How Did the Planets Get Their Names?

We know there are nine planets. But in ancient times, people knew of only six: the earth and the five planets that can be seen without a telescope.

Venus, the brightest planet in our sky, was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

Mercury, the fastest- moving planet, was named after the fleet-footed messenger of the gods.

Mars was named after the Roman god of war.

Saturn was named after the Roman god of farming.

Jupiter, the largest planet, took its name from the Romans’ chief god.

The planet Uranus wasn’t discovered until 1781, and was originally called Georgium, after King George III, who ruled England at the time. But it was soon decided that since all the other planets took their names from ancient gods, the new planet should also. It was then named after the Greek god of the sky.

Next to be discovered was Neptune, in 1846. It was originally called Leverrier after the man who first sighted it, but was later named after the Roman god of the sea.

And Pluto, discovered in 1930, was named after the Roman god of the dead.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.