A Moon’s Moon May Eventually Be Called A ‘Moonmoon,’ And A Classic Internet Meme Is Reborn

As two scientists name a moon orbiting another moon a 'moonmoon,' the internet remembers an old meme.

Two scientists have coined the term 'moonmoon' and the internet is ready
dsom / Shutterstock

As two scientists name a moon orbiting another moon a 'moonmoon,' the internet remembers an old meme.

What do you call a moon that orbits, well, another moon? The Moon’s moon? Maybe. How about a submoon, moonette, or moonitos? All of these names have been suggested to name the unicorn of the space world, a moon that orbits another moon.

However, according to New Scientist, eventually, the correct term for this occurrence will be “moonmoon.”

While there has not yet been a sighting of a moonmoon, Juna Kollmeier at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, and Sean Raymond at the University of Bordeaux, France, have calculated that an instance of a moonmoon is possible in their new paper, aptly titled, “Can Moons Have Moons?

In the paper, which they published to ArXiv for feedback before final submission, the two scientists suggest that if a small moon were to orbit a larger moon and that larger moon is orbiting a planet, then a moonmoon might be possible. However, their study theorizes that the small moon would have to be significantly small and the large moon would have to be enormous in order for the moonmoon to exist, according to Quartz.

In addition, the two moons would have to be “sufficiently far away from the host planet.” The reasoning behind this is that if the moons were too close to the host planet, the smaller moon, or moonmoon, would be lost to “tidal forces from that planet.” This would result in the moonmoon “being shredded up, shot out into space, or sent careening off course and potentially crashing into their moon and its planet.”

Of course, those who have been on the internet for a while now will know that “moonmoon” is also a hilarious meme from 2014. As the Daily Dot surmises, Moon Moon the wolf came about thanks to one of those name generators that often circulate on social media.

The name generator was designed to generate your werewolf name. In order to do this, a user would match up the initials of their first and last name with the chart offered in order to create their werewolf name. There were plenty of great names generated there too. Except if you were unfortunate enough to have the initials of P.W. Because, then the werewolf name generator would dub you “Moon Moon,” as Tumblr user Kitchiki’s Hangout noted when they reblogged the name generator.

“My name, is frickin Moon Moon,” she noted.

“I’d be the most idiotic wolf. ‘Oh s**t who brought f**king Moon Moon along?'” she continued.

And so, an internet meme was born.

In fact, the meme is so popular that there is now a Moon Moon subreddit where people add newly created memes pertaining to Moon Moon.

Of course, Twitter did not disappoint as users immediately pointed out the meme.