About Moon, lunar, selenic, selenical ???

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Alex_Itaca

New Member
Madrid, Spain
Hi, I'm doing my final project about Earth Moon trajectories, buy I have a real problem because I do not know how to refer things form the moon, Can anyone explain me the diference between lunar, selenic?? Are both adjetives? I've tried in some dictionaries but I didn't found anything.
Thanks a lot!!
Alex
 
  • E-J

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Hi Alex

    "Selenic" and "selenian" are both adjectives and are synonyms for "lunar" - I haven't seen "selenical" before, though.

    I'm not an expert, but I think in an astronomical context you'd be more likely to read about "lunar trajectories" than "selenic trajectories". I suspect that "selenic" suggests more mystical or astrological connotations.

    Anyway, I found these definitions, which may or may not be helpful:
    http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/dictionaries/difficultwords/data/d0011697.html

    selenic, a. like the moon; containing selenium.
    selenite, n. dweller on the moon
    selenitic, a. pertaining to or affected by the moon
    selenocentric, a. pertaining to the moon's centre; having the moon as its centre
    selenography, n. study of the moon's surface
    selenology, n. study of the moon.
    selenomancy, n. divination by the moon.
    selenoscope, n. instrument for viewing the moon
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    I'm not an expert, but I think in an astronomical context you'd be more likely to read about "lunar trajectories" than "selenic trajectories". I suspect that "selenic" suggests more mystical or astrological connotations.
    I agree - "selenic" sounds poetic or literary to me, but we really need an astronomer's perspective!
     

    jimreilly

    Senior Member
    American English
    It seems that lunar (from the Roman moon goddess Luna) refers to the moon, but selenic (from Selene, the Greek moon goddess) more commonly refers to selenium, which is named after the moon. Selenic has only a secondary meaning of referring to the moon.

    But I am not a scientist, and there may be specific meanings of these words in astronomy which are beyond me; in poetry, which is a little closer to my heart, either one would work.

    Diane, Séléné, lune de beau metal.....
    the first line of a poem by Jean de la Ville de Mirmont in L'Horizon chimérique
     

    Amityville

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I feel there is a strong tendency in English to use words of Latin rather than Greek derivation in general and to use Greek ones, by default, for more precise definition in technical contexts or for less mainstream, or more literary words. For example we say solar, derived from Latin, to refer to the sun, the only instance of helios I can think of off the top of my head is heliotrope (botanical). I would think lunar would be the right adjective to use if talking about the moon's trajectory, but selenic might be right for referring to trace elements on the moon.
     
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