For instance, we live in the Milky Way Galaxy. We don't just call it "The Galaxy", because we know there are multiple different galaxies. So if we lived in a multiverse, it wouldn't make much sense to keep calling our universe "The Universe".

How are names for things like this created, and what would a likely name for our universe be?

  • $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is not within the scope of astronomy as defined in the help centre. $\endgroup$ – RhysW Feb 23 '14 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Rhys, very reasonable and good question. If questions whether pluto is a planet and alike are discussed at IAU meetings, why would it be unreasonable to speculate on the possible names for our part of the multiverse? $\endgroup$ – Alexey Bobrick Feb 23 '14 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexeyBobrick predominantly because we try to avoid things that are mainly speculation as it does not lead to constructive, source verified answers. Though I am willing to concede that I make mistakes, if the community votes to reopen then I will happily oblige $\endgroup$ – RhysW Feb 24 '14 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexeyBobrick I reclosed with hopefully a more clear close reason. I wouldn't exactly say it is off topic, but we have no reliable methodology for determining what the IAU might name our universe, especially since names for unique items in a set are usually derived from features which distinguish them from other items in the set. Since we do not know what other universes are like (if they exist), this leaves us with really nothing to work with. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Feb 25 '14 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ There's already a precedent set for this at the "Universe Or Multiverse?" conference at Stanford in 2003 (see the book of the same name, ISBN 9780521140690) where, contrary to your suggestion, it's simply "(a) universe" and "(our) Universe" - note the capitalization. (This was, however, prior to the Universy McUniverseface style trend ;) $\endgroup$ – The Geoff May 18 '16 at 18:42

New objects usually get some preliminary name or number according to one or more naming or numbering conventions (e.g. HR numbers for stars). If there aren't too many objects of interest, they are named by the discoverer(s) (e.g. Hubble volume), an institution (e.g. PANSTARRS), an occasional nickname liked by the public (e.g. black hole), or by a majority in a commitee or an election (e.g. Hydra).

For our universe I can only speculate; probably a notion of the respective multiverse theory would become part of the name, e.g. "Herman brane", if we take a brane cosmology as an example.

  • $\begingroup$ In a Multiverse Universe why not just call our Universe the Earth Universe ? $\endgroup$ – Peter U Feb 24 '15 at 22:40

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