Sols of the week

Submitted by mossy2100 on Tue, 04/25/2017 - 00:55

The names for the sols of the week reflect the names for days of the week on Earth.

My initial approach was to research how the days of the weeks originally got their names, and take a similar approach for Mars. In most Terran languages the days of the week are named for the 7 celestial objects that are visible with the naked eye, and that move across the sky against the backdrop of fixed stars. Thus, they are named for the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and the Sun. (Actually, the asteroid Vesta is also occasionally visible to the naked eye, as its surface is highly reflective. Vesta is the only asteroid visible to the naked eye, however, only very dimly, and it may not have been well-known to ancient astronomers.)

From Mars, there are at least 11 objects that fit this requirement: the Sun, Phobos, Deimos, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Luna, Jupiter, Saturn, Ceres, Vesta, and possibly other asteroids.

Initially I chose the most visible of these, which are the Sun, Phobos, Deimos, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter. However, I eventually decided that Luna and Saturn were preferable to Phobos and Deimos (more about this below).

Thus, the set of 7 worlds became the Sun, Luna, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Saturn, and Jupiter, which are almost the same as those used in Terran calendars.

From these, I created names using a “sol” suffix in the same way that English names for the days of the week use a “day” suffix. The names are ordered such that they parallel the names of days of the week on Earth, with the exception that the second sol of the week is named for Earth, whereas on Earth the second day of the week is named for Mars, which seems like a fair trade. Following the same reasoning, this sol was originally named “Sol Terrae” in the Darian Calendar, but was changed to “Sol Martis” to match the Terran day names.

  Mars Earth
No. Utopian Darian Latin English
1 Lunasol Sol Lunae dies Lunae Monday (Moon’s day)
2 Earthsol Sol Martis dies Martis Tuesday (Tiw’s day)
3 Mercurisol Sol Mercurii dies Mercurii Wednesday (Woden’s day)
4 Jupitersol Sol Jovis dies Iovis Thursday (Thor’s day)
5 Venusol Sol Veneris dies Veneris Friday (Freya’s day)
6 Saturnsol Sol Saturni dies Saturni Saturday (Saturn’s day)
7 Sunsol Sol Solis dies Solis Sunday (Sun’s day)

The reason why some of the English names for the days of the week don’t match planet names is because they were named using Norse equivalents of the Roman planetary gods. Tiw = Mars, Woden = Mercury, Thor = Jupiter, and Freya = Venus.

The first sol of the week

On Earth, either Sunday or Monday is designated as the first day of the week, depending on the language and country.

In the Darian Calendar the week begins with Sol Solis. However, I’ve instead opted to follow the international standard ISO 8601, which specifies that the week begins with Monday. This choice makes linguistic sense, since we refer to Saturday and Sunday as the weekend.

Thus, in the Utopian Calendar, the week begins with Lunasol, and the weekend is Saturnsol and Sunsol.

Alternate names

When I was developing this calendar, I wanted to represent both the Martian moons in the sols of the week in the same way that Luna is represented in the days of the week on Earth (Monday, Lunes, etc.). However, I did not like having sols called “Phobosol” and “Deimosol”. The words “phobos” and “deimos” mean “fear” and “terror”, which means these names could be translated as “fear day” and “terror day”. This is the etymology of the word “phobia”, which gives us words like agoraphobia, arachnophobia, etc.

It was for the same reason Tom that changed “Sol Phobotis” to “Sol Lunae” when developing the Darian Calendar.

I decided the best choice was to also name two sols for Luna and Saturn.

The Martian moons are arguably the second and third most important astronomical objects in the Martian sky after the Sun. On the other hand, since they are not large enough to be gravitationally-rounded, it could perhaps be argued that they aren’t important enough to be represented in the sol names. They may even be removed, relocated, or converted into space stations.

Another approach I took to solving this problem was to attempt to address what I believe to be bad names for the Martian moons. After some research, I found two much better names for the moons among the Roman pantheon, i.e. “Nerio” and “Liber”. You can read more about this in here: Renaming the Martian Moons.

Both Nerio and Liber have a strong association with Mars. Nerio, a warrior goddess, was Mars’ wife, also known as “the strong one”. Mars was originally the god of agriculture and springtime, but when he became the god of war, Liber took over his duties as the agricultural god. Liber was known as “the free one”. Serendipitously, neither of these names have been assigned to minor planets. How much better to have strength and freedom represented in the Martian skies than fear and terror! These new names for the moons produce the names “Neriosol” and “Libersol” for the Martian Monday and Saturday. These are my preferred names, and I particularly like how the first sol of the week, “Neriosol”, can be translated as “strong sol”, and the first sol of the weekend, “Libersol”, can be translated as “free sol”.

If people accept the new names for the Martian moons, then Lunasol and Saturnsol could be changed to Neriosol and Libersol.

Some other names I considered, which appeared in earlier iterations of the calendar, include “Heliosol” instead of “Sunsol”, “Terrasol” instead of “Earthsol”, and “Jovisol” instead of “Jupitersol”.