News this week brought some comfort to those of us still upset about Pluto (which was determined to be a dwarf planet in 2006). Scientists revealed this week they have found good evidence that there is a ninth planet in our solar system after all.
While we wait for a definite answer, which might take years, let’s catch up on a few AP terms we need to report on our solar system.
Earth: Capitalize when used as the proper name of our planet.
Heavenly bodies: Capitalize the proper names of planets, stars, constellation etc. Lowercase red planet when referring to Mars. For comets, capitalize only the proper noun element of the name: Halley’s comet. Capitalize nouns and adjectives derived from the proper names of planets: Martian, Venusian, but lowercase adjectives derived from other heavenly bodies: solar, lunar.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration: NASA can be used in all references.
Planets: The proper names should be capitalized: Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, Venus. And for now, refer to this mystery planet as Planet 9, as the two California Institute of Technology researchers responsible for its findings call it.
sun and moon: lowercase both, unless using their Greek or Latin names: Helios, Luna.