On the naming of planets....

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smellincoffee

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We name the planets after the gods of the Greco-Roman pantheon, using their Roman names -- which is why we have Mars, not Ares, and Jupiter, not Zeus. But I realized tonight that Eris, the name of our newest (dwarf) planet, is a Greek name. I've not yet found the Roman name, so I'm assuming she was called the same thing in Rome as she was in Athens, that or the Romans didn't want a goddess of discord hanging around.<br /><br />I thought about this because I was thinking about how rare it was to have a planet named after a goddess, even a minor one. Other than Eris, what other planets come to mind ? Only Ceres for me, and it's not even a planet anymore -- hasn't been one for decades. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." - <strong>Rachel Carson</strong></em> </div>
 
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From:<br />http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=372<br /><br />Who named the planets and who decides what to name them?<br /><br />Who decides what to name the planets? And who named them?<br /><br />The planet names are derived from Roman and Greek mythology, except for the name Earth which is Germanic and Old English in origin. The five planets easily visible with the unaided eye (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) have been observed for all human history as far as we can tell, and they were called different things by different cultures. The Romans named these planets according to their movements and appearence. For example, Venus, the planet that appears the brightest, was named after the Roman goddess of beauty, while the reddish Mars was named after the god of war. These Roman names were adopted by European languages and culture and became standard in science.<br /><br />When Uranus and Neptune were discovered, there was not an established tradition in place so a few names were considered and used for each planet, until one name became standard. William Herschel, who discovered Uranus, wanted to name it "Georgium Sidus" after King George III. Other astronomers called it "Herschel" after the discoverer. The astronomer Johann Bode suggested that it would be more appropriate to use the mythological name Uranus, which would match with the five planets that were named in antiquity. Despite the suggestion, the name Uranus was not commonly used until 1850.<br /><br />The existence of the planet Neptune was predicted by two astronomers (John Couch Adams and Urbain Jean Joseph Leverrier), and when it was discovered with telescopes there was a debate about who should be allowed to name it. Leverrier actually wanted to name it after himself. However, the name Neptune was proposed and became the standard used by scientists.<br /><br />Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombau
 
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vogon13

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Good article, thanx.<br /><br />Another factor in the Pluto naming decision was that the first 2 letters of <i><b>PL</b></i>uto are also Percieval Lowells initials.<br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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