How the planets of the solar system got their names ?



Mercury is the smallest and closest planet to the Sun. It is very difficult to see it with the naked eye due to its proximity to our star. However, it can still be seen after sunset or before sunrise.


Mercury is one of the five brightest planets in the sky. That is why it was discovered by the Romans, who noted that it moves very quickly. This is how the planet got its name - Mercury. In honor of the fastest god of trade and travel.




Besides the Moon, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky. This makes it very visible and easy to identify without any special technique. It was this brilliance that served as the origin of the name of the celestial body.


People perceived this planet as something delightful, so they named it Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty.




Like Venus, Mars is clearly visible in the night sky with the naked eye. The Egyptians called Mars "Har Decher", which meant "red."


This was likely due to the blood red tint that was scattered from the planet due to iron oxide on its rough surface. However, in the end, the planet was named Mars, in honor of the Roman god of war, however, all for the same reasons.




The first detailed observations of Jupiter were made by Galileo, although it is the third brightest object in the night sky. In antiquity, the planet was poorly studied, but many cultures gave it different names. For example, in the Mesopotamian culture, Jupiter was Mulu-babbar, that is, the "white star". The Greeks called it "the star of Zeus".


But since, with a deeper study of the planet, the rest of the celestial bodies of our system already bore names from ancient Roman mythology, Jupiter, because of its size, was named after the king of all ancient Roman gods.




When Galileo looked at Saturn through a telescope in 1610, he was amazed to find a couple of strange objects on either side of the planet. He jotted down his observation on paper, assuming that Saturn was made up of three bodies. Subsequently, Christian Huygens discovered the rings, but this happened already in 1655.


The Romans named Saturn after the Roman god of agriculture and wealth, who, according to legend, held a sickle in one hand and ears of wheat in the other. It is surprising that this metaphorically coincided with what Galileo saw.



Due to its incredible distance, Neptune cannot be seen with the naked eye from Earth. In fact, this planet was discovered by mathematicians John Adams and Urbain Le Verrier.


Their theory was confirmed by Johann Halle in 1846. Halle intended to name the planet after Le Verrier, but the International Astronomical Society disagreed, so Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea.


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