a moon which circles a larger moon


moonmoon = Ein Mond, der einen größeren Mond umkreist



“Moons can have moons and they are called MOONMOONS.”

Leah Crane - NewScientist

Did you


- moon that orbits a larger moon

- a fictional wolf character

Collins Dictionary


Scientists and astronomers are suggesting the distinct possibility of a moon having its own moon, but what would you call a moon's moon if something like this really exists?

Astronomers Juna Kollmeier and Sean Raymond suggest calling such natural satellites "submoons", while Michele Bannister of Queens University Belfast prefers the term moonmoonlet. But moonmoon, suggested by Astrophysicist Duncan Forgan, is creating the most interest.

Some astronomers are lamenting the use of moonmoon, suggesting it makes light of a serious field of study (after all, "Moon Moon" is also a fictional wolf character, which is portrayed as a mentally challenged outcast in the pack).

Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether the moonmoon sticks or gives way to more "serious" alternatives such as sub-moon or second-order moon. But to lose moonmoon, and the joy it brings, would seem an astronomical shame.


MOONMOON, moonmoonlet, sub-moon, second-order moon, subsatellite, tertiary planet


- once in a blue moon =  very rarely

- to moon about = to waste time idly or aimlessly (in some place)

- to ask for the moon = to make unreasonable demands

- to promise the moon =  to promise something that cannot be done

- to shoot for the moon = to try to achieve something particularly difficult

- to be over the moon = to be very happy about something or someone

Practice OWAD in a conversation today, discuss something like:

“I do hope that the new word ‘MOONMOON’ enters mainstream astronomical discourse.”

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

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