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Eldorado

NASA to ban use of planet nicknames

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Eldorado

“As the scientific community works to identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality in all aspects of the field, it has become clear that certain cosmic nicknames are not only insensitive but can be actively harmful,” the agency said in a news release.

“NASA is examining its use of unofficial terminology for cosmic objects as part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Full story at the NY Post: Link

Houston Chronicle: Link

From our heroes at NASA: Link

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Waspie_Dwarf

The title is slightly misleading as the objects in question are mostly, if not entirely, not planets. They are nebulae and galaxies. Also NASA will continue th use nicknames EXCEPT where they are considered inappropriate. Of all the objects NASA has examined so far there are only two nicknames that they will no longer use.

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XenoFish

Gaseous cloud might offend bloated people.:D

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eight bits

Not my field, but I was suprised at the two examples. Eskimo and Siamese twin have long since fallen out of favor both in their respective disciplines and in general writing for publication here in North America. The bureaucrats are playing catch-up, it would seem, decades behind the language in general.

 

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seanjo

Today's nicknames are tomorrow's insults...

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Waspie_Dwarf
1 hour ago, eight bits said:

Not my field, but I was suprised at the two examples. Eskimo and Siamese twin have long since fallen out of favor both in their respective disciplines and in general writing for publication here in North America. The bureaucrats are playing catch-up, it would seem, decades behind the language in general.

 

These nicknames have been in use for many decades. I doubt that anyone has ever thought to look at them before. They are not official names and so it is not a case of bureaucrats catching up as such, as the bureaucrats are not really responsible for them in the first place.

All of these objects will have an official name, approved by the International Astronomical Union. NASA has chosen to use these names only when the nickname is potentially offensive. 

The reality is that this will have virtually no impact on NASA or the astronomical community. Most of these nicknames occur because of the appearance of the object. Most are named after animals or inanimate objects. I very much doubt NASA will find many more that they deem inappropriate. 

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keithisco

So is "Eskimo" to be replaced with Inuit, Iñupiat, Yupik,or even Aleut? 

Seriously, many IAU official designations are hopelessly complex and easy to incorrectly state hence the use of nicknames, as a form of shorthand that is instantly recognisable.  

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Hammerclaw
On 8/8/2020 at 6:26 AM, eight bits said:

Not my field, but I was suprised at the two examples. Eskimo and Siamese twin have long since fallen out of favor both in their respective disciplines and in general writing for publication here in North America. The bureaucrats are playing catch-up, it would seem, decades behind the language in general.

 

 

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