[meteorite-list] A question?????
From: Martin Altmann <altmann_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 16:12:53 +0200
>the name of the planet "Terra" is more based in science fiction of some
>authors these days rather.
Cicero: "ille globus quae terra dicitur.."
That ball, we call Earth.
In principle "tellus" and "terra" are synonyms,
but "tellus" is more poetic, means more the goddess, the Earth as center of
the world, in opposite to a celestial body;
while "terra" means more the physical matter, the Earth as whole physical
entity (in fact as planet, as celestial body, if they wouldn't have had a
geocentric system)and also as one of the elements (water, fire..).
Although for the elements only, there for was also "solum", means also
especially in opposite to the element water - see also today "solid".
And additionally in the meaning of "land" "ground", "bottom".
Finally there is still "humus" for earth.
That means earth in the sense of the hierarchic system of the spheres,
where the sphere of the element earth was in the center of the universe,
(below the sphere of water, below the sphere of air...).
So it means the lowest, the inmost. (humble, humiliate ect.).
"Tellurem pro terra posuit, quum tellurem deam dicamus, terram elementum."
Maurus Servius Honoratus (a grammarian around AD 420)
Uh my Latin... well he says, fort he goddess "tellus", fort he element
Hmmm I would say, from the Roman ancient world until the modern times,
"terra" was more in use to denominate Earth as planet. (Also because of the
Christian tradition, as "terra" is used in the Latin bible. See also
So perhaps we should stay with Terra?
The adjective to Terra in Latin would be "terrenus".
So probably "Terran meteorite" would be correct.
Exist also Latin "terrestris", but that means rather "located on Earth, part
of the Earth",
so we could leave "terrestrial" for pseudo-meteorites.
(btw. Mars, Martis --> Martian. (Martinus, says Martin, the Martian).
Mercur, Mercuris ---> Mercurian. Venus, Veneris ---> Venerian. (cause I
read somewhere Venusian) Hmm the Doug "Dawn"-space probe is on the way to
Vesta. Vestalian meteorites sounds a little bit....)
Uuuuuuh, a posting like from one of those class mates from the 1st row,
you never wanted to be friend with...(Don't know the right expression. Geek?
Have a nice weekend!
Von: meteorite-list-bounces at meteoritecentral.com
[mailto:meteorite-list-bounces at meteoritecentral.com] Im Auftrag von
Gesendet: Samstag, 6. Juni 2009 09:34
An: jgrossman at usgs.gov; Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
Betreff: Re: [meteorite-list] A question?????
Dr. Grossman wrote:
"I think most scientists would call it a terrestrial meteorite, or
perhaps a terran meteorite."
Definitely those are viable options, though I think this subject would
spark more debate than Pluto, Plutonian and Plutonic in these extended
circles if it ever had a type specimen.
I think the name "TELLURIAN", the adjective (From TELLUS[Earth]) might
be another option, and perhaps more harmonic.
Given the confusion and stigma with "terrestrial" in meteoritics
frequently being used to describe meteorwrongs, I think this third
choice could be considered on equal footing without having the baggage.
Do I recall many scientists objecting for example to the useage of
"plutonic" as an adjective for Plutoness?
Utilizing Mars as an example and considering the name of the planet
"Terra" is more based in science fiction of some authors these days
rather than "Terra Mater", the Roman goddess. As for Terran, it sounds
a bit far fetched to me, but hey...
For meteorite collectors who will no doubt be the first to collect
these so far legendary things, it seems our examples:
martian meteorite (martian for short)
lunar meteorite (lunar for short, ocassionally the throat-twisting
tellurian meteorite (tellurian for short)
Tellus, the equivalent Roman Earth goddess as Terra Mater, which
further rounds out the Earth-panteon of Roman possibilities, seems
almost a natural option
and probably just slipped your list.
I didn't mention tellurite since there is already a mineral named this
with a cool blue subadamantine sheen...chemists (who as we know
generally don't get no respect from geologists) that discovered the
metallic element opted for Tellurium to name it after Earth, of course,
for similar considerations we have now, and probably too avoid
confusion with terrariums, those fish tanks filled with dirt.
Ironically, Earth's crust is astonishingly poor in this element, vs.
meteorites and the cosmos in general. Well, they were chemists after
all. So "Terran meteorite" might have an edge here is you like to say
Terraite three times fast. (If someone likes tongue-twisters, how
about, five times fast, "Terr's Tertiary temper terrified Terry the
teary Terran from Tetroe." got to roll the rr's ad pronounce it
Anway, tellurian and terran sounds like great candidates to me.
Considering the hard sound of Terran, which sounds a lot like "dirt"
(real dumb joke alert) and might give us customs problems when we get
our space faring passports or ship meteorites around the Solar system,
not to mention hurt meteorite dealers' sales...
In any case, I'll wait for the first guy who breaks the myth and
recovers material for science to Tellus what to call it. (oops, never
hear the end of that one)
Hoping to escape this heat and join the Telluridian Festivarians for
From: Jeff Grossman <jgrossman at usgs.gov>
Sent: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 5:12 am
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] A question?????
I think most scientists would call it a terrestrial meteorite, or
perhaps a terran meteorite.?
Pete Shugar at clearwire.net wrote:?
> We have the Martian type meteorite, and we have the?
> Lunar meteorite and last, the asteroid 4Vesta meteorite.?
> These we know where they come from.?
> Now the question---given enough energy, can a meteorite?
> hit earth and eject debris which (maybe) land on the moon?
> or Mars? What would we call such a meteorite---Earthoid,?
> or maybe Earthite??
> Just contemplating my navel here.?
> Meteorite-list mailing list?
> Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com?
-- Dr. Jeffrey N. Grossman phone: (703) 648-6184?
US Geological Survey fax: (703) 648-6383?
954 National Center?
Reston, VA 20192, USA?
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Received on Sat 06 Jun 2009 10:12:53 AM PDT