Tuesday, October 08, 2002

X is a Roman Numeral, Right?

Eugene Volokh comments on the discovery of a heretofore unknown quasi-planet that's even smaller and farther out than Pluto. Apparently they intend to name it Quaoar, something out of American (specifically, Southern Californian) Indian mythology. Would it be terribly Eurocentric of me to suggest a name from Roman mythology for the sake of pure consistency? It just doesn't seem right to have nine planets (or quasi-planets if Pluto's demotion is a fait accompli) from the Romans and one from something totally different. I was thinking Faunus (Roman equivalent of the Greek Pan) would be appropriate, given the entity's quasi-planet quasi-asteroid status.

Then again, we have four days of the week named after Norse gods and only one (Saturday) named after a Roman god, as well as two not named after gods at all, so perhaps they're aiming at consistency of inconsistency.

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