NASA and Latin

This is pretty cool. From the Beeb:

Mars images to go on social media feeds in Latin
By Zoe Kleinman

Pictures of the surface of Mars, taken from Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), are to be captioned in Latin on social media outlets as part of an outreach project.

The Latin captions will be published from 28 August on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

The photography project is known as HiRise (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and has run since 2006.

The Latin translations are being done by 18 volunteers coordinated in the UK.

“We were inspired by the Pope’s Latin feed,” HiRise spokesman Ari Espinoza from the University of Arizona told the BBC.

The then Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet in the ancient language at the beginning of the year and also used Latin in his resignation speech.

“Some of the science greats – [Johannes] Kepler, [Isaac] Newton wrote in Latin – this is a tie to the past but we’re looking at the future,” Mr Espinoza added.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. ClavesCoelorum says:

    “Dead” language, they say? Not so much! :)

  2. mamajen says:

    “We were inspired by the Pope’s Latin feed,”

    Uh oh…don’t let Obama catch wind of that.

  3. Legisperitus says:

    Only right. Mars was a Roman god.

    And why not transmit stuff from another planet to Earth in a universal language?

  4. Tradster says:

    Great. Latin is toooo haaard for Catholics but NASA is fine with it. Maybe it is rocket science, after all. :-)

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  6. thefeds says:

    I make all things new again.

  7. joeclark77 says:

    I have said before in a comment on this blog that I expect Latin will be the interstellar common language. Just as all pilots today (are supposed to) use English to talk to air traffic control, all starship pilots will need to be able to communicate in Latin. Why? Because we might be talking about journeys that take hundreds or thousands of years in local time (but much less time for the ship crews traveling near the speed of light) and only a “dead” language can be trusted to keep the same vocabulary and grammar for those sorts of time spans.

  8. Matt R says:

    “Some of the science greats – [Johannes] Kepler, [Isaac] Newton wrote in Latin – this is a tie to the past but we’re looking at the future,”
    This is so true in regards to the liturgy, which is ever ancient, ever new.

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