Etymology
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asteroid (n.)
"one of the planetoids orbiting the sun, found mostly between Mars and Jupiter," 1802, coined probably by German-born English astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822) from Greek asteroeides "star-like," from aster "star" (from PIE root *ster- (2) "star") + -eidos "form, shape" (see -oid). Related: Asteroidal.
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*ster- (2)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "star." Buck and others doubt the old suggestion that it is a borrowing from Akkadian istar "venus." The source of the common Balto-Slavic word for "star" (Lithuanian žvaigždė, Old Church Slavonic zvezda, Polish gwiazda, Russian zvezda) is not explained.

It forms all or part of: aster; asterisk; asterism; asteroid; astral; astro-; astrobiology; astrobleme; astrognosy; astroid; astrolabe; astrolatry; astrology; astromancy; astronaut; astronomy; AstroTurf; constellation; disaster; Estella; Esther; instellation; interstellar; lodestar; star; stardust; starfish; starlet; starlight; starry; stellar; stellate.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit star-; Hittite shittar, Greek aster "star," with derivative astron; Latin stella, Breton sterenn, Welsh seren "star."

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palladium (n.2)

metallic element, coined 1803 by discoverer William Hyde Wollaston (1766-1828), from Pallas, the name given to an asteroid discovered the previous year (by German astronomer Olbers) and named for the goddess (see Pallas).

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Pallas 

Greek goddess' name, another name for Athene, literally "little maiden," related to pallake "concubine," and probably somehow connected to Avestan pairika "beautiful women seducing pious men." The asteroid so named was discovered 1802 by Olbers and Bremen.

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Ceres 

Roman goddess of agriculture (identified with Greek Demeter), also the name given to the first-found and largest asteroid (discovered 1801 by Piazzi at Palermo), from PIE *ker-es-, from root *ker- (2) "to grow." Her festival, Cerealia, was April 10.

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astrobleme (n.)

"crypto-explosion structure on Earth caused by meteorite or asteroid impact," 1961, literally "star-wound," from astro- "star" + Greek bleme "throw of a missile; wound caused by a missile," from ballein "to throw" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). Coined by U.S. geologist Robert S. Dietz.

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Niobe 

in Greek mythology, a queen of Thebes, daughter of Tantalus, married to Amphion, she was changed to a stone while weeping for her numerous children (slain, after she boasted of them overmuch, by Artemis and Apollo); hence the name is used figuratively for bereavement and woe. The name is said to mean literally "snowy; snowy-bright." By scientists the name was given to a type of trilobites and an asteroid. Related: Niobean.

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crater (n.)

1610s, "bowl-shaped mouth of a volcano," from a specialized use of Latin crater, from Greek krater "large bowl from which red wine mixed with water was served to guests," from kera- "to mix," from PIE root *kere- "to mix, confuse; cook" (see rare (adj.2)).

The extension to volcanoes began in Latin. The literal classical sense is attested in English from 1730. Applied to asteroid scars on the moon since 1831 (they originally were thought to be volcanic) and later extended to other planets. Meaning "cavity formed by the explosion of a military mine" is from 1839. The Battle of the Crater in the U.S. Civil War was July 30, 1864.

As a verb, "having a crater or craters," by 1848 in poetry, 1872 in scientific writing. Related: Cratered; cratering.

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