1. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Naming Planets

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JimFlagg, May 6, 2011.

    I am currently working on a Sci-Fi and I am building a Galaxy of all things. I know shoot big. The galaxy (the Milky Way) is broken up into Star Clusters with a few solar systems that have class M planets. Each of these clusters have politics much like our Earth now has where the solar systems are like countries in the clusters. They have trade agreements and other political issues.

    I am trying to name both the solar systems and the planets and maybe even the clusters. For the planets I am using gods both Greek and Roman and even Indian. For the solar systems I am use Latin and other translations of the type of planets in the system. Example: one system's name is Aqua and one of the planets is named Poseidon.

    I still do not know how to name the clusters yet. I am thinking by constolations.

    I just wont some advice on how to build a Galaxy and name the Planets. Is what I am doing too corny?
     
  2. Mobhit
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    Mobhit Senior Member

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    Oh Indeed Corny!!..Just Kidding

    So lets see, your using Gods for planets, Latin-Greek for Solar systems.....ummm?:rolleyes:

    Strange as it sounds, how about diving into some of the Arabic languages and Dialects. For example I use Arabic for my Desert lands in my story an area ruled by Nomadic tribes and Sand Elves (Cliche ME!!).

    If you look on Google, you can find many great languages Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, any of these. All you have to do is Google, and I am sure you will find or see something you like.

    I will stick to my answer of Arabic though What a gorgeous Language.

    Cheers and Best of Luck

    Mobhit
     
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  3. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    That's a good idea. I was thinking maybe some Sand Script or Persian.
     
  4. drayelya
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    drayelya Member

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    Has Earth made contact with these worlds, did we inhabit them? Good questions. Always ask questions because they can be great ways to determine certain things. In a sci-fi you can do pretty much anything you want so even fictional names are a great option, just letting your mind have fun on its own can be great. Pic up a book, find random words, jumble them together or jumble the letters of a long word in weird combos until you find something you like. Its endless almost if you think over it a little. You could even use something you already have an use a language translator to translate it to a different language. That would be a great way of making people go "Hm, I wonder what that means?" All in all its up to you though. Hope this helps! Best of luck!
     
  5. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    If your galaxy is going to be populated by transplanted humans, then using name from Earth based mythologies makes sense. If your worlds will have alien civilizations then they would have their own languages and histories, and you would need to create some names from whole cloth.

    Solar systems usually are named after the star around which the plants orbit (our's is called the Solar system because our star is called Sol). The system of planets around Rigel would be the Rigelian system.

    Some star clusters already have proper names -- The Pleiadies (also known as the Seven Sisters), The Praesepe (Bee Hive Cluster), The Haydes, etc. Using constellation names for clusters scattered across the galaxy really wouldn't make sense because what we see as constellations are not related groups of stars, only chance patterns based on line-of-sight from Earth. From a different star system the constellations would be very different. Star clusters, like those mentioned above, are gravitationally bound together (at least for the next few million years) and would be recognized as such by astronomers on other worlds.

    Also, I think the language you were referencing is Sanskrit rather than Sand Script
     
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  6. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    Unless you want to be in Star Trek's shadow, I'd consider changing the classification of life supporting worlds. Maybe go with something generic like, "Earth-like atmosphere".

    KA Applegate had what I still consider to be the most sensible outlook on the naming of planets.

    She theorized that assuming alien civilizations evolve throughout the Galaxy, each one is going to assume that they are the only life in the universe. So each species is essentially going to call it's own planet "Earth" in one variation or another.

    Now, if you're approaching this with the idea that human beings colonize the galaxy and there is no advanced alien life, then I would approach it from the idea that whatever astronomer discovers the planet is going to get to name it first.

    Remember, we have some new planets in our own system that aren't named for Roman gods. Sedna, the earliest "new" planet to be discovered was named for the Inuit Goddess of the Sea.

    Plus, if you're one of the chosen people to colonize PS2-185 (going for a Stargate designation here) my theory is, you'll be sitting on that ship for a loooong time. When you finally get to that planet, you and your fellow colonists will probably decide on a name yourselves.

    Maybe a generic one like New Earth. Or maybe something that reflects your journey like Orpheus, Marco Polo, Columbus. (or any sailor from any other culture or nation that reflects being in space for god knows how long.)

    Or, you could name it Bob.
     
  7. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    "Has Earth made contact with these worlds, did we inhabit them?"

    Yes they are. In-fact all of the people in these systems are humans. No Aliens yet. The MCs Grand Father is from Earth but he him self has never been there.

    Naming the systems after the Star is a good point. Also, I like the naming the systems "Planetary Systems" because you are right there is only one Solar System.

    As for the class M thing No it did not originate with Startrek so I am going to stick with it.

    It is fiction after all but I do like to try to be a little accurate. Non of that Jegawatt crap if I a can but I am no Physics so some of my ideas behind FTL travel might be out there. I think I might post my theories on FTL later. Have to get through the planet thing first.
     
  8. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if it has been done before but why not use the zodiac names for planets as well? I mean, they are all based in astrology and readers might find it easier to connect with those planet names.
     
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  9. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Some of these systems are not going to be visible from Earth but I might use the names we already have. I have not named them yet so it might make sense. I would have to do research though because at this time people really do not travel distance that go over 200 light years because the amount of fuel required for long distances like 1000 light years would take the resources of a small planet. If one of these clusters we Earthlings have already named is with in the 200 light year limit then it would not work with my current plot because the cluster that the MC is in is 2000 light years away from Earth.

    I totally agree and is the main reason I posted this thread. I have no idea how to name the systems. So far my MC has not traveled out side of the current system because with the current FTL drive they have, it would still take months to travel from star cluster to another.

    There is a subplot (not going to spill my main plot yet :) ) being developed where a technology is being created that will get past the infinite mass problem. They already use the technology for communications but can not use it on mass. Even with this tech it still takes up to a week for a communication to reach Earth from their current cluster.

    Thanks every one for your input.
     
  10. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    Try using location names from here on Earth. I'm thinking Gobi, Andes, Apalachia, Ural, Congo, Amazon, etc. Humans would undoubtedly start naming things after home. We did it in America (New York, New Jersey, New England, etc.) so why not in space?
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Model it after the way cities are named on this planet. Some are named after an explorer or a patron involved in finding or establishing the site (e.g. Columbus, Hudson), others are named after a city from home (e.g. Cambridge, New York), others are named geographically (e.g. Northbridge, Marshfield), and some are a combination (e.g. Shrevesport).

    Also note that planets may be named by the systematic standard by which Earth is also known as Sol 3. So you would have Canopus 4 for the fourth planet orbiting the star Canopus, etc.
     
  12. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Well, the "M" stands for Majel Barret, Roddenberry's wife. (She also played Troy's mother and voiced the computer in TNG, and the Stewie's ship computer in the Family Guy episode "Emission Impossible") Unless another sci-fi revolutionist was in love with her first, I'd say it was Roddenberry's idea.

    Isn't that a fun thing to do, too? Give names to different classifications of planets? You could use the Greek alphabet if you really want to stick with letters.
     
  13. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    True.

    We use a Spectral Classification when analyzing what a celestial body is made of. Yes we never used it for planets before because, except for our planets, we could not see alien planet of stars far away. So we used it on stars. For our planets we used a broad classification. To start we only considered a type body that orbited our sun as planets and never classified similar bodies that would orbit other stars as planets. So technically it can not be a planet unless it orbits around our sun. We now call those bodies smiler to our own planets as Alien Planets.

    Also, class M spectral classification (if they applied it to any other bodies than a star) would be deadly to life so your right there as well.

    In short we have no system of classifying planets other than by their size and developmental stage. (sorry Pluto) In order to classify a planet by its capability to support life (right temperatures, has liquid water and so on) does have to be invented. The problem is that we are still not sure what is required to make life. Could there be a form of life that does not require water? There is also the idea of computers coming to life and they don't need water.

    Last, I am not using any Aliens in my book only humans so may a class H for humanoid. :p If I don't use Aliens then I guess I would not need to classify them in this way. Maybe classify them from levels of Earth Norm. There will be varying degrees of gravity, humidity and temperatures from Earth Norm.

    A lot for me to think on. Thanks for the correction.

    P.S. I should probably open a new thread on this called Classifying Planets because all I wanted was just names for now.
     
  14. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I don't think I would want to name it after cities or countries. Would you want to live on a planet named New America? Also the New Earth thing has already been done. Thanks for the input though. I just don't like naming any place New ... because it sounds corny. Just my opinion does not make it wrong.
     
  15. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Yes. All life that we know requires water, but that doesn't mean that all life ever requires water. This is why I write sci-fi. So I can imagine the possibilities of things we have never encountered. What kinds of life can come from what kinds of planets? What life could not need water? I say life is possible as long as it has a way of gathering nutrients/energy.
     

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