The Mythology of Naming Our Universe

Mythology has played an important role in astronomy ever since the first records of astronomical observation were kept in Mesopotamia 3500 years ago (Space Answers). While all of the planets in our solar system except for Earth are named after Roman and Greek gods, each planet’s moons and surrounding objects are also named after certain categories of mythology, literature, or history (Cool Cosmos). For instance, the four Gallilean moons of Jupiter are named after Juptior’s lovers (Io, Europa, Ganymeade, and Callisto) (Fief.org). Saturn has moons named after all of the Titans (even a moon not-so-creatively named Titan). It’s fascinating to see how the stories of Roman and Greek mythology, as well as several other mythologies like Gallic, Norse, and Shakespearean literature, are told through the naming of our solar system and its planets and moons.

 

Image: Roman gods and goddesses

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