Planet, asteroid, minor planet: A case study in astronomical nomenclature
Since 1801 the multitude of bodies that orbit between Mars and Jupiter have been called planets, small planets, minor planets, petites planètes, kleine Planeten, planetoids and asteroids. We investigate the popularities of these nomenclatures and chart the way in which, over the last 20 to 30 years, the use of Sir William Herschel's word ‘asteroid’ has become more widespread.
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
- Pub Date:
- March 2007
- minor planets