A timetraveling cyborg on a murder mission may well be the 1st factor that will come to head when you listen to this word, but a terminator in astronomy is far a lot less violent than 1 in the motion pictures. As an alternative of destroying, it divides: specifically, the illuminated and unilluminated sections of a satellite or celestial body, like the moon. The word has its roots in division, originating from the identify Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries. But like the moon, the word has a dark facet as very well — though it was not right up until the 20th century that termination was used to describe functions like murder.

This tale appeared in the May well 2020 situation. Subscribe to Learn journal for much more stories like this.