The English Language and Usage SE has this question "What is the correct capitalization of the words earth and moon?" but I do not see this issue dealt with on this here.

Is there any guidance whether those words should be capitalized in the Astronomy SE?


1 Answer 1


The recommended convention is to capitalize when referring to the proper name of a Solar System body, including "the Sun", "the Earth", and "the Moon".

That said, this guidance should be used if you care to be consistent with your own posts. Don't go out of your way to change the capitalization in someone else's post unless it is a matter of clarity.

  • $\begingroup$ Broader than just within the Solar System: it’s a basic convention in English to capitalise all proper nouns. Hence “our galaxy” (no capital) but “the Milky Way” (capitals). [“Universe” is tricky, but I capitalise it if I’m using it as a name rather than a generic description, e.g. “some say there’s more than one universe” vs “the Universe is infinite”.] Another convention is consistency: if a post capitalises “Earth”, for example, it would be incorrect to refer in the same post to our host star as “the sun”. $\endgroup$ Feb 19, 2020 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ @ChappoSaysSEDuddedMonica I've also seen the convention of using upper case to refer to our Galaxy, but lower case to designate any other galaxy. $\endgroup$
    – usernumber
    Feb 20, 2020 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ @usernumber have you seen that expressed as a convention, or have you simply seen some people write that way? I’m not saying it’s wrong - punctuation is a matter of style, which is why we have style manuals to prescribe such things - but I would probably remove the capital if it was in a document I was editing. Appending a determinative generally doesn’t make it a proper noun: I wouldn’t write that I drive my Family to our Holiday House to get a clearer view of our Galaxy. $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2020 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ @ChappoSaysSEDuddedMonica The teacher in the interstellar medium course I took said it was a convention. $\endgroup$
    – usernumber
    Feb 21, 2020 at 8:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .