Bureaucrats at the space agency NASA were feeling left out of the new Woke America so they decided to manufacture a “controversy” over the “insensitive” names of celestial objects and bodies.
The agency will drop the names of a couple of obvious examples of insensitivity and pour over the International Astronomical Union catalogue looking for more.
“As an initial step, NASA will no longer refer to planetary nebula NGC 2392, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star that is blowing off its outer layers at the end of its life, as the “Eskimo Nebula,” NASA said in the statement. “Eskimo” is widely viewed as a colonial term with a racist history, imposed on the indigenous people of Arctic regions. Most official documents have moved away from its use.”
NASA also said that they would stop referring to a distant galaxy as the “Siamese Twins Galaxy.”
“NASA will also no longer use the term ‘Siamese Twins Galaxy’ to refer to NGC 4567 and NGC 4568, a pair of spiral galaxies found in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster,” the statement from NASA said. “Moving forward, NASA will use only the official, International Astronomical Union designations in cases where nicknames are inappropriate.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is nuts. A couple of hundred people may have heard of the “Eskimo Nebula” and a few more have heard of the “Siamese Twins Galaxy.” I suppose two or three people were “offended” by the “insensitivity” of the terms, but why should we overturn the astronomical catalogue based on a couple of obscure scientists’ complaints?
Next thing you know, the American Philatelic Society will start renaming stamps.
Nicknames are often given to celestial bodies and are often referred to by them rather than their official names, such as Barnard 33, also known as “the Horsehead Nebula” because of how it looks.
If you’ve ever seen the Horsehead Nebula you know it’s spectacular. But it’s also an insult to horses because it doesn’t really look like a horse.
So it’s OK to treat our four-legged friends with disrespect? Shame on NASA.
“I support our ongoing reevaluation of the names by which we refer to astronomical objects,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters, Washington. “Our goal is that all names are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion, and we’ll proactively work with the scientific community to help ensure that. Science is for everyone, and every facet of our work needs to reflect that value.”
There are a lot of celestial objects named for women. How is that inclusive? How does that represent diversity? Are there more objects named for women than men? Are they seeking to objectify women? How dare they!
Portia is the name of one of the moon of Uranus. It was inspired by the name of the female protagonist of the play The Merchant of Venice, who disguises herself as a man to defend her husband Antonio in court. But the younger ones will probably associate it with the stylist in The Hunger Games. The Australian actress Portia de Rossi is the most popular namesake.
The second-closest planet to the Sun, named after the Roman goddess of beauty and love, makes the name regal and feminine. The name is fitting for a rising pop star or superstar. Venus William[s] immediately comes to mind when we think about this name. If you take the tennis champion’s name as an indication, any girl with this name will have a successful future.
Pandora is the name of the moon of Saturn. It is named after the first woman endowed with gifts of gods in Greek mythology. The Pandora box contained all the evils of the world. So if you can look past its strange connection, the name means ‘all gifted’ and sounds charming.
I can make it sillier but you get the idea. Where does it end?
When woke snowflakes stop infecting all of society with their “sensitivity” and “diversity.”