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Space Science

New Moon for Uranus 61

Spudley writes "With a headline that is just begging for puns, the BBC has a story about a new moon that has been discovered around Uranus. I wonder if this one will turn out to be a old rocket engine too?"
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New Moon for Uranus

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I sure hope there's no Klingons on that moon around Uranus.
  • by merlyn ( 9918 ) on Friday October 04, 2002 @12:28PM (#4387580) Homepage Journal
    "... it's a Space Station!"
  • Thank god Uranus has never been invaded!!!
  • Make the obvious joke about a turd or a dingleberrry revolving around uranus.

  • Migration (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If there is life on pluto [slashdot.org] then it's also possible that there is life on the outer planetary moons. If this was the case then the entire Uranian system could be teeming with life. Uranus might be surrounded by space mites waiting to penetrate it.
  • by Caractacus Potts ( 74726 ) on Friday October 04, 2002 @01:18PM (#4387951)
    According to the picture provided, this moon actually has its own set of rings. It's almost unbelievable!
    • I don't think it has rings. I think the news site is wrong. That "ring" you see in the picture is the typical circle used to indicate the interesting feature. The new moon is estimated to be 9 to 12 miles across. It can't have any rings if it's that small. Another article [space.com] make no reference to a ring. It's an error by the story author, sorry.
      • Oh, I was just being silly. The caption under the picture actually says "The moon is ringed", so I thought I'd have a little fun with it.
        • Oh, sorry, my bad. :) Although I think that line should have been written differently... "The moon is ringed" is just a tad bit misleading.
      • That "ring" you see in the picture is the typical circle used to indicate the interesting feature.

        That brings up an interesting question: how do you mark an actual ring, such as a ring nebula or a planet ring?

        Arrows? Okay, but what if the object actually looks like a ring and an arrow together?

        A Rectangle? Okay, but what if. Nevermind. If we find a nebula shaped like a ring + arrow + rectangle, then we have far bigger concerns than how to point to it.
  • I'm going to make the first post that is serious on this topic...

    I think it's great that they've found another moon in the outer solar system. It must be rather complicated keeping track of all the objects that are out there, and especially determining whether an object is a brand-new discovery or an old one.

    Do they have some kind of database or repository of this information? Perhaps it is available on the web or something. I would be most obliged if someone would point the way.

    • by foolish ( 46697 ) on Friday October 04, 2002 @04:39PM (#4389711)
      There are several astro-databases, though the one I am most familar with is the MPC, which can be found at:


      IIRC, the ESA, NASA and other space agencies also have their own DBs for this information, though they usually propigate the information out once they have enough confirmed sightings.... that's the real rub, there are sooo many planetoids in the KB, the main belt and NEOrbits that nailing down orbits for these faint objects is *really* tricky.

      Unfortunately I am not in a good area for any sort of observations. I hope the current window for the Extra-solar planet observation folks get enough volunteers, /. certainly has had enough articles on it.

    • by CheshireCatCO ( 185193 ) on Saturday October 05, 2002 @12:53PM (#4393540) Homepage
      Just to toss in another good site, I'm very partial to:

      As you can no doubt tell, it's maintained by JPL, so it has pretty much the best orbital and physical data around.
  • Just a tidbit for all the Beavis and Butthead jokers...
    The preferred pronunciation of Uranus accents the first syllable ('yur-&-n&s), and not like "your anus"
  • Seems like an awfully cheeky headline.
  • It was first seen in August 2001, but quickly lost amid the glare from Uranus.
    That could be used in soo many ways, but I won't go there.
  • I can see the onion headlines now...
    "A new pun has been found around your pun."
  • If you have a moon in uranus... youd better wo to the doctor... maybe you have hemorroids!
  • uranus is a pun free zone
    (or at least a less obvious target)
    if you pronounce it correctly

    u rhymes with goo, to
    ra rhymes with ma, ha
    nus rhymes with puss

    u - ra - nus

    • Correct according to whom?
      http://www.pantheon.org/articles/u/uranus.h tml
      It's said the way that leads to the juvenile jokes. Quite a few planetary scientists have veered away from this pronounciation, but that doesn't make it correct. Just widely mispronounced.
      • by solferino ( 100959 ) <hazchem@@@gmail...com> on Saturday October 05, 2002 @01:52AM (#4392248) Homepage
        thanks for yr reply

        i checked the page you referred to and i concede that it (and many more authorative references) indicate such a pronunciation

        i am not a classics scholar, however several references to the proper pronunciation of Ouranus (the greek god of the sky) indicate the pronunciation i gave

        firstly here is a good link [dischord.net]to a page which gives the proper latin and old greek pronunciation of the entities whom the planets were named after

        they give the latin pronuciation :

        VRANVS oor-AH-nuss

        and the old greek pronunciation

        OURANOS (Ouranos)
        oar-AH-noss, oor-AH-noss

        note that the last sylable changed from an 'o' sound to a 'u' sound, however the stressed middle vowel is an ah in both cases

        one thing that i did not stress in my first post is that there should be no 'y' sound at the beginning of the word either

        secondly here is a more scholarly page [otenet.gr]which shows the pronunciation of ouranos (search page for uranus, and page works best if you have proper greek fonts installed)

        they indicate an IPA pronunciation of :


        so yes, in summary you could argue that the common modern pronunciation is correct even if it has changed from the way the ancient romans and greeks pronounced the word

        however, i feel that it is an unfortunate pronunciation and i prefer the old one - i realise that there can never be a language police, nor would i welcome one, but i do feel that it is good for people to know that there is an alternative pronunciation to the common modern one which can sound better and is more in touch with the word's roots

        i feel that the present situation arose from the fact that there was very little usage of the word for many centuries until it suddenly got shot back into prominence with the naming of a major planet after it - and unfortunately people pronounced it as they read it and not from hearing it

      • "It's said the way that leads to the juvenile jokes."

        That is the pronunciation of the supernatural Uranus. While the planet was originally named after that god, the IAU recently changed it to a pronunciation where the emphasis was on the first syllable. I cannot find a link to anywhere that this is stated, but all of my astronomy profs (I'm an astro major) use that pronunciation.

        If you want an official pronunciation, fish around on the IAU site and I'm sure you'll find it. But the fact that the god is pronounced that way does not necessarily mean that the planet is likewise named.

        • Actually... it does. Astronomers mispronounce a lot of words. (Charon, anyone? Or Io?) I'd know. I am an astronomer. There are a few astronomers out there who make it a minor crusade to try to get the community to recognize the correct pronounciations (Guy Consolmagno comes to mind), but most astronomers don't care. They say things the way they learned them, even knowing it's not the correct pronounciation.
    • You can shove your pronunciation up yer anus!
    • Whether it's "your-anus" or "unine-us" I think the potential for punsters is just about even. (Though I prefer the former.)
  • Hmm.. kinda small for a moon, more like an asteroid. Aha !! It's a Hemorrhoid !!
    • Hmm.. kinda small for a moon, more like an asteroid. Aha !! It's a Hemorrhoid !!

      He he

      If asteroids come from the stars ("aster"), then hemorrhoids must come from the planet Hemor, no?

      As in, "Captain, The planet Hemor exploded. We need to watch out for the all the hemoroids that will be headed our way now!"

      Actually, astronomers prefer "planetoid" over "asteroid", but it is too entrenched. "Asteroid" came from the days when they didn't know what asteroids really were IIRC. As we all know, it is hard to name variables in a world of discovery and change. I suppose "thingoid" would be out, just because you don't know what it is.
  • I wonder if this one will turn out to be a old rocket engine too?

    That would be quite a discovery, there's no way it's one of ours.

  • it is Klingons!

    thats no moon, its a...wait a minute, yeah, it's a moon.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.