I'm looking for a word that means "relating to moons" or "pertaining to moons".

The context of the sentence is "I need to make a intermoonary injection burn in 10 seconds".

I'm looking for a word like intergalactic, interstellar or interplanetary but relating to moons. Not explicitly Luna, our moon, which would be lunar.

The options I've looked at are lunar (which only relates to Earth's moon), satellitic and moonary. None of them seem right.

  • If there is such a word, I certainly don't know it (or can't call it to mind). I'm not keen on satellitic either (nor is my Google spell-checker, though it is in OED). We're likely to need it more in the coming decades though, so +1 for an interesting question. – FumbleFingers Aug 20 '15 at 1:59
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    This question should be asked in Astronomy or Space Exploration Stack Exchange. – Hot Licks Aug 20 '15 at 2:41
  • If we were determined to use something other than lunar I would suggest something like selenac (or selenial, selenian, what have you), refering to Selene the moon goddess. (we still use iris so I don't think its out of the question) – Yeshe Aug 20 '15 at 4:09
  • I thought perhaps interorbital, but apparently that means something entirely different. – jxh Aug 20 '15 at 5:11
  • @yeshe - going from luna to selene is like going from Mercury (Roman) to Hermes (Greek), so you can argue that the periapsis at Mercury is the periherm and likewise periselene at the Moon. In other words, you choose the right pantheon for the prefix. inter- comes from Latin, so switching to the Greek pantheon doesn't really make sense. Problem is that Latin doesn't suggest a good term for satellite because there was no such concept. Interorbital seems fine to me. – stevesliva Aug 20 '15 at 5:29

I'm not convinced we couldn't use lunar in this context. While lunar originated with reference to our specific moon, so did solar (from our Sol/Sun), yet we refer to our solar system, and even NASA mentions, "There are billions of stars and countless solar systems in our galaxy."

I think it's perfectly reasonable to describe an eclipse observed from the surface of another planet, by that planet's moon, using the term lunar eclipse. The term would take on a relative meaning, depending on the planet from which the eclipse was observed. It's not like we call it a Lunar eclipse, after all.

Now, whether "interlunar", or similar, could be coined, is another matter. However, I think a reader would immediately understand what is being conveyed.

  • Interlunar, as I know from years of well-spent youth reading all the science fiction I could lay my hands on, would be well-received by other such readers. It is the usual term in that genre of fiction for expressions such as the OP's example. A minor point is that 'interlunar' has currency in mainstream uses, designating the period between the old and the new moon. – JEL Aug 20 '15 at 5:40
  • This will probably be marked as correct, but I feel like this is an example of the inadequacy of the English language. We've adopted and applied meaning to foreign words to the point where we're changing the meaning of the original word. – Coomie Aug 20 '15 at 5:41
  • @Coomie - Some might prefer to look at it as the versatility or adaptability of the English language, but I definitely see your point. To the usage at hand - in a world in which the action you're describing is common-place, it would likely have some sort of acronym and/or slang associated with it, anyway. Depending on the scope (and tone) of your writing, you could have fun and coin something that may feel more appropriate. It could even be abstracted to have nothing at all to do with the moons, and simply use the moons as the frame of reference for that abstracted concept. – Crumbs Aug 21 '15 at 3:13

Apparently, you can use the term orbit injection to describe a maneuver that changes the nature of your orbit. I imagine this would be true for most maneuvers between moons, but I can also imagine a strange situation where two moons are actually following the same orbit.

Orbit insertion is a general term for a maneuver that is more than a small correction. It may be used for a maneuver to change a transfer orbit or an ascent orbit into a stable one, but also to change a stable orbit into a descent: descent orbit insertion. Also the term orbit injection is used, especially for changing a stable orbit into a transfer orbit, e.g. trans-lunar injection (TLI), trans-Mars injection (TMI) and trans-Earth injection (TEI).

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