Posted by: episystechpubs | September 24, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Planet Earth

Hello all! A big “thank you” to Donna for covering the Editor’s Corner while I was out and about—it is much cleaner than I left it!

I’m going to skip the redundancies today and continue with another of the planetary symbols from that chart I included here several weeks ago. Today’s symbol is for a place close to home: Earth.

There are several theories on why Earth is represented by a circle divided into four quarters. The most popular theory is that it represents the globe and the four directions (more on that later). The other theory is that is represents the globus cruciger or in English, the cross-bearing orb. From Latin: globus = “orb” and cruciger = “cross” (crux) + “to wear” (gerere). The globus cruciger is a Christian symbol representing Christ’s dominion over the world. Here is an example of a Danish globus cruciger:

Returning to the theory of directions, the lines on the Earth symbol above represent the four cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. (When using shorthand, the directions are represented by capital letters: N, S, E, and W, respectively. There are also ordinal points on a compass (which are also referred to as intercardinal or intermediate directions): northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest. These are also represented by all capital abbreviations (NE, SE, SW, and NW). Lastly, there is the secondary intercardinal direction, which includes north northeast, east northeast, etc. These are all represented on the compass rose (shown below) moving from the cardinal directions on the innermost ring toward the secondary intercardinal directions on the third ring (NNW, NNE, ENE, etc.).

Hope you are having a great week so far!

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor


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