Dear Science: How did the planets get their names?
Keep reading for FREE
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.
More distant planets were generally titled by the people who found them. They continue with historical trends by naming planets after ancient Greek and Roman gods.
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 Mars. Some of the naming schemes are playful: Craters on the asteroid Gaspra are named after spas of the world.
reading habits, gather your
remember what you readand stay ahead of the crowd!
Save time with daily digests
No ads, all content is free
Save ideas & add your own
Get access to the mobile app
4.7 App Rating
Self-help | Positivity | Grace
MORE LIKE THIS
Boomers getting hit financially leaving more stress on housing market and economy