name of our planet- earth or terra?

I was just reading the Venus thread and I thought, is the official name of our planet Earth or Terra? You hear land being called terrain or earth. Earth seems to be what’s used in all of the science documents, but I’ve heard the word Terra used in some special cases.

Is there no official name?


Sheesh! Why can’t people get it right?


Do other languages call Earth “Earth”?

There’s no “official” name for the third rock from the sun because there are about 7,300 human languages and dialects currently being spoken on said third rock from the sun–which one should be the “official” language?

You could say that, but then, you might as well say there’s no official name for any celestial object. In English, anyway, “Earth” is by far the best choice for an official name. The only time I see “Terra” used is in works of science fiction.

I’ve always just called it “Joe”, myself.

I’ve always assumed “terra” was Latin for “earth” meaning “Earth” or “earth.” Hence “terra firma” - dry (well, solid) land. Spanish is similar – “tierra firme” or something like that (I don’t write Spanish well yet).

So in English, “Earth.” In Latin “terra.”

Kind of like calling the sun “Sol.” I’ve only every really seen it seriously called this in science fiction, like Achernar says. We’d look like dorks using the Latin name: “Gee, Benny, isn’t Sol spectacularly beautiful today?”

I imagine a lot of the difference between naming of celestial objects (not including the sun and the moon) and the earth (including the sun and the moon) is the historical perspective of our place in the universe.

Reminds me of one of the few things I like about Asimov’s Foundation series – the reference to the name of the human home planet as “Dirt.”

I think Terra is one of those SF things that writers would like to see become common parlance – also Luna for the moon and Sol for the sun (which make more sense, as they don’t have commonly recognized proper names).

IIRC, pretty much all heavenly bodies have “official” names. From the Nine Planets site:

With regard to official names, the same site says:

The second of the above two links is more approriate to the OP.

Okay, where did E. E. “Doc” Smith get the idea for calling Earth “Tellus” in his works?

Tellus is the Latin name for Gaia; the mother goddess, or ‘earth mother.’