices anyone? How's about Camelopardalis?

Misnamed objects the "Horsehead Nebula". Does that...

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/742879main_hubble_horsehead_cropped_946-71...

...even remotely look like a horse head? Of course not. It is *clearly* the Twi'leh Nebula. Jeesh.

- Jim



The Horsehead Nebula that looks like a Horse's head.

I think you are on to something, some of those constellation names don't make a lot of sense. But why stop there...

Does anyone really thing the "Sun" and the "Moon" are appropriate names? They deserve something more majestic, more all encompassing. And the Sky... it might be alright for some planetarium software...



Jon


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buddyjesus
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: RussL]
      #5833079 - 04/30/13 07:39 PM

Quote:

Canis Minor. Come on, just two stars. Should be called "The Line."





love it


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davidpitre
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: mogur]
      #5833124 - 04/30/13 08:10 PM

Quote:

I've heard NGC 457 referred to as the "E.T." cluster. I never could see that. It looks more like a lobster to me.



Well you are close. It is a crawfish.


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wirenut
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5833154 - 04/30/13 08:27 PM

Quote:

What about the Triffid Nebula? I never could see an ambulatory killer plant in that thing.




They named the plant is named from it's origins in space


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bumm
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: wirenut]
      #5833412 - 04/30/13 10:58 PM

Getting into the area of obsolete constellations... "Turdus Solitarius." It was a Thrush sitting on the end of Hydra's tail. Later the spot was occupied by Noctua the Owl, now nothing. But nothing has to be better than "Turdus."
Marty


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panhardModerator
It's All Good
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: bumm]
      #5833440 - 04/30/13 11:20 PM

Ngc457 is also known as the Owl Cluster.

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galexand
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5833552 - 05/01/13 01:27 AM

I nominate "Great Globular Cluster in Hercules." Since I just got to see it for the first time since last August, it is on my mind. I don't see what's so great about it. Maybe it is just my poor skies, but I have barely been able to tease out even a hint of texture in M13.

When I first managed to see texture, resolving a hint of individual stars in a globular, it blew my mind. My journal entries for globs like M22 are full of exclamation points, but my remark for M13 just says "bigger than other globulars?"


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: bumm]
      #5833680 - 05/01/13 05:21 AM

Quote:

Nothing has to be better than "Turdus."




Well, there is an official constellation called The Poop.


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droid
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: panhard]
      #5833681 - 05/01/13 05:22 AM

The owl cluster is a good example of the power of suggestion.
I once had a couple groups of neighbors over to view, I told the first five it was the owl cluster, and to the last each and everyone saw an Owl, I told the second bunch it was the ET cluster, and again to the last one they all saw ET, LOL


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beanerds
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Michael2]
      #5833702 - 05/01/13 06:09 AM

but still 104 square degrees , the smallest constilation in the sky , every newby I have pointed it out to have looked at me funny and said , it looks like a 'Kite' on its side not a Crutch ! , ya gotta laugh .
But thanks for the info Michael .
Brian.
Quote:

Quote:

but who would name a constilation 'Crux'?
Brian.




Possibly Augustin Royer!!

Michael.




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BSJ
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: panhard]
      #5833746 - 05/01/13 07:06 AM

Quote:

Ngc457 is also known as the Owl Cluster.




Stellarium names it the Dragon Fly.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: beanerds]
      #5833779 - 05/01/13 07:45 AM

Quote:

Every newby I have pointed it out to have looked at me funny and said , it looks like a 'Kite' on its side not a Crutch




Yes, they look very much like a kite. And, to my mind, not even a little bit like a cross.


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buddyjesus
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5834344 - 05/01/13 12:57 PM

How about multiple galaxies given the nickname of THE pinwheel galaxy

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azure1961p
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5834845 - 05/01/13 05:23 PM

Anything that starts with Caldwell.

Pete


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azure1961p
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Cotts]
      #5834852 - 05/01/13 05:26 PM

Quote:

The North America Nebula is more like the "Mexico and the Adjacent American South West" Nebula to me...

Dave




Lol.

P.


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Rocketlawnchair
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5834890 - 05/01/13 05:46 PM

How about planetary nebula as a class of object that has nothing to do with planets? This one used to get me every time.

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mogur
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5835126 - 05/01/13 08:02 PM

The Horsehead Nebula that looks like a Horse's head.

I had a friend that used to call it the "Horse's A$$" nebula. It really does look more like a rear view of a horse, with the horse sort of turning it's head to look back at you. I can even see a tail there!


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rdandrea
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5835187 - 05/01/13 08:45 PM

Quote:

How about multiple galaxies given the nickname of THE pinwheel galaxy




Stole my comment.

Regarding whoever above was dissing M13, find me a better glob that you can see in the northern hemisphere. People who live in Texas and S. Florida who can see Omega Centauri need not apply.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5835676 - 05/02/13 05:57 AM

Quote:

Regarding whoever above was dissing M13, find me a better glob that you can see in the northern hemisphere.




I find M5 much more interesting and attractive than M13. Only a hair brighter, though.

Still, M13 qualifies as a Great Cluster by any measure.

On the subject of M42, I know Jon was joking. But the fact that it's called just the Orion Nebula or Great Orion Nebula is actually a compliment. Lesser objects need fancy names to hype them; the Great Orion Nebula speaks for itself.


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rtomw77
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5835706 - 05/02/13 07:00 AM

Quote:

Anything that starts with Caldwell.

Pete




Most of these that are visible from my suburban back yard have not impressed me either.

Tom


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Mark Costello
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: rtomw77]
      #5835846 - 05/02/13 09:16 AM

One of mine would be the Beehive Cluster. When I observe it at low power, I see some letters.

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RussL
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5836180 - 05/02/13 12:24 PM

The reason I like the Beehive name is so I can tell the mythological story. See, it is between two stars, the upper one is known as the Northern *BLEEP*, and the lower one the Southern *BLEEP*. And so, there were two warriors (kings, I think, but I forget their names) who rode these two asses into battle. No wonder they fought so hard with a Beehive being between their Asses. LOL.

EDIT: I just knew those words would get bleeped. Ok, but they're not really bad words. Anyway, it's just funny.

Edited by RussL (05/02/13 12:47 PM)


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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5837050 - 05/02/13 07:11 PM

Quote:

Why stop a objects. There are entire constellations with nearly incomprehensible names. Coma Berenices anyone? How's about Camelopardalis?

Misnamed objects the "Horsehead Nebula". Does that...

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/742879main_hubble_horsehead_cropped_946-71...

...even remotely look like a horse head? Of course not. It is *clearly* the Twi'leh Nebula. Jeesh.

- Jim




Actually Camelopardalis is a great name for a boring constellation. The ancient Romans (or was it the Greeks?) thought that Giraffes were hybrids of the camel and the leopard, hence Camelopardalis!


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Skylook123
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5841482 - 05/05/13 11:27 AM

Quote:

Why stop a objects. There are entire constellations with nearly incomprehensible names. Coma Berenices anyone? ...

- Jim




Ah, but the genesis of the name has to be taken into account. Queen Berenice of Egypt was concerned that her husband, King Ptolemy III, would be harmed in an upcoming battle. Famous for her legendary long, beautiful hair (Coma, Greek for hair and thus Comets are Stars With Hair), she offered her hair as a sacrifice to Hera, Zeus' wife, if her husband returned from the battle. He returned unharmed, so Berenice fulfilled her promise and shaved off her hair and delivered it to an oracle. Zeus was so impressed by the sacrifice that he took possession of the gift and placed it in the heavens as the Coma Open Cluster Mel-111, a gorgeous naked eye cluster at a dark site, as a lesson for sacrifice for the benefit of another. And it lies quite close to the North Galactic Pole, under which the Milky Way rotates. So, when the constellations were acquiring their names, Zeus' iconic placement was honored with its own constellation. It's the home of Mel-111, Berenice's sacrifice for the return of her husband unharmed from battle.

It's a fitting element to a night sky tour during summer months, teaching the lesson of sacrificing for the benefit of others, plus pointing to the NGP overhead during the summer. Polaris as the NCP, the core of the galaxy in Sagittarius on the opposite side of the sky, the plane of the ecliptic passing through the area, and Mel-111, Berenice's sacrifice, make for a good celestial orientation opportunity at public summer events.


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Skylook123
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: mogur]
      #5841497 - 05/05/13 11:36 AM

Quote:

I've heard NGC 457 referred to as the "E.T." cluster. I never could see that. It looks more like a lobster to me.




I use it a lot a school events, since young folks do see the Owl shape, and it's available for the entire school year since it is nearly circumpolar sitting in Cassiopeia. I've heard it also called Johnny 5 after the robot in Short Circuit (waving its arms saying "No Dissassemble!!"), some cultures also call it the Kachina Doll, and one night I was doing a scout camporee on Davis-Monthan AFB and one of the scouts said it looked like an F-15.

Every Halloween, I set up a 10" SCT in front of the house and use it since in the star diagonal in October it appears upside down, so I call it The Bat.


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JoeR
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Skylook123]
      #5863914 - 05/16/13 08:51 AM

The Deer lick Galaxy. Everytime I view it there's no resemblence to a salt block.

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BillFerris
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: JoeR]
      #5864133 - 05/16/13 10:35 AM

Quote:

The Deer lick Galaxy. Everytime I view it there's no resemblence to a salt block.




I will second this nomination. The Deer Lick Group is the worst nickname to gain traction in the deep sky community. The story goes that a group of deep sky enthusiasts observing at Deer Lick Gap in North Carolina enjoyed a particularly fine view of NGC 7331 and several nearby galaxies, one night. In remembrance of a great night of observing, they decided to refer to this collection of galaxies as the Deer Lick Group. While this may be a fine nickname for folks who observe at Deer Lick Gap, it has zero meaning for anybody else. It's almost as useless as the Caldwell designations.

Here's a link to an old observation made with the 10 inch of NGC's 7331, 7335 and 7337: NGC 7331 & Co. NGC's 7336 and 7340 also share this patch of sky.

Bill in Flag


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Smittty692k4
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: BSJ]
      #5864223 - 05/16/13 11:17 AM

Quote:

The Flame Nebula looks like a Squirrel to me…




if I look on Stellarium one day and see "squirrel nebula" at least I kow EXACTLY where to look.


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Gert K A
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5864231 - 05/16/13 11:19 AM

I always found the Milky Way strange (food in the sky :O ) now that could have deserved something inspiring like Coma Berenices

And for sure +1 on Uranus (That is just an awkward name)

Now we are at names what’s up with “The Big Bang”


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Smittty692k4
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Gert K A]
      #5864253 - 05/16/13 11:32 AM

"How did those constellations get their names"?

"Haven't you ever seen Clash of the Titans"?! HAHA

Thats a horse with wings, the W is some chick.. That upside-down-5-year-old-drawn house is her man and wishbone shape was their daughter. She has a galaxy in her but shes ok. Those two pot and pans are what they cook Medusa's head with.. SEE, that warrior guy is holding it in his hands, bringing it over for supper.


Ahhhh, story telling.


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csrlice12
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5864283 - 05/16/13 11:44 AM

Whoever nicknamed the Pentax XW "The Walrus"....

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rookie
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5865818 - 05/16/13 08:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I've heard NGC 457 referred to as the "E.T." cluster. I never could see that. It looks more like a lobster to me.



I see the E.T. clearly, the two bright eyes, the arms outstretched to the sides, the legs straight and slightly spread.
Jon




NGC 457 looks like ET to me with bright eyes, long spindly arms and squatty legs. The problem with that name is that the movie was released 31 years ago (1982). You have to be a pretty old kid to remember the movie. I often show this cluster to children during public viewing sessions at the local science center with my astronomy club. I gave up telling them it looks like ET and now tell them it's a Spaceman. I point out the feature stars and they connect the dots. They love it.

+2 for Deer Lick


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kfiscus
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: rookie]
      #5866068 - 05/16/13 10:51 PM

I'm a pretty old kid...

Your doing the math made me a little older. It really doesn't seem like 31 years ago that E.T. came out.


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Astrodj
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5866140 - 05/16/13 11:19 PM

I would suggest NGC 6819 being referred to as the "Fox Head Cluster".

Additionally, O'Meara described it as resembling the Greek letter Chi with extensions spiralling out giving it the appearance of an "Octopus".

Take your pick. Both are pretty fanciful.


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Astrodj]
      #5866182 - 05/16/13 11:44 PM

Quite a few of the nicknames that Stephen O'Meara has coined are rather fanciful.

Dave Mitsky


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Zamboni
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5866187 - 05/16/13 11:48 PM

Orion's "sword." Y'all KNOW what I'm talkin' about!

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droid
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5866447 - 05/17/13 05:27 AM

Ok folks , I've been seeing a lot of bleeps and words using substitutes for letters and innuendos.

Please keep in mind this is a family friendly web site, were all adults ,well mostly, Im sure if we all take a few minutes we can think of nicer words to type.

This is a fun thread, lets please keep it that way.

Ok mod rant off


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csrlice12
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Rocketlawnchair]
      #5866611 - 05/17/13 08:27 AM

Quote:

How about planetary nebula as a class of object that has nothing to do with planets? This one used to get me every time.




Well maybe they were ex-planets, whom, after losing their planet status, just exploded in anger??


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bhuloka
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5867021 - 05/17/13 12:24 PM

Just the term "globular cluster" is remarkably UN-poetic for such lovely objects. It sounds like something a surgeon pulls out of a diseased person; "I found the problem- it's a globular cluster lodged next to your spleen."

I've been trying to think of something more mellifluous for months now. How about "spherical stardust-bunny"? No? Anybody?


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csrlice12
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5867422 - 05/17/13 03:45 PM

and instead of two-star alignment, we can call it "Star Search"!

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graffias79
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5868300 - 05/17/13 10:22 PM

I always see Yed Prior and Yed Posterior as "the snake bite." And what kind of name is "Serpens Caput"? Is it dead?

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Hamsterdam
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5869199 - 05/18/13 12:03 PM

Ok, First off, The Great Square: I know this one to be inaccurate, because I know him, and he lives on Earth. Next: Does anyone, aside from me think the Hubble image of the Hourglass Nebula looks more like a huge green eye in space? Next: I do worry a great deal with all the Pulsars, Quasars and Zeniths out there, that we humans have completely littered space with our old televisions, and 80s vehicles. What happened to a country road, or just leaving them at the curb? Seriously though: I wouldn't say it's poorly named, but its an odd name. Look it up. It's a fun, and remarkable object called Hanny's Voorwerp.

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Skylook123
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: graffias79]
      #5869660 - 05/18/13 04:15 PM

Quote:

I always see Yed Prior and Yed Posterior as "the snake bite." And what kind of name is "Serpens Caput"? Is it dead?




OOOH, OOOH, I know. "Kaput" - Dead; "Caput" - Head.


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Skylook123
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: bhuloka]
      #5869679 - 05/18/13 04:24 PM

Quote:

Just the term "globular cluster" is remarkably UN-poetic for such lovely objects. It sounds like something a surgeon pulls out of a diseased person; "I found the problem- it's a globular cluster lodged next to your spleen."

I've been trying to think of something more mellifluous for months now. How about "spherical stardust-bunny"? No? Anybody?




I like it! I'll change my glob list name to SSDBs.


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Skylook123
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Skylook123]
      #5869714 - 05/18/13 04:46 PM

Well, we do get kind of lazy and just happen to adopt the Greek or sometimes Roman names for things, like the Milky Way translation from Greek loosely meaning the source of life looking like a road, instead of the Mayan "tree of life", or some Native American "Arms of the Great Spirit Protecting Us" making use of the dust lanes, or some North African attribution of the Milky Way being the campfires of departed elders so be on your best behavior when it's up to not offend them and protect the clan's honor.

It had to be Uranus to fit the paradigm of naming the planet for the father of the preceding planet. So, Roman Jupiter(Greek Zeus) is followed by his father Saturn (Greek Chronus), next had to be Uranus. Middle school boys' sense of humor was apparently not considered. Herschel named it Georgium Sidus after King George III when he discovered it in 1781, but the rest of the world laughed and called it Uranus, next in line. Only England called it Georgium Sidus until Herschel died about 40 years later. Although the French called it Herschel's Planet, just to be contrary.


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careysub
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Hamsterdam]
      #5873261 - 05/20/13 08:57 AM

Quote:

... I do worry a great deal with all the Pulsars, Quasars and Zeniths out there, that we humans have completely littered space with our old televisions, and 80s vehicles.




The you are old enough to get this joke from the 1970s:
"Q: Why is a neat junkie like a Quasar television set? A: Because he keeps his works in a drawer."

Quote:

What happened to a country road, or just leaving them at the curb? Seriously though: I wouldn't say it's poorly named, but its an odd name. Look it up. It's a fun, and remarkable object called Hanny's Voorwerp.




I'm still waiting for the "Hanny's Voorwerp" joke on Futurama. What's up with that? The joke almost writes itself.


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Classic8
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: careysub]
      #5873545 - 05/20/13 11:39 AM

"The Moon". Rather creative. All the other ones in the solar system have a name.

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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: graffias79]
      #5873599 - 05/20/13 12:08 PM

Quote:

I always see Yed Prior and Yed Posterior as "the snake bite." And what kind of name is "Serpens Caput"? Is it dead?




In case your query was on the level, caput is Latin for head.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/caput

http://www.universetoday.com/23586/serpens-caput/

Dave Mitsky


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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Classic8]
      #5873926 - 05/20/13 03:02 PM

Quote:

"The Moon". Rather creative. All the other ones in the solar system have a name.




Luna.

'nuf said.


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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #5874245 - 05/20/13 05:04 PM

Why is "globular" pronounced with a short "o" as in "glob" instead of a long "o" as in "globe," which would be consistent with its shape? At least the short "o" is the way I hear most folks pronounce it.

Edited by RussL (05/20/13 05:05 PM)


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graffias79
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5879181 - 05/22/13 10:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I always see Yed Prior and Yed Posterior as "the snake bite." And what kind of name is "Serpens Caput"? Is it dead?




In case your query was on the level, caput is Latin for head.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/caput

http://www.universetoday.com/23586/serpens-caput/

Dave Mitsky




Thanks, Yes I knew it but it sounds funny. On a different note I always thought the Lacaille constellations were strange being mostly laboratory instruments whereas the rest of the sky was mythology based. I guess they had to see them to name them in ancient times!


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droid
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #5879216 - 05/22/13 10:32 PM

ahhh......Lady Luna

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Bill Steen
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5879227 - 05/22/13 10:45 PM

I actually like the name, "Moon," except that I like to break it into two sylables instead of one!

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Dan Finnerty
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5882234 - 05/24/13 12:45 PM

The Heavens?

Come on, get real! -270 degrees centigrade, you will freeze your parts off! Solar flares, radiation storms. Attacking asteroids, planet-destroying harbinger Comets. Galactic Cosmic Rays giving us all cancer. Neutron stars. Supernovas, gamma rays, x-rays, extreme UltraViolet sunburns. Interstellar shock waves, synchrotron radiation. Galactic cannibalism, super-massive galaxy-eating black holes. Dark Matter. Dark Energy. Cosmic Inflation. It goes on and on. It is utter hell out there!

All in all, I feel pretty lucky to be right here on earth. There is no place like home!


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careysub
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Classic8]
      #5882299 - 05/24/13 01:16 PM

Quote:

"The Moon". Rather creative. All the other ones in the solar system have a name.




Ahem. Lets keep our astronomical and linguistic history straight.

"Moon" is the proper name in English of the body we see so bright in the sky and always has been as long as English itself has existed.

The reason that we refer to all those other bodies orbiting other planets "moons" (small "m") is by analogy with our Moon, which were all discovered after Copernicus had explained the true relationship between the Earth and the Moon. This does nothing to detract from the Moon's own name.

"Luna" is another proper name for the Moon, in Latin (other languages have names as well).


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: RogueGazer]
      #5884139 - 05/25/13 02:52 PM

+1

(Your what!?)

In this particular case, they should have moved over to Greek. I know it's not the standard, but Ouranos doesn't sound like a
human orifice involving stench production. I love Latin. Fantastic language to sing in, but about the 7th planet and father of Saturn, Kyrie Eleison.

Edited by CollinofAlabama (05/26/13 11:02 AM)


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Classic8
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: careysub]
      #5886880 - 05/27/13 11:09 AM

Quote:

Quote:

"The Moon". Rather creative. All the other ones in the solar system have a name.




Ahem. Lets keep our astronomical and linguistic history straight.

"Moon" is the proper name in English of the body we see so bright in the sky and always has been as long as English itself has existed.

The reason that we refer to all those other bodies orbiting other planets "moons" (small "m") is by analogy with our Moon, which were all discovered after Copernicus had explained the true relationship between the Earth and the Moon. This does nothing to detract from the Moon's own name.

"Luna" is another proper name for the Moon, in Latin (other languages have names as well).




Well, we don't call it "Moon", we call it "The Moon" as if there is only 1, when there are hundreds in the solar system, and all the major ones and most of the minor ones have Greek names. No big deal, just seems inconsistent, although obviously "The Moon" has been known about a lot longer.


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ensign
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Classic8]
      #5887043 - 05/27/13 12:47 PM

What about Sagittarius? An archer? Really? I don't see an archer there.

Nearly everyone I know refers to the "teapot." Perhaps we could use a suitable Latin word. But since, I am told, the Romans did not drink tea (uncivilized savages that they were, although apparently modern Italians love their tea) and therefore did not have teapots or any such word, perhaps we could use the word "Amphora" - a wine pot - instead.


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: ensign]
      #5890043 - 05/28/13 11:59 PM

I agree with you about Sagittarius being "The Teapot" and not finding an Archer there at all. Kind of unusual. I think everyone, when realizing the shape of the rest of the four legged creature clearly in the sky, will agree that Ursa Major does indeed look like a critter. Personally, I think it looks more like a leopard, kind of skinny with that long, distinctively un-bear-like tail, but since both North American Indians AND the ancient Greeks called it a bear, what the heck. Maybe a cosmic pin-the-tail-on-the-bear Jehovah or, maybe Uranus (sorry, couldn't resist!), put on him? In the suburbs, without the extra, fainter stars handy, it's clearly a Big Dipper, and that's all. Likewise, Cygnus is "The Northern Cross" in the suburbs, but in the country, swan-city (ha!).

But Sagittarius at a dark sky site is still just the Teapot. There are a few extra drops around it, maybe, but a Centaur shooting an arrow at the heart of the Scorpion? Dude, we don't have that kind of smoke anymore.


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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5892540 - 05/30/13 02:08 PM

The big dipper. Quite clearly, it is the Plough

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #5892921 - 05/30/13 05:20 PM

Well, I think you mean "plow", as Mr. Webster would have you write to replace the Chaucerian spelling you Brits prefer with another form of obsoleted pre-Great Vowel Shift spelling we Americans have "corrected" you with. But "the Plough", why heavens no! It most certainly does not look like a plow, but it does indeed look like a "gourd" as the Underground Railroad taught southern US slaves to seek out to find Polaris on their journey to freedom. One dips water with it (or spills it all over the north in the late Spring). This is clear. A plow? Don't see it. I'm not a farmer, but it still looks much more like a water dipper than anyone's plow. Of course, under a dark sky it's a leopard, or a pin-the-tail-on-the-bear by "your-know-who" (see above).

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Ed Holland
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5893331 - 05/30/13 09:41 PM

Plow, plough, take your pick. This naming, I believe follows the shape of horse/oxen drawn farm equipment, which would be guided from behind by the farmer via a long handle, extending upward from the part which works the soil. The Plough's handle and that of the Dipper are considered to be depicted by the same stars.

fun stuff.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Ed Holland]
      #5893335 - 05/30/13 09:42 PM

Quote:

The big dipper. Quite clearly, it is the Plough




I find it quite natural to see this as a dipper, a plow, or a wagon. But what about its other ancient name, the Great Bear?

If you visualize this as an animal, its most prominent feature is its tail. And of all large mammals, which ones don't have long tails? Apes and bears -- that's pretty much it. So exactly why is this constellation a bear? Nobody knows, but the name dates back to prehistory.


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Skylook123
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5893565 - 05/31/13 02:20 AM

But some near and far east cultures see an elephant, not a plough, plow, dipper, or bear aft end. The elephant asterism features in some creation myths, so I include that representation in my sky tours. Amazing sounds of "Oh Yeah" this time of hear as the elephant rides high. And at least one culture I've heard of sees the tail of the bear running all the way to Arcturus, and Bootes is not only herding the bears, he's using the connection from Arcturus to Alkaid as The Rudder, used to keep the calendar moving such that the sun ends in Virgo for the harvest. If you have a bad harvest, it's not because you are an inadequate farmer, it's because Bootes must have somehow mis-timed his movement of the calendar so the sun was not quite pleasing the goddess of fertility, Virgo.

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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: Skylook123]
      #5895430 - 06/01/13 02:10 AM

Those ancient farmers needed crop insurance. Of course, I guess that's what that whole Bootes' fault story is. Something to tell the wife after the crop fails.

Out tonight and I had my laser pointer delineating a thing or two, Leo, Corvus the trapezoid, but especially the Great Leopard, Ursa Major. That is one long, thin feline. Elephant? Bear? No way. Much too long and sleek. And the tail gives it away. But who am I to disagree with the ancient Greeks, American Indians, and Tevia. Tradition!


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bumm
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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5897135 - 06/02/13 12:56 AM

In at least some of the American Indian legends, the tail of the bear are three braves chasing it around the pole. Makes more sense than a long tail... Very interesting though, how widely separated cultures call it a bear, when there's really no resemblance at all. Must go WAY back...
Marty


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bumm
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Reged: 01/07/11

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Re: Most Poorly Named Night Sky Object? new [Re: bumm]
      #5897139 - 06/02/13 01:00 AM

OH... and it'd make a better plow if Dubhe wasn't there...
Marty


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