US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The origin of the name of the moon is a very interesting story. People have known about this large white ball in the sky ever since they first roamed the earth.
The appearance of the moon changes over the course of months. She moves through phases from the full moon to the new moon and back.
Where did the word moon come from?
Earth has only one moon. People in ancient times used the moon to measure the course of months. The word moon can be traced back to the word mōna, an Old English word from the Middle Ages. Mōna shares its origin with the Latin words metri, which means measurement and mensis is the month.
So we see that the moon is called the moon because it is used to measure the months.
So why do the moons around other planets have names, and we just have the moon?
When they called the moon, people knew only about our moon. Everything changed in 1610, when the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter.
Other astronomers throughout Europe discovered five moons around Saturn during the 1600s. These objects began to be called moons because they were close to their planets, just as our own moon is close to the Earth.
It is fair to say that other moons are named after our own moon.
Beautiful names were given to each newly discovered moon to identify them among the growing number of planets and moons that astronomers found in the solar system.
Many of these names came from Greek myths. The four large moons discovered by Galileo around Jupiter were named Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
Astronomers continue to find new satellites orbiting planets in our solar system. In October 2019, astronomers announced that they had recently discovered another 20 moons around Saturn.
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