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  1. #1
    John Savard's Avatar
    John Savard Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?



    When I heard the news that a new, distant asteroid had been
    discovered, one on the borderline of being recognized a planet, and
    that it had been named after Sedna, an Inuit goddess, I had initially
    considered this to be another manifestation of the current political
    correctness run amok.

    I had also assumed that the discoverer must have had some interest in
    Inuit culture, enough to have read perhaps obscure accounts of their
    life, lore, and legends.

    I have just discovered that there is another possibility - that there
    is one item of popular, mass-market culture which precedes the
    discovery of that asteroid in which Sedna was mentioned, by means of
    which many people may have become aware of her.

    In one newsgroup, in web searches concerning this, I found that people
    expressed disappointment this distant asteroid was named Sedna instead
    of Yuggoth. Well, Lovecraft did say specifically that it was Pluto
    that was known as Yuggoth to its intelligent fungi. But this name
    partly salutes H. P. Lovecraft, because the novel I speak of has an
    appearance by a simulacra of Cthulhu at one point.

    And there is even a cute campfire song about Cthulhu, sung to the tune
    of "Wichita Lineman", at one point...

    However, that is unlikely to have been the discoverer's primary
    intention. Instead, I suspect the asteroid was named Sedna to salute
    those who advocate the exploration of Mars, and who are working on
    ideas for "skyhook" or "beanstalk" type devices for inexpensive access
    to space.

    Because these featured very prominently in the primary theme of the
    novel "The Barsoom Project" by Larry Niven and Stephen Barnes - which
    features Sedna in one of the holographic games at "Dream Park", the
    "Fimbulwinter" game (this novel being a sequel to one named "Dream
    Park").

    John Savard

  2. #2
    Chris L Peterson's Avatar
    Chris L Peterson Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?

    On 30 Mar 2005 07:37:13 -0800, jsavard@ecn.ab.ca (John Savard) wrote:


    Maybe. But given the long history of digging into mythological sources
    for naming astronomical objects, and the fact that this particular
    object is so obviously associated with ice, Inuit culture is a pretty
    obvious place to look for names. Personally I wouldn't consider it a
    sign of political correctness to look there- it seems very appropriate.

    Of course, many scientists are science fiction fans, and I suspect that
    Niven is near the top of most lists (since his work is actually rooted
    in solid science, and not fantasy).

    _________________________________________________

    Chris L Peterson
    Cloudbait Observatory
    http://www.cloudbait.com

  3. #3
    RichA's Avatar
    RichA Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?

    On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 15:56:07 GMT, Chris L Peterson
    <clp@alumni.caltech.edu> wrote:


    Why? What did they ever achieve in astronomy?
    At least the Greeks and Arabs have some claim there.
    -Rich

  4. #4
    Chris L Peterson's Avatar
    Chris L Peterson Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?

    On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 19:54:03 -0500, RichA <none@none.com> wrote:


    Is that important? It's traditional to draw from mythology, and Inuit
    mythology seems like a pretty good choice for an ice planet.

    The Greeks and Arabs who contributed to early astronomy were rational
    people. I doubt very many of them believed in their respective deities,
    yet we name things after them all the same.

    _________________________________________________

    Chris L Peterson
    Cloudbait Observatory
    http://www.cloudbait.com

  5. #5
    Greta Van Voud's Avatar
    Greta Van Voud Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?

    Huh? Political Greta-ism? You would know!



    John Savard wrote:



  6. #6
    William Hamblen's Avatar
    William Hamblen Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?

    On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 02:12:03 GMT, Chris L Peterson
    <clp@alumni.caltech.edu> wrote:


    Astronomers ran through all the Greek and Roman gods, goddesses,
    nymphs, dryads, sprites, you-name-it a long time ago. There's a lot
    of stuff out there you need to call something. "Hey, you" doesn't cut
    it and "Sedna" is as good as anything else.


  7. #7
    RichA's Avatar
    RichA Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?

    On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 02:12:03 GMT, Chris L Peterson
    <clp@alumni.caltech.edu> wrote:


    I vote we keep naming objects in honor of, or after people or cultures
    who have contributed to the study of astronomy. If mythology is the
    only qualifier, why not just name it after urban legends too? How
    about the stolen kidney galaxy??
    -Rich

  8. #8
    T.T.'s Avatar
    T.T. Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?


    "RichA" <none@none.com> wrote in message
    news:cb4n41l07af06agc37p8tft6p8f3fcl7j2@4ax.com...
    That's just silly. Next you 'll be suggesting we name an asteroid Arthur
    Dent.



  9. #9
    Martin Brown's Avatar
    Martin Brown Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?

    T.T. wrote:

    Seems like a good short name to me for an icy planetoid. It even looks
    superficially like a Latin first declension noun.

    There *already* is an asteroid named Arthurdent and thanks to NBC also
    one called Douglasadams (formerly 2001 DA42).

    http://www.space.com/news/adams_obituary_010514.html
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6867061/

    ISTR Meeus uses asteroid name length vs magnitude as a demonstration of
    linear regression in his Astronomical Formulae. There is a surprisingly
    good correlation... we are running out of names!

    Regards,
    Martin Brown

  10. #10
    Vernon's Avatar
    Vernon Guest

    Default How Did That Guy Ever Hear of Sedna Anyways?

    "RichA" wrote ...


    How about Asteroid Shawn then?



 

 
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