We all know that the names of the planets were taken from the mythological characters, but we have little or no idea of who they are or why these planets were named after them. In this list, we put together the planets and some of their moons and tried to find where they got their names from.
Some facts first: until the telescope was found, Romans named the five main planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) after their gods. It was later found that planet Neptune was also named after a Roman god. Uranus and Earth are the only planets that weren't.
1. Mercury got its name from the Roman God, Mercury.
2. Venus, the brightest planet in the sky, was named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
3. The planet Mars is named after the Roman god of war.
4. Uranus was named after the Greek god of the sky. According to the myth, he was the father of Saturn and the grandfather of Jupiter.
5. Neptune cannot be seen with the naked eye, but with a moderate telescope, it appears as a green dot.
6. Pluto was named for the god of the underworld
7. Pluto's moon is named 'Charon' after the ferryman of the Underworld.
8. Saturn was named after the Roman god of agriculture.
9. Saturn's moon 'Tethys' gets its name from the women of the oceans from Greek mythology.
10. Saturn's moon 'Calypso' gets its name from the mysterious goddesss
11. Saturn's moon Dione, according to certain traditions, is the goddess or Titaness Dione, who became the mother of Aphrodite by Zeus. Actually, her name is a feminine form of Zeus (dios).
12. Saturn's moon Helene is an Amazon warrior who was fated to meet Achilles in battle.
13. Saturn's moon Titan is the child of Gaea and Uranus. Titans were the masters of the earth before the pantheon gods were born.
14. Saturn's moon Phoebe is a Titaness
15. Saturn's moon Hyperion is a Titan who sired Helios (sun), Selene (moon), and Eos (dawn)
16. Jupiter is the Roman name for Zeus, king of the gods. He was quite a player. Most of its many, many moons were names after his lovers.
17. Jupiter's closest moons are Metis, Andrastea, Amalthea and Thebe
18. Jupiter's 5th moon is Io and she is the daughter of the goddess Inakhos.
19. Jupiter's 6th moon is Europa and gets its name from the princess who was held captive on Crete Island.
20. Jupiter's 7th moon Ganymede is a handsome young mortal man whom Zeus abducted to serve as his cupbearer, superceding Hebe, his daughter by Hera.
21. Jupiter's 8th moon Callisto takes its name from a nymph
22. Last but not least, our favourite planet: The Earth!