“ One of my favorites of this class is the monstrous walled plain Janssen, which can look incredibly huge and detailed when on the terminator. Within a few days, though: poof. Very hard to find it visible at all. ”
“ All I can say is it's a good thing for Tycho his name actually did end in o.”
The Lunar Do(ugh)nut
Amid much fanfare from the SJAA mailing list, out came the telescope to get a rare look at the infamous Lunar Donut (or is that Doughnut? Either works, apparently).
Due to the referenced Seronik photo, it was easy to be sure we had the right feature. Ak thought it looked better the last time she saw it, and offered that we might have been a little late by starting at the official time.
Looks kinda like one of those coconut-covered donuts to me, Alan. (Alan Adler gave the heads-up for this event).
Of course the real fun is looking again the next day to see it ... well, not see it. This is one of the many fascinating and real "Transient Lunar Phenomena," things that really do change up there.
One of my favorites of this class is the monstrous walled plain Janssen, which can look incredibly huge and detailed when on the terminator. Within a few days, though: poof. Very hard to find if visible at all.
I can't report on not seeing the donut the next day, though. The event was on June 10, the deadline for this column!
More Baco Bits
Some years back I read a reference to the crater "Baco" in which the writer indicated this weird spelling was a latinization of Roger Bacon's last name. Apparently it was common in those days to sign off on things with a latinate name, as it was the "Lingua Franca" (ironically) of stuffy publications.
Okay. Baco, Cato. I can buy that. So I filed it in my list of stupid facts and eventually repeated it.
I get this note from Bob Garfinkle:
"...about Baco vs. Bacon. In 1837, Mdler named the feature "Baco" for the English friar Roger Bacon (1214-94). He used the German spelling of "Baco" instead of the Englishman's English name Bacon or his Latinized name Rogeri Baconis. In 1932, the IAU adopted Mdler's naming of Baco, and that is the official name for this lunar feature."
The reason for this stupid name is even worse than the excuse given by the erroneous reference I read. It's simply because it was written down by some illiterate German. I mean, something was seriously wrong with these IAU clowns.
But why? I mean, why would a German spell someone's name (Bacon) as Baco? Auf Deutsch, Bacon is Speck (if babelfish is to be trusted). So it's not like that's how you spell "bacon" in Germany.
There doesn't seem to be a propensity toward names that end in O in Germany. One would more commonly expect that from Italy or Spain.
Further, in reference to Roger Bacon in a German text we find this:"Die beiden Bacon in Archiv f. Gesch. d. Philos".
So it wasn't any common habit to do such a thing.
There you have it. We are stuck with an English guy's name misspelled by a German and approved by an international gaggle of folks who were probably half drunk and the other half asleep. If they were anything like Congress, they probably didn't even read what they approved.
It's a miracle we don't have Armstro up there, along with Aldri and Colli.
All I can say is it's a good thing for Tycho his name actually did end in o.
Bob also shed a little more light on last month's controversy:
"When you look at the nomenclature list on the USGS site, you'll quickly notice that most of the names are missing the honoree's full name. The original compiler I guess did not think this was important. This has lead to some confusion where he didn't even take the time to look up the initials."
Perhaps we might include Ed (and Bill) Pickering in that list of confused issues ...
Should anyone wish to reference the maps and other scads of great information, they are available at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/mapcatalog/LTO/ and http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/mapcatalog/LAC/.
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