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How the Planets Got Their Names Illustration

How the Planets
Got Their Names

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All of the planets, except for Earth, were named after Roman gods and goddesses.

Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury were given their names thousands of years ago. Those were the planets that the ancient Romans could see in the sky without a telescope.

The other planets in our solar system were not discovered until much later, when telescopes were invented. Even then, the tradition of naming the planets after Roman gods and goddesses continued.

Most of the moons and some asteroids are also named after the critters and creatures and gods and goddesses found in Roman mythology. Some of the constellations in our solar system are named after Roman gods as well.


OUR PLANETS

MERCURY  Roman Winged Messenger, winged god of travel because he moves so fast

VENUS  Roman Goddess of Love, beautiful

EARTH

MARS  Roman God of War

JUPITER  Chief Roman God (Jupiter is King of the Gods, an elected position)

SATURN  Former Roman God of Agriculture, retired. Replaced by his daughter, Ceres

URANUS  Former Roman God of the Sky, retired. Replaced by his grandson, Jupiter.

NEPTUNE  Roman Lord of the Sea

PLUTO  Roman Lord of the Underworld (Pluto is no longer considered a planet.)

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Once upon a time, remembering the 9 planets:
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