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Uranus is from today Oron and Neptune from now on Rahab

This was announced by the Shochor Science Youth Center and the Scientific Secretariat of the Hebrew Language Academy in a special ceremony to mark the end of the International Year of Astronomy

The planet Oron. Photo: Voyager 2
The planet Oron. Photo: Voyager 2
To mark the year 2009 approxInternational Year of Astronomy, the Science Seeking Youth Center at the Hebrew University and the Scientific Secretariat of the Hebrew Language Academy announced a one-of-a-kind project: choosing Hebrew names for the planets Uranus and Neptune. The judging committee was chaired by Prof. Avishai Dekel from the Hebrew University.

The five planets closest to the Sun (not including Earth) have been known since the dawn of mankind: they were given the names of gods from Greco-Roman mythology: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. The ancient Hebrews also gave them names, and these are in order: planet (or planet Mercury), Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. The planets Uranus and Neptune were observed for the first time only after the invention of the telescope, and were not given Hebrew names until now.

In the "A Hebrew Star is Born" project, the Hebrew-speaking public is called to make an astronomical-linguistic history: to give Hebrew names to the two planets. The public responded to the call and hundreds of suggestions for Hebrew names were received. These proposals were submitted to a jury with the participation of senior astrophysicists and representatives of the Hebrew Language Academy. Four names came up

Finally, to the final stage and put up for voting:
Thousands of people participated in the electronic vote and chose between the alternatives.

no preference The winning name the second name Total
Uranus 81 Oron: 2,808 He played: 1,539 4,428
Neptune 255 arrogance: 2,907 aquamarine: 1,266 4,428

Explanations for the names chosen:

  • Oron - the meaning of the name is 'small light' and it alludes to the pale light of the planet as it is seen from the earth due to its great distance from the sun; The name Oron is close in sound to the foreign name and helps to remember it.
  • Rahab - the proposal follows the meaning of the name Neptune - the name of the god of the sea. Its equivalent name in the Jewish tradition is Rahab - the name of the Lord of the Sea, "Lord of the Sea". For example, in the Babylonian Talmud, the verse "By his strength the sea is calm and by his wisdom is a mighty force" (Job XNUMX:XNUMX) is interpreted as describing the victory over the lord of the sea. The name Rahab is loaded with mythological connotations like the Latin name.

arrogance. Photo: Voyager 2
arrogance. Photo: Voyager 2
Ronit Gadish, the scientific secretary of the Hebrew Language Academy, said at the time of the announcement: "Blessed initiative, a good spirit and the guidance of many good people - join together here in the realization of the unique, unprecedented, perhaps historic idea: giving Hebrew names to stars in a democratic process through the network. "

About a year ago, we asked the public to send suggestions for names to the two planets that were unlucky and did not get to be seen by the ancients, so they have not been given Hebrew names to this day. And here is the path of the stars of these planets. The response to the appeal was impressive. Hundreds of proposals - original, scholarly, surprising, creative, sometimes strange, sometimes amusing - arrived at the site that was opened in the context of the International Year of Astronomy.

Many of the proposals are based on reasons. Here are some of the reasons that the bidders wrote for the names that made it to the finals:

  • Oron: "A beautiful name, simple and catchy, similar to the foreign original"; "Uron is a 'small light' and Uranus is a small light in the darkness of the solar system".
  • Play: "Uranus is the god of the sky and I thought of a name from the names of the heavens whose sound is pleasant to the ear." "Shahak also means fall and dust and therefore it also describes the mass of the star which consists mainly of hydrogen and helium and in the center is a molten core of iron and silicates."
  • Rahab: "Rahab is a mythological monster, perhaps the god of the sea, who is mentioned in the Bible (Psalms XNUMX:XNUMX; Job XNUMX:XNUMX) and also in the Midrash 'You find a song of the sea called Rahab' (Tanhuma in the Desert, Parashat Hakat Siman XNUMX)."
  • Tarshish: "Tarshish, one of the stones of the breastplate, is the stone of the sea, and relates to Neptune, the god of the sea." "Yona the prophet fled far to Tarshish - so that the prophecy would not be sung to him, and Neptune is the most distant planet."

According to Gadish, many interesting names were proposed. Among other things, almost all the breastplate stones - Berket, Saphir, Petda, Leshem, Shevo, Shoham and more - were proposed as names for the stars. "Uranus was offered derivatives from the word Or - Oran, Oriya, Naor, Oram, Orit, Yair and more, and of course combinations such as "Uranus", "Orez", "Orzio". Neptune, the god of the sea, was offered derivatives and combinations from the words sea and water: Maimai, Yamiya, Meyal, Yam-El, and more, and other names related to the sea, such as Nakhshul and Zula. Those who wanted to keep the foreign sound of the name suggested Naphtali, Neftoh, Nefet, and Garnet. Many of the proposals in which they appeared are derived from the colors 'blue' and 'green'. Some suggested pairs, for example "Urim and Thumm" - one for Uranus and the other for Neptune."

"The jury that gathered about six months ago therefore had a difficult job of finding out the names that would advance to the finals. The principle that guided the group was to choose names on which there is broad agreement - both by the astronomers and by the linguists. The four names that made it to the finals did indeed win this agreement, because they combined a pleasant sound and appropriate content, and not least because they are old names in Hebrew, well known but not in everyday use.
The next step, the penultimate step, was the public vote. Here, too, there was a good response from thousands of people, with the help of the media that publicized the move."

In conclusion, Gadish thanked Yair Greenberg and the association's team First science who voluntarily set up and operate the sites for submitting the proposals and voting, and to the members of the judging team from among the astronomers and from among the members of the Language Academy: Dr. Deborah Lang, Director of the Center for Science Seeking Youth and Tali Ben-Yehuda, Director General of the Academy - who accompanied the project, the initiator Lev Tal-Or, the two organizers Harel Ben-Ami, a science seeker and Barzilai from the Academy, as well as Dan Kaner, who hosted the event on a voluntary basis.

17 תגובות

  1. stupid
    Who cares if a star is called by one name or another
    Just terrible "always keen to clarify the language.".
    Nonsense in the juice

  2. It should stay that way

    There is no need for the nonsense of changing a name because it is not Hebrew, in my opinion the names (above) will always remain like that

  3. Poor little deprived Pluto, it was possible to whitewash his name on that occasion of transgressions:)"Chaos"?

  4. I also suggested names. What do you say about the name iron heart for Uranus? (I chose this name because the core of Uranus is made of a metal called iron)

  5. The Jews must always be different from everyone else. I wonder what the next step will be - a Hebrew name for New York? To Moscow? to toronto?

    Bottom line - ridiculous, not to mention stupid.

  6. There are quite a few books in Hebrew that refer to Uranus as Uran. Oron is quite similar, there is a chance it will catch on. arrogance? Never.

  7. What an important discovery for science! What would we do without the people at the Language Academy?

    I have an idea...why shouldn't the official word in Hebrew be "Uranus"? Who loses here?

  8. Where do these names come from? Mila Oron, that can be dealt with, but Rahav? May I know who came up with these names and why? Couldn't you be more creative? My word, it won't catch, only the scientists will use these names

  9. Nice, the Hebrew finally got the telescope.
    All the planets that can be seen with the naked eye already had a Hebrew name (Hama - Saturn).
    Those that only the telescope discovered - a foreign name. And here the distortion has been corrected.
    There is nothing left but to regret that Pluto was removed from its status as a planet. I would suggest calling him 'Ehud' (after Olmert). He was also discovered late, also hovered on the fringes of the system, also took a place he didn't belong to, and was also dismissed in disgrace.

  10. I am very happy that both my choices won! A welcome project in any case, and I would even give it a good chance.
    So what do you say, start using the new names? I am in favor.

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