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We have intergalactic to describe the area between galaxies. And interstellar space is between star systems. And interplanetary is between planets.

Is the term "interlunar" applicable to the space between moons other than Luna?

If a satellite was to transfer between Galilean moons, would it perform interlunar burns?

I ask because we don't say intermilkyway or intersol or interearth. So why do we say interlunar?

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  • $\begingroup$ Intersatellite, maybe? $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Aug 20 '15 at 5:55
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Interjovian (alt. interjove) is most commonly used term for maneuvers within the orbital space of the Jovian system (example use). Cis- prefix followed by an adjective for a specific Gelilean moon within orbital space of which such maneuvers are performed could also work. E.g. cis-ionian, cis-europan, cis-ganymedean, cis-callistonian. If you're unsure about possible adjectives to use, Wikipedia is quite handy for that and listing most common ones in the right column of (nearly) every specific celestial body. Mind that unlike proper names, their adjectives are not necessarily capitalized, and the use of the hyphen seems to be optional, too.

Interlunar doesn't quite work, since it's not specific to natural satellites of a single celestial body, so it could be interpreted as equivalent to interplanetary. Similar could be said for suggested intersatellite. Perhaps a better, more specific term could be intergalilean, but I've not come across it in literature yet.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not looking for an adjective relating to a specific planet or moon (eg. jovian cis-ionian), I'm looking for a generic term like interstellar or intergalactic. $\endgroup$ – Coomie Aug 21 '15 at 1:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Coomie I'm not aware of any, sorry. The point I was making is that you'd be doing maneuvers somewhere specific, not somewhere generic. And there's nothing specific to such maneuvers in a general way. You'll need to make a word up, I can't find any solid reference for the proposed interlunar or intersatellite used in such a way (tho interlunar has a different meaning already), or find any other that would apply to your generic conditions, be used for such purpose and have a solid literary background. How about circumplanetary? $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Aug 21 '15 at 11:39
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In the absence of an acceptable alternative I'm inventing a new word - selenial (also interselenial).

Selene, of course is the Greek equivalent of Luna. However, while Luna is used to explicitly describe Earth's moon, selenial should be used to refer to any moon (including but not limited to Luna).

The usage of selenial and lunar is a parallelism of stellar system (any star system) and solar system (our specific star system - Sol).

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    $\begingroup$ Periselene, perilune, and pericynthion are used interchangeably, and always to mean the lowest point in an orbit about Earth's Moon. As far as I know, the same is true for all similar terms, so e.g. selenocentric describes that orbit. So I don't think this will really cut it. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Aug 24 '15 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @NathanTuggy That's the beauty of "selene". The earth's moon can be referred to as both luna and selene (periselene and perilune both remain valid terms) in the same way the sun is both solar and stellar. The difference is in referring to other moons. Other moons are selenic but not lunar in the same way other stars are stellar but not solar. $\endgroup$ – Coomie Aug 25 '15 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a reference for this generic usage? Because as far as I know, those terms are all used, interchangeably, for only our specific Moon. Not just any moon. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Aug 25 '15 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ @NathanTuggy The reference is the answer above where I say "I'm inventing a new word". Although that's not really true because the word already existed and was used in the same context. Really, I'm expanding the current meaning. $\endgroup$ – Coomie Aug 25 '15 at 1:34

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