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Sumerian astronomers named the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn after their gods. Ancient China named planets after things of nature, like water, fire, or wood. The English names for planets came from the Romans, who named them after their gods and goddesses.
These days, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has more creative rules for naming new planets.
Broadly, planetary names mirror the identity of the planet: The features of Venus are named after women. The parts of the Martian moon Deimos get their names from authors who wrote about M...
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