Origin of "Meteorology" by Lyndsay Tapases

Meteorology is defined as the science dealing with theatmosphere and its phenomena, including weather and climate. Yes, mostpeople know this. However, we still get asked time and time again if we"study meteors". More often than not the question is in jest, but itdoes raise an interesting point about the origin of the word meteorology. Sincemeteors are an astronomic phenomena, why is a meteorologist one who studiesweather?

As with most words in the English language, the word meteoris derived from the Greek word meteoron meaning "in the sky"or "high in the sky". This word was{}used in ancient times todescribe anything in the upper atmospher, including clouds, lightning,rain, comets, ect.

Around{}340 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote abook entitled "Meteorolgica", in which he first introduced the term meteorology{}(thesuffix "ology" is derived from the Greek word logos meaning"knowledge"). At this point, he was still using the term to apply toboth weather and astronomical phenomena. Although Aristotle's theories andexplanations were almost entirely inaccurate, he did{}establish meteorologyas an area of interest.

Now, thousands of years later, we{}are of course able todifferentiate{}between{}meteorology and aastronomy.And just for reference, the word astronomer comes from the Greek words astron("star") and nomos ("law"), and can thus betranslated as "law of the stars". The word meteor is nowreserved for any meteoroid (particles of debris within the SolarSystem) that enters the earth's atmosphere.