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The Moon

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QuickHare
161974.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:35 pm Reply with quote

Hi all,

Just a quick question to correct my general ignorance...
Am just running through the DVD of Series 1, and reached the talk of the moon in Episode 2. Alan states there is one moon, and Stephan deducts ten points.

Now. I disagree with the fact ten points were deducted as I was led to believe there is one "moon". The Moon is a term we apply to the object which orbits our planet with a timing of one orbit per 28days (or thereabouts). It is not to say it is the only thing orbiting our planet, but it is the name we give that one particular object.

Likewise, the Sun is the star our planet orbits. Other stars in the universe may have planets and such orbiting them, but we cannot call them a Sun because that's the name of the star in our solar system, not any other.

I hope some elf can correct me on this one, as now I'm lost...

 
grizzly
161975.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:48 pm Reply with quote

oh this one has been done to death as much as the Welsh word for blue thing.

There is only one moon, the objects that the QI elves thought were moons are NEO's (Near Earth Objects) that do not orbit the Earth but orbit the Sun in a similar orbit to the Earth.

 
Flash
161976.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:03 pm Reply with quote

Well that's as may be, but nevertheless I'm afraid I don't buy the particular point being made by QuickHare, to whom 'welcome'. "Moon" is a word that's applied to any natural planetary satellite, so if it was the case that the Earth had two such they would both be moons.

 
Helios
161980.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:37 pm Reply with quote

QuickHare wrote:
I disagree with the fact ten points were deducted as I was led to believe there is one "moon".

That is kind of the point of the game...

 
Flash
161982.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:46 pm Reply with quote

That, too.

 
grizzly
161985.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:53 pm Reply with quote

Although what you were led to believe was actually true (for once).

 
Flash
161986.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:01 pm Reply with quote

In a way. We don't deny the account you give of the NEOs, but we do say that not many people were aware of their existence at all at the time of the original broadcast, so to that extent the standard view was an over-simplification.

Remember that the business about deducting points is a joke, really; QI isn't a competition in any real sense, it's people chatting about stuff in a format which refers to the format of a quiz.

 
Ameena
161993.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:58 pm Reply with quote

As far as I'm aware, any small, round, natural satellite orbiting a planet is a moon, and ours is called Luna. And any star is a sun, but we just call ours the Sun, although its name is Sol. That right?

 
Helios
162002.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:43 pm Reply with quote

Ameena wrote:
As far as I'm aware, any small, round, natural satellite orbiting a planet is a moon, and ours is called Luna. And any star is a sun, but we just call ours the Sun, although its name is Sol. That right?

Correct, though I think there are issues about size for the moons.

 
Mulvil
162017.  Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:34 am Reply with quote

It annoys me slightly in table quizzes when they ask about earths natural satellite and give the answer "the moon" whereas I'll always have luna on my answer sheet and fail to get points unless I go explaining.

 
Heleendje
162020.  Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:39 am Reply with quote

Although, it would seem that:

The "official" name (of the Earth's moon) is the Moon, with a capital M. The satellites of the other planets are called moons (small m). Similarly, stars are referred to as suns, but our star is the Sun.

From http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1995/astron/AST081.HTM

 
Barbara-B
826892.  Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:15 am Reply with quote

Pedantically (and pedantry seems to be beloved of the Elves) THE moon is not A moon, so all QI's "moon counts" have been off by one.

This is because a moon is defined as a heavenly body that revolves around a planet, however our "moon", Luna, does NOT revolve around the Earth, rather Luna and Earth revolve around a common centre of gravity so Luna is actually the smaller body of a twined planet system.

It is because that common centre of gravity is between the Earth's axis and the Earth's crust that Luna gives the ILLUSION of orbiting the Earth.

This is not without consequences, the major one of which is the wobble of the Earth's axis and it's effect known as the precession of the equinoxes.

 
Posital
826893.  Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:33 am Reply with quote

This can be said of any two-body gravitational system - although I'm going to take pedanticism to new heights.

Because gravity practically knows no bounds - the whole universe could be said to be one big system. This would include our moon and any other moon you can think of - amongst other things. Trouble is, this makes things so much more complicated - so it's easier to simplify.

 
Barbara-B
826914.  Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:49 pm Reply with quote

True Posital, but there are moons out there that fit the definition of a moon; revolve around a plant; where the planet is static relative to the moon(s) (IE it is the moon that moves not the planet). This is not the case with the Earth/Luna system where both bodies are in motion relative to each other. Our Moon is unique, and this is another facet of of its uniqueness :-)

I've been trying to find my source, which was one of Isaac Asimov's science books, but that's a bit like trying to find a higgs-bosen in a large hadron collider.

 
Posital
826919.  Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:13 pm Reply with quote

Possibly - the tragedy of the moon?

 

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