3258 Somnium

This minor planet is named after Johaness Kepler's 1634 novel Somnium, sive opus posthumum de astronomia lunaris, Latin for "The Dream, or a Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy." It is considered by some to be the first modern work of science fiction, but I find the distinction to be pointless. All of the key elements of science fiction — imagining fantastic worlds, considering the effects that human works have on the world, and exploring what it means to be human — have existed in us since before the historical record.

The novel has a few narrative layers, but the main story is between Duracotus, an Icelandic boy who studied astronomy under Tycho Brahe, and his mother Fiolxhilde, who can summon daemons. In the story, a daemon explains what life is like on the Moon. He explains that they call the Moon "Levania," and the Earth "Volva," and he describes the people and the different view of the heavens they have there.

In the story, the daemons are described as being able to transport humans to and from the Moon on a solar eclipse, when they are protected from the Sun for the whole flight. The symbol for this minor planet is a depiction of that flight. It is a small Earth symbol with an up-arrow coming from it, and connecting to a lunar crescent, rotated to have points up, not unlike a demon's horns (although of course demons and daemons are completely different, as everybody knows.)

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