Uranus and Neptune finally get Hebrew names

Uranus and Neptune final

December 30, 2009 21:57


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The planets Uranus and Neptune have been waiting eons to receive Hebrew names, and now they have them, thanks to an Internet poll held to mark the International Astronomical Year of 2009. The names, announced at a ceremony at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Wednesday, are Oron for Uranus and Rahav for Neptune. Out of almost 10,000 votes for four names for the two planets, about 2,900 voted for Rahav and 2,800 for Oron. The losing names were Shahak for Neptune and Tarshish for Uranus. The other planets revolving around the Sun have had Hebrew names for many years. The four candidates were chosen from among hundreds originally proposed as candidates. Oron means "little light," referring the minimum of light reaching Earth from Uranus, which is very far away. Rahav refers to the god of the sea, which is similar to Neptune; Rahav also appears in the Book of Job.

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