The night’s sky can inspire many thoughts. A scientist could dream of finding a brand-new planet. One artist, on the other hand, may find the beauty of the stars captivating. Yet as proofreaders, our minds instantly drift come capitalization. So join us for a look at once to capitalize celestial objects.

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Proper nouns in Space

When we say “celestial objects,” us basically average “naturally occurring space stuff.” This includes planets, stars, moons, galaxies, comets, and also pretty lot anything else that you might see in space.

Everything in this picture, then. Girlfriend just need to zoom in a lot of to pick anything out.

We capitalize the name of a celestial object when it is a ideal noun. Or in various other words, we only start a word v a capital letter if the names a specific celestial body, not simply a type. So, for instance, words “planet” is a usual noun (i.e., a kind of celestial body). “Uranus,” meanwhile, is a ideal noun (i.e., a particular planet). As such, us don’t must capitalize “planet,” however we do use a funding letter in ~ the begin of “Uranus.” Other instances include:

Common Noun

Proper Noun


Mars, Venus, Saturn


Europa, Titan, Callisto


Polaris, Rigel, Sirius


Milky Way, Andromeda


Halley’s Comet, Hale-Bopp


Orion Nebula, Crab Nebula

 The key in most cases, then, is come think around whether you’re specify name something generic or specific. However, there space a couple of words the can reason confusion, including “earth,” “sun,” and “moon.”

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How come Capitalize Earth, Sun and Moon

Certain “space” words have the right to be either common nouns or proper nouns. As soon as we say “the moon,” because that example, we’re generally referring come the ring object we check out in the night’s sky. However, various other planets have actually their very own moons, so how do friend capitalize this term in those cases? Or others favor it?

Sadly, over there is no solitary “correct” approach here. NASA, for instance, say:

Capitalize “Moon” when referring to earth Moon; otherwise, lowercase “moon” (e.g., “The Moon orbits Earth,” “Jupiter’s moons”).

But other format guides, including MLA and Chicago, suggest using “sun,” “moon,” and “earth” except when:

Used with other planet surname (e.g., “Mercury is bigger than the Moon”).When “Earth” isn’t came before by “the” (e.g., “The shuttle will return to Earth”), other than in idiomatic expressions such together “what on earth.”

Ultimately, this might come down to which style guide you room using (or personal preference). Generally, though, we favor just capitalizing “earth,” “sun,” and “moon” when you room both:

Referring come the Earth, that Moon or its sun (not other moons or suns).Using “Earth,” “Sun,”or “Moon” with various other capitalized celestial objects, such as earth names, and/or when “Earth” isn’t preceded by “the.”

So, adhering to these rules, we would capitalise this terms as follows:

The sun is bright brightly today.

What on planet are you talking about?

The moon is nearly full tonight.

The earth is much closer come Mars than the Sun.

You need to not, of course, capitalize “earth” when referring to dust or the ground. That type of “earth” is constantly a typical noun.

Summary: just how to Capitalize Celestial Objects

As a rule, you will only must capitalize celestial objects when they are ideal nouns. In practice, this means:

Capitalizing the name of details objects (e.g., Saturn, Mars).Not capitalizing generic objects (e.g., planet, star, galaxy).

This i do not care a tiny more complex with the words “earth,” “sun,” and also “moon.” The rules below vary between different style guides and also institutions, but we have tendency to capitalize this terms just when:

Referring come the Earth, the Moon or its sunlight (not various other moons or suns).Using the term alongside various other capitalized celestial objects and/or once “Earth” isn’t preceded by “the” (e.g., “Mars is Earth’s nearest neighbor”).

See more: How To Move An Embedded Chart Is Simply A Chart On A Worksheet

The most crucial factor, though, is applying a regular capitalization style throughout your work. And also if you’d favor a experienced to inspect your writing, submit a file for proofreading today.