If you’re into Icelandic and astronomy (and hey, who isn’t? :)) there’s a cool site at filled with news, podcasts and all sorts of astronomy-related information. Right on the front page is a survey of the solar system, with short blurbs about each celestial body, and links to more in-depth material. It’s actually not too hard to follow, since it’s all basic material that most everyone already knows in their own language, so give it a shot.

For reference here are the Icelandic words for the 9 planets in our solar system, and no, I don’t care what the IAU thinks, Pluto is a planet! 🙂

reikistjörnur – planets
Mercury Merkúríus
Venus Venus
Earth Jörðin
Mars Mars
Jupiter Júpíter
Saturn Satúrnus
Uranus Úranus
Neptune Neptúnus
Pluto Plútó

Menn eru frá Mars, konur eru frá Venus?

Solar system in Icelandic is sólkerfi. The word kerfi by itself means “system”, and you may see it as a suffix in many words describing types of “systems”, like:

hag·kerfi – economic system
peninga·kerfi – monetary system
vega·kerfi – road system
rafmagns·kerfi – electrical system
öryggis·kerfi – security system

og svo framvegis… 🙂 So when you see -kerfi, it’s a clue to some sort of system.

kerfi (n) – system
singular plural
nom kerfi kerfi
acc kerfi kerfi
dat kerfi kerfum
gen kerfis kerfa

A couple other space-related words:

himingeim/ur m (-s, -ar) – outer space
al·heim/ur m (-s) – universe, cosmos
geimskip n (-s, -) – space ship

The thumbnail for this post is taken from a section of the web page called Mynd vikunnar – Photo of the Week. This week’s photo is an amazing shot of the Milky Way taken by Ómar Örn Smith near Hafnarfjörður on September 18th of last year, which is funny because I was actually in Iceland at that time 🙂 I came back with some good photos, but nothing quite like this. This page is titled Vegurinn til Valhallar – The Road to Valhalla.

From the first paragraph:

“Ef þú ferð út fyrir borgarljósin á stjörnubjartri og tunglskinslausri vetrarnóttu, kemur þú fljótt auga á daufa, ljósleita slæðu sem liggur þvert yfir himinhvolfið. Þetta er Vetrarbrautin okkar og allar stjörnurnar sem við sjáum á stjörnubjörtu kvöldi tilheyra henni.”

My hopefully pretty close translation:

“If you travel out beyond the city lights on a starry and moonless winter night, your eyes quickly settle on a faintly lit veil that lays right across the vault of the heavens. This is our Milky Way galaxy, and all the stars we see on a starry night belong to it.”

stjarna f (stjörnu, stjörnur)	star
tungl n (-s, -)			moon
daufur adj			faint, dull
him/inn m (-ins, -nar)		sky, the heavens
slæð/a f (-u, -ur)		veil
vetrar·braut f (-ar, -ir)	Milky Way, galaxy
til·heyr/a v (dat)		belong

One interesting verb, tilheyra, which takes the dative:

til·heyr/a v (dat) – belong
present past
ég tilheyri tilheyrði
þú tilheyrir tilheyrðir
það tilheyrir tilheyrði
við tilheyrum tilheyrðum
þið tilheyrið tilheyrðuð
þau tilheyra tilheyrðu

Þessi bók tilheyra bókasafninu. – This book belongs to the library.

It’s not looking too good for Seattle, but I hope you have some nice clear skies this weekend to marvel at the stars. If you happen to be in Iceland I’m especially jealous 🙂