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Neptunian Outer Satellite Names
volcanopele
post Jan 31 2007, 05:27 PM
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The four remaining, unnamed outer satellites of Neptune now have official names. S/ 2002 N 1 is now Halimede, S/ 2002 N 2 is now Sao, S/ 2002 N 3 is now Laomedeia, and S/ 2002 N 4 is now Neso.

Neso is unique as the most distantly orbiting satellite from any planet, with a semimajor axis of 48,387,000 km, or 0.32 au. With its eccentric orbit, it actually reaches farther away from Neptune than Mercury gets from the Sun. Also of note is Sao. While all these moons are technically named after Nereides, SAO is the acronym for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, discoverer Matthew Holman's home institution wink.gif


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stevesliva
post Jan 31 2007, 06:12 PM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Jan 31 2007, 12:27 PM) *
While all these moons are technically named after Nereides, SAO is the acronym for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, discoverer Matthew Holman's home institution wink.gif


Neat! Reminds me of Nix and Hydra.
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jsheff
post Jan 31 2007, 09:26 PM
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Cool. By my count, that still leaves 15 known satellites of Jupiter and 21 of Saturn without names. The IAU certainly has its work cut out for it!

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Rob Pinnegar
post Feb 1 2007, 04:54 AM
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It's too bad there isn't a statute of limitations on naming solar-system objects. If, for example, movie copyrights were used as the model, the discoverer would have to give the thing a name within 27 years, otherwise it would go into the public domain and anybody could name it. tongue.gif

Stephen Pile's great "Book of Heroic Failures" relates the story of some poor kid in 18th century England whose parents named him "Depressed Cupboard Cheesecake". That would make a good name for an obscure Saturnian moon, methinks.

Another possibility would be to name them after vegetables. Ananke, Carme, Pasiphae and... Artichoke.
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David
post Feb 1 2007, 06:54 AM
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I realize that:
1. Traditionally pronounced academic Latin is even deader than Latin itself.
2. Astronomers have a rather cavalier attitude to the pronunciation of the names they come up with.
3. Astronomical naming bodies (quite rightly) do not prescribe pronunciation.
4. Nobody cares.

Nonetheless, there were rules for the pronunciation of classical names by English speakers, and if one were to bother to apply those rules, one would discover the pronunciation of the new names of the Neptunian satellites to be as follows (notation sillified for those who don't read and write IPA every day):

Hal-uh-MEE-dee

SAY-oh

Lay-uh-muh-DEE-uh or Lay-uh-muh-DYE-uh (for historical reasons relating to the adaptation of Greek to Latin, both are acceptable). You can also say Lay-oh- instead of Lay-uh-, but it sounds rather stilted.

NEE-so.
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