Who named Earth?

Wednesday 22nd July 2009
Submitted by Len Fisher
Aisha Elliot, Stubbington

The Greeks and Romans named most of the planets in the Solar System after particular gods, and we have kept those names in English. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, all unknown in classical times, were named by the modern astronomers who discovered them, but still after Greek and Roman gods. Earth is the one exception. Its name, according to the official gazetteer of planetary discovery, comes from the Indo-European base 'er', which produced the Germanic noun 'ertho', the modern German 'erde', Dutch 'aarde', Danish and Swedish 'jord', and English 'earth'.

How do you pee in zero G?
previous qanda Article
What would happen to a bullet fired in space?
next qanda Article
Q&A Tabs

Phlegm is the mucous secretion of the respiratory passages. The cilia cells that line these passages are continually driving the phlegm upward to the throat, where it triggers the swallow reflex...

Lobsters and other shellfish have harmful bacteria naturally present in their flesh. Once the lobster is dead, these bacteria can rapidly multiply and release toxins that may not be destroyed by...

Trees release oxygen when they use energy from sunlight to make glucose from carbon dioxide and water. Like all plants, trees also use oxygen when they split glucose back down to release energy to...

All female mammals have a clitoris, the sole purpose of which is to react to sexual stimulation, and presumably this stimulation has evolved to be pleasurable for most species. But establishing...

According to UN Census figures, the number of births for 2005-2010 is expected to be 20.3 per year, per thousand people, averaged over the planet. The same figure for deaths from all causes is 8.5...

All female mammals have a clitoris, the sole purpose of which is to react to sexual stimulation, and presumably this stimulation has evolved to be pleasurable for most species. But establishing...

To create a sound, we have to set matter - whether it's a gas like air, a liquid or even a solid material - in regular motion, creating a wave of specific frequencies, which we hear as a sound of...

Mirrors don’t reverse left and right either – that’s just our interpretation of what happens. Your reflection in the mirror is actually reversed front to back – if you have...

Discovered by an American student named Gary Flandro in the mid-1960s, the slingshot manoeuvre usually involves spacecraft briefly 'coat-tailing' a planet orbiting the Sun, extracting some of the...

The ice disappears because the wind blows away water molecules that have evaporated or 'sublimed' from the ice, so the ice slowly shrinks in size. The molecules that escape are those with the...