Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature
International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN)
Planetary Names: Planet and Satellite Names and Discoverers

Planet and Satellite Names and Discoverers


Mercury | Venus | Earth | Mars | Asteroids | Jupiter | Saturn | Uranus | Neptune | Dwarf Planets

This page shows information about planetary bodies named by the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN), and about bodies named by the IAU Committee on Small Body Nomenclature that have surface features named by the WGPSN.

The IAU Minor Planet Center maintains a list of minor planet names.

Mercury

Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
Mercury Named Mercurius by the Romans because it appears to move so swiftly.      

Venus

Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
Venus Roman name for the goddess of love. This planet was considered to be the brightest and most beautiful planet or star in the heavens. Other civilizations have named it for their god or goddess of love/war.      

Earth System

Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
Earth The name Earth comes from the Indo-European base 'er,'which produced the Germanic noun 'ertho,' and ultimately German 'erde,' Dutch 'aarde,' Scandinavian 'jord,' and English 'earth.' Related forms include Greek 'eraze,' meaning 'on the ground,' and Welsh 'erw,' meaning 'a piece of land.'      
Earth I (Moon) Every civilization has had a name for the satellite of Earth that is known, in English, as the Moon. The Moon is known as Luna in Italian, Latin, and Spanish, as Lune in French, as Mond in German, and as Selene in Greek.      

Martian System

The names of the moons of Mars and the English translations of the names were specifically proposed by their discoverer, Asaph Hall, and as such, they have been accepted and retained under the current IAU nomenclature.
Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
Mars Named by the Romans for their god of war because of its red, bloodlike color. Other civilizations also named this planet from this attribute; for example, the Egyptians named it "Her Desher," meaning "the red one."      
Mars I (Phobos) Inner satellite of Mars. Named for one of the horses that drew Mars' chariot; also called an "attendant" or "son" of Mars, according to chapter 15, line 119 of Homer's "Iliad." This Greek word means "flight." August 17, 1877 Washington A. Hall
Mars II (Deimos) This outer Martian satellite was named for one of the horses that drew Mars' chariot; also called an "attendant" or "son" of Mars, according to chapter 15, line 119 of Homer's "Iliad." Deimos means "fear" in Greek. August 11, 1877 Washington A. Hall

Selected Asteroids (of the Main Belt) and their Satellites

Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
(433) Eros Named for the Greek god of love. August 13, 1898 Berlin C.G. Witt
(951) Gaspra Named for a resort on the Crimean Peninsula. July 30, 1916 Simeis G. Neujmin
(243) Ida Named for a nymph who raised the infant Zeus. Ida is also the name of a mountain on the island of Crete, the location of the cave where Zeus was reared. September 29, 1884 Vienna J. Palisa
(243) Ida I (Dactyl) Named for a group of mythological beings who lived on Mount Ida, where the infant Zeus was hidden and raised (according to some accounts) by the nymph Ida. August 28, 1993   Galileo imaging and infrared science teams.
(253) Mathilde The name was suggested by a staff member of the Paris Observatory who first computed an orbit for Mathilde. The name is thought to honor the wife of the vice director of the Paris Observatory at that time. November 12, 1885 Vienna J. Palisa
(22) Kalliope I (Linus) Satellite of (22) Kalliope. In various accounts of Greek mythology, Linus is considered to be the son of the Muse Kalliope and the inventor of melody and rhythm. August 29 and September 2, 2001 Mauna Kea J.-L. Margot, M.E. Brown, W.J. Merline, F. Menard, L. Close, C. Dumas, C.R. Chapman, and D.C. Slater
(45) Eugenia I (Petit-Prince) Satellite of (45) Eugenia. The Little Prince, Napolean-Eugene-Louis-Jean-Joseph Bonaparte (1856-1879), was the son of Eugenia de Montijo de Guzm\'an and Napoleon III. November 1, 1998 Mauna Kea W.J. Merline, L. Close, C. Dumas, C.R. Chapman, F. Roddier, F. Menard, D.C. Slater, G. Duvert, C. Shelton, and T. Morgan

Jovian System

Satellites in the Jovian system are named for Zeus/Jupiter's lovers and descendants. Names of outer satellites with a prograde orbit generally end with the letter "a" (although an "o" ending has been reserved for some unusual cases), and names of satellites with a retrograde orbit end with an "e."
Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
Jupiter The largest and most massive of the planets was named Zeus by the Greeks and Jupiter by the Romans; he was the most important deity in both pantheons.      
Jupiter I (Io) Io, the daughter of Inachus, was changed by Jupiter into a cow to protect her from Hera's jealous wrath. But Hera recognized Io and sent a gadfly to torment her. Io, maddened by the fly, wandered throughout the Mediterranean region. January 8, 1610 Padua Galileo (Simon Marius probably made an independent discovery of the Galilean satellites at about the same time that Galileo did, and he may have unwittingly sighted them up to a month earlier, but the priority must go to Galileo because he published his discovery first.)
Jupiter II (Europa) Beautiful daughter of Agenor, king of Tyre, she was seduced by Jupiter, who had assumed the shape of a white bull. When Europa climbed on his back he swam with her to Crete, where she bore several children, including Minos. January 8, 1610 Padua Galileo (who evidently observed the combined image of Io and Europa the previous night)
Jupiter III (Ganymede) Beautiful young boy who was carried to Olympus by Jupiter disguised as an eagle. Ganymede then became the cupbearer of the Olympian gods. January 7, 1610 Padua Galileo
Jupiter IV (Callisto) Beautiful daughter of Lycaon, she was seduced by Jupiter, who changed her into a bear to protect her from Hera's jealousy. January 7, 1610 Padua Galileo
Jupiter V (Amalthea) A naiad who nursed the new-born Jupiter. She had as a favorite animal a goat which is said by some authors to have nourished Jupiter. The name was suggested by Flammarion. September 9, 1892 Mt. Hamilton E.E. Barnard
Jupiter VI (Himalia) A Rhodian nymph who bore three sons of Zeus. December 4, 1904 Mt. Hamilton C.D. Perrine
Jupiter VII (Elara) Daughter of King Orchomenus, a paramour of Zeus, and by him the mother of the giant Tityus. January 3, 1905 Mt. Hamilton C.D. Perrine
Jupiter VIII (Pasiphae) Wife of Minos, king of Crete. Zeus made approaches to her as a bull (taurus). She then gave birth to the Minotaur. (Spelling changed from Pasiphaƫ to Pasiphae July 2009.) January 27, 1908 Greenwich P.J. Melotte
Jupiter IX (Sinope) Daughter of the river god Asopus. Zeus desired to make love to her. Instead of this he granted perpetual virginity, after he had been deceived by his own promises. (In the same way, she also fooled Apollo.) July 21, 1914 Mt. Hamilton S.B. Nicholson
Jupiter X (Lysithea) Daughter of Kadmos, also named Semele, mother of Dionysos by Zeus. According to others, she was the daughter of Evenus and mother of Helenus by Jupiter. July 6, 1938 Mt. Wilson S.B. Nicholson
Jupiter XI (Carme) A nymph and attendant of Artemis; mother, by Zeus, of Britomartis. July 30, 1938 Mt. Wilson S.B. Nicholson
Jupiter XII (Ananke) Goddess of fate and necessity, mother of Adrastea by Zeus. September 28, 1951 Mt. Wilson S.B. Nicholson
Jupiter XIII (Leda) Seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan, she was the mother of Pollux and Helen. September 11, 1974 Palomar C.T. Kowal
Jupiter XIV (Thebe) An Egyptian king's daughter, granddaughter of Io, mother of Aigyptos by Zeus. The Egyptian city of Thebes was named after her. March 5, 1979 Voyager 1 Voyager Science Team
Jupiter XV (Adrastea) A nymph of Crete to whose care Rhea entrusted the infant Zeus. July, 1979 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Jupiter XVI (Metis) First wife of Zeus. He swallowed her when she became pregnant; Athena was subsequently born from the forehead of Zeus. March 4, 1979 Voyager 1 Voyager Science Team
Jupiter XVII (Callirrhoe) Daughter of the river god Achelous and stepdaughter of Zeus. October 19, 1999 Spacewatch J.V. Scotti, T.B. Spahr, R.S. McMillan, J.A. Larson, J. Montani, A.E. Gleason, and T. Gehrels
Jupiter XVIII (Themisto) Daughter of the Arcadian river god Inachus, mother of Ister by Zeus. September 30, 1975, rediscovered November 21, 2000 Palomar, rediscovered at Mauna Kea C.T. Kowal and E. Roemer (1975), and S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, G. Magnier, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, and G.V. Williams (2000).
Jupiter XIX (Megaclite) Daughter of Macareus, who with Zeus gave birth to Thebe and Locrus. November 25, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XX (Taygete) Daughter of Atlas, one of the Pleiades, mother of Lakedaimon by Zeus. November 25, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XXI (Chaldene) Bore the son Solymos with Zeus. November 26, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XXII (Harpalyke) Daughter and wife of Clymenus. In revenge for this incestuous relationship, she killed the son she bore him, cooked the corpse, and served it to Clymenus. She was transformed into the night bird called Chalkis, and Clymenus hanged himself. Some say that she was transformed into that bird because she had intercourse with Zeus. November 23, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XXIII (Kalyke) Nymph who bore the handsome son Endymion with Zeus. November 23, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XXIV (Iocaste) Wife of Laius, King of Thebes, and mother of Oedipus. After Laius was killed, Iocaste unknowingly married her own son Oedipus. When she learned that her husband was her son, she killed herself. Some say she was the mother of Agamedes by Zeus. November 23, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XXV (Erinome) Daughter of Celes, compelled by Venus to fall in love with Jupiter. November 23, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XXVI (Isonoe) A Danaid, bore with Zeus the son Orchomenos. November 23, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XXVII (Praxidike) Goddess of punishment, mother of Klesios by Zeus. November 23, 2000 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, Y.R. Fernandez, and G. Magnier
Jupiter XXVIII (Autonoe) Mother of the Graces by Zeus according to some authors. December 10, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXIX (Thyone) Semele, mother of Dionysos by Zeus. She received the name of Thyone in Hades by Dionysos before he ascended up with her from there to heaven. December 11, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXX (Hermippe) Consort of Zeus and mother of Orchomenos by him. December 9, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXI (Aitne) A Sicilian nymph, conquest of Zeus. December 9, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXII (Eurydome) Mother of the Graces by Zeus, according to some authors. (Source: Cornutus: Theologiae Graecae compendium 15) December 9, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXIII (Euanthe) The mother of the Graces by Zeus, according to some authors. December 11, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXIV (Euporie) One of the Horae, a daughter of Zeus and Themis. December 11, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXV (Orthosie) One of the Horae, a daughter of Zeus and Themis. December 11, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXVI (Sponde) One of the Horae (Seasons), daughter of Zeus. December 9, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXVII (Kale) One of the Graces, a daughter of Zeus, husband of Hephaistos. December 9, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXVIII (Pasithee) One of the Graces, a daughter of Zeus. December 11, 2001 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt and J. Kleyna
Jupiter XXXIX (Hegemone) One of the Graces, a daughter of Zeus. February 8, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XL (Mneme) One of the Muses, a daughter of Zeus. February 9, 2003 Mauna Kea B. Gladman and L. Allen
Jupiter XLI (Aoede) One of the Muses, a daughter of Zeus. February 8, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XLII (Thelxinoe) One of the Muses, a daughter of Zeus. February 9, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XLIII (Arche) One of the Muses, a daughter of Zeus. October 31, 2002 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XLIV (Kallichore) One of the Muses, a daughter of Zeus. February 6, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XLV (Helike) One of the Muses, a daughter of Zeus. February 6, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XLVI (Carpo) One of the Horae, a daughter of Zeus. February 26, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XLVII (Eukelade) One of the Muses, a daughter of Zeus. February 5, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XLVIII (Cyllene) Daughter of Zeus, a nymph. February 9, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard
Jupiter XLIX (Kore) Daughter of Zeus and Demeter, also known as Persephone. February 8, 2003 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Jupiter L (Herse) Daughter of Zeus and divine moon (Selene). February 27, 2003 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, and L. Allen

Saturnian System

Satellites in the saturnian system are named for Greco-Roman titans, descendants of the titans, the Roman god of the beginning, and giants from Greco-Roman and other mythologies. Gallic, Inuit and Norse names identify three different orbit inclination groups, where inclinations are measured with respect to the ecliptic, not Saturn's equator or orbit. Retrograde satellites (those with an inclination of 90 to 180 degrees) are named for Norse giants (except for Phoebe, which was discovered long ago and is the largest). Prograde satellites with an orbit inclination of around 36 degrees are named for Gallic giants, and prograde satellites with an inclination of around 48 degrees are named for Inuit giants and spirits.
Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
Saturn Roman name for the Greek Cronos, father of Zeus/Jupiter. Other civilizations have given different names to Saturn, which is the farthest planet from Earth that can be observed by the naked human eye. Most of its satellites were named for Titans who, according to Greek mythology, were brothers and sisters of Saturn.      
Saturn I (Mimas) Named by Herschel's son John in the early 19th century for a Giant felled by Hephaestus (or Ares) in the war between the Titans and Olympian gods. July 18, 1789 Slough W. Herschel
Saturn II (Enceladus) Named by Herschel's son John for the Giant Enceladus. Enceladus was crushed by Athene in the battle between the Olympian gods and the Titans. Earth piled on top of him became the island of Sicily. August 28, 1789 Slough W. Herschel
Saturn III (Tethys) Cassini wished to name Tethys and the other three satellites that he discovered (Dione, Rhea, and Iapetus) for Louis XIV. However, the names used today for these satellites were applied in the early 19th century by John Herschel, who named them for Titans and Titanesses, brothers and sisters of Saturn. Tethys was the wife of Oceanus and mother of all rivers and Oceanids. March 21, 1684 Paris G.D. Cassini
Saturn IV (Dione) Dione was the sister of Cronos and mother (by Zeus) of Aphrodite. March 21, 1684 Paris G.D. Cassini
Saturn V (Rhea) A Titaness, mother of Zeus by Kronos. December 23, 1672 Paris G.D. Cassini
Saturn VI (Titan) Named by Huygens, who first called it "Luna Saturni." In Greek Mythology, a Giant, and one of two generations of immortal giants (Titans) of incredible strength and stamina who were overthrown by a race of younger gods, the Olympians. March 25, 1655 The Hague C. Huygens
Saturn VII (Hyperion) Named by Lassell for one of the Titans. September 16, 1848 Cambridge, MA W.C. Bond and G.P. Bond; independently discovered September 18, 1848 at Liverpool by W. Lassell
Saturn VIII (Iapetus) Named by John Herschel for one of the Titans. October 25, 1671 Paris G.D. Cassini
Saturn IX (Phoebe) Named by Pickering for one of the Titanesses. August 16, 1898 Arequipa W.H. Pickering
Saturn X (Janus) First reported (though with an incorrect orbital period) and named by A. Dollfus from observations in Dec. 1966, this satellite was finally confirmed in 1980. It was proven to have a twin, Epimetheus, sharing the same orbit but never actually meeting. It is named for the Roman god of the beginning. The two-faced god could look forward and backward at the same time. December 15, 1966 (Dollfus), February 19, 1980 (Pascu) Pic du Midi (Dollfus), Washington (Pascu) A. Dollfus (1966), D. Pascu (1980)
Saturn XI (Epimetheus) First suspected by J. Fountain and S. Larson as confusing the detection of Janus. They assigned the correct orbital period, and the satellite was finally confirmed in 1980. Named for the son of the Titan Iapetus. In contrast with his far-sighted brother Prometheus, he "subsequently realized" that he was in the wrong. 1977 (Fountain and Larson), February 26, 1980 (Cruikshank) Tucson (Fountain and Larson), Mauna Kea (Cruikshank) J. Fountain and S. Larson (1977), D. Cruikshank (1980)
Saturn XII (Helene) A granddaughter of Kronos, for her beauty she triggered off the Trojan War. March 1, 1980 Pic du Midi P. Laques and J. Lecacheux
Saturn XIII (Telesto) Daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. April 8, 1980 Tucson B.A. Smith, H. Reitsema, S.M. Larson, and J. Fountain
Saturn XIV (Calypso) Daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys and paramour of Odysseus. March 13, 1980 Flagstaff D. Pascu, P.K. Seidelmann, W. Baum, and D. Currie
Saturn XV (Atlas) A Titan; he held the heavens on his shoulders. October 1980 Voyager 1 Voyager Science Team
Saturn XVI (Prometheus) Son of the Titan Iapetus, brother of Atlas and Epimetheus, he gave many gifts to humanity, including fire. October 1980 Voyager 1 Voyager Science Team
Saturn XVII (Pandora) Made of clay by Hephaestus at the request of Zeus. She married Epimetheus and opened the box that loosed a host of plagues upon humanity. October 1980 Voyager 1 Voyager Science Team
Saturn XVIII (Pan) Greek god of pastoralism, he was half goat and half human. Son of Hermes, brother of Daphnis, and a descendant of the Titans. Discovered orbiting in the Encke division in Saturn's A ring. 1990 Voyager 2 M.R. Showalter
Saturn XIX (Ymir) Ymir is the primordial Norse giant and the progenitor of the race of frost giants. August 7, 2000 La Silla B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XX (Paaliaq) Named for an Inuit giant. August 7, 2000 La Silla B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXI (Tarvos) Named for a Gallic giant. September 23, 2000 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXII (Ijiraq) Named for an Inuit giant. September 23, 2000 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXIII (Suttungr) Named for a Norse giant who kindled flames that destroyed the world. September 23, 2000 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXIV (Kiviuq) Named for an Inuit giant. August 7, 2000 La Silla B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXV (Mundilfari) Named for an Norse giant. September 23, 2000 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXVI (Albiorix) Named for a Gallic giant who was considered to be the king of the world. November 9, 2000 Mt. Hopkins M. Holman
Saturn XXVII (Skathi) Named for a Norse giantess. September 23, 2000 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXVIII (Erriapus) Named for a Gallic giant. September 23, 2000 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXIX (Siarnaq) Named for an Inuit giant. September 23, 2000 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXX (Thrymr) Named for a Norse giant. September 23, 2000 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, H. Scholl, M. Holman, B.G. Marsden, P. Nicholson and J.A. Burns
Saturn XXXI (Narvi) Named for a Norse giant. February 5, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, and J. Kleyna
Saturn XXXII (Methone) One of the Alkyonides, the seven beautiful daughters of the Giant Alkyoneos. June 1, 2004   Cassini Imaging Science Team
Saturn XXXIII (Pallene) One of the Alkyonides, the seven beautiful daughters of the Giant Alkyoneos. June 1, 2004   Cassini Imaging Science Team
Saturn XXXIV (Polydeuces) Twin brother of Castor, son of Zeus and Leda. October 21, 2004   Cassini Imaging Science Team
Saturn XXXV (Daphnis) Shepherd, pipes player, and pastoral poet in Greek mythology. Son of Hermes, brother of Pan, and decendant of the Titans. Discovered orbiting in the Keeler gap in Saturn's A ring. May 1, 2005   Cassini Imaging Science Team
Saturn XXXVI (Aegir) Norse ocean giant who represents the peaceful sea, a stiller of storms. December 12, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XXXVII (Bebhionn) Beautiful Celtic giantess. December 12, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XXXVIII (Bergelmir) Norse frost giant, son of Ymir and one of the Hrimthursar, one of only two members of the frost giant race to escape being drowned in Ymir's blood. December 12, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XXXIX (Bestla) Norse primeval goddess, mother of deities, daughter of the giant Bolthorn. December 13, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XL (Farbauti) Norse storm giant, father of Loki. December 12, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLI (Fenrir) Norse monstrous wolf, son of Loki and the giantess Angurboda, father of Hati and Skoll. December 13, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLII (Fornjot) Early Norse storm giant, father of Aegir, Kari, and Loge. December 12, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLIII (Hati) Gigantic Norse wolf, twin of Skoll. December 12, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLIV (Hyrrokkin) Norse giantess who launched Balder's funeral ship. (Spelling changed from Hyrokkin.) December 12, 2004 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLV (Kari) Norse wind giant. January 4, 2006 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLVI (Loge) Norse fire giant, son of Fornjot. January 5, 2006 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLVII (Skoll) Gigantic Norse wolf, twin of Hati. January 5, 2006 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLVIII (Surtur) Norse leader of the fire giants. January 5, 2006 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, J. Kleyna
Saturn XLIX (Anthe) One of the Alkyonides, the seven beautiful daughters of the Giant Alkyoneos. May 30, 2007   Cassini Imaging Science Team
Saturn L (Jarnsaxa) Norse giantess and Thor's lover. January 5, 2006 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewittt, J. Kleyna
Saturn LI (Greip) Norse giantess. January 5, 2006 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewittt, J. Kleyna
Saturn LII (Tarqeq) Inuit moon spirit. January 16, 2007 Mauna Kea S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewittt, J. Kleyna
Saturn LIII (Aegaeon) Greek hundred-armed giant, called Briareus by the gods. August 15, 2008   Cassini Imaging Science Team

Uranian System

Satellites in the uranian system are named for characters from Shakespeare's plays and from Pope's "Rape of the Lock."
Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
Uranus Several astronomers, including Flamsteed and Le Monnier, had observed Uranus earlier but had recorded it as a fixed star. Herschel tried unsuccessfully to name his discovery "Georgian Sidus" after George III; the planet was named by Johann Bode in 1781 after the ancient Greek deity of the sky Uranus, the father of Kronos (Saturn) and grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter). March 13, 1781 Bath W. Herschel
Uranus I (Ariel) Named by John Herschel for a sylph in Pope's "Rape of the Lock." October 24, 1851 Liverpool W. Lassell
Uranus II (Umbriel) Umbriel was named by John Herschel for a malevolent spirit in Pope's "Rape of the Lock." October 24, 1851 Liverpool W. Lassell
Uranus III (Titania) Named by Herschel's son John in early 19th century for the queen of the fairies in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." January 11, 1787 Slough W. Herschel
Uranus IV (Oberon) Named by Herschel's son John in early 19th century for the king of the fairies in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." January 11, 1787 Slough W. Herschel
Uranus V (Miranda) Named by Kuiper for the heroine of Shakespeare's "The Tempest." February 16, 1948 Fort Davis G.P. Kuiper
Uranus VI (Cordelia) Daughter of Lear in Shakespeare's "King Lear." January 20, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus VII (Ophelia) Daughter of Polonius, fiance of Hamlet in Shakespeare's "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." January 20, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus VIII (Bianca) Daughter of Baptista, sister of Kate, in Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew." January 23, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus IX (Cressida) Title character in Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida." January 9, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus X (Desdemona) Wife of Othello in Shakespeare's "Othello, the Moor of Venice." January 13, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus XI (Juliet) Heroine of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." January 3, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus XII (Portia) Wife of Brutus in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." January 3, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus XIII (Rosalind) Daughter of the banished duke in Shakespeare's "As You Like It." January 13, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus XIV (Belinda) Character in Pope's "Rape of the Lock." January 13, 1986 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus XV (Puck) Mischievous spirit in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." December 30, 1985 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Uranus XVI (Caliban) Named for the grotesque, brutish slave in Shakespeare's "The Tempest." September 6, 1997 Palomar B. Gladman, P. Nicholson, J.A. Burns and J. Kavelaars
Uranus XVII (Sycorax) Named for Caliban's mother in Shakespeare's "The Tempest." September 6, 1997 Palomar P. Nicholson, B. Gladman, J. Burns and J. Kavelaars
Uranus XVIII (Prospero) Named for the rightful Duke of Milan in "The Tempest." July 18, 1999 Mauna Kea M. Holman, J. Kavelaars, B. Gladman, J.-M. Petit, and H. Scholl
Uranus XIX (Setebos) Setebos was a new-world (South American) deity's name that Shakespeare popularized as Sycorax's god in "The Tempest." July 18, 1999 Mauna Kea J. Kavelaars, B. Gladman, M. Holman, J.-M. Petit, and H. Scholl
Uranus XX (Stephano) Named for a drunken butler in "The Tempest." July 18, 1999 Mauna Kea B. Gladman, M. Holman, J. Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, and H. Scholl
Uranus XXI (Trinculo) A jester in Shakespeare's "The Tempest." August 13, 2001 Cerro Tololo M. Holman, J.J. Kavelaars and D. Milisavljevic
Uranus XXII (Francisco) A lord in "The Tempest." August 13, 2001 Cerro Tololo J. Kavelaars, M. Holman, D. Milisavljevic, and T. Grav
Uranus XXIII (Margaret) A gentlewoman attending on Hero from "Much Ado About Nothing." August 29, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt
Uranus XXIV (Ferdinand) Son of the King of Naples in "The Tempest." August 13, 2001 Cerro Tololo D. Milisavljevic, M. Holman, J. Kavelaars, and T. Grav
Uranus XXV (Perdita) Daughter of Leontes and Hermione in "The Winter's Tale." January 18, 1986 Voyager 2 E. Karkoschka
Uranus XXVI (Mab) The fairies' midwife in "Romeo and Juliet." August 25, 2003 Hubble Space Telescope M.R. Showalter and J.J. Lissauer
Uranus XXVII (Cupid) A character in "Timon of Athens." August 25, 2003 Hubble Space Telescope M.R. Showalter and J.J. Lissauer

Neptunian System

Satellites in the neptunian system are named for characters from Greek or Roman mythology associated with Neptune or Poseidon or the oceans. Irregular satellites are named for the Nereids, the daughters of Nereus and Doris, and the attendants of Neptune.
Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
Neptune Neptune was "predicted" by John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier who, independently, were able to account for the irregularities in the motion of Uranus by correctly predicting the orbital elements of a trans- Uranian body. Using the predicted parameters of Le Verrier (Adams never published his predictions), Johann Galle observed the planet in 1846. Galle wanted to name the planet for Le Verrier, but that was not acceptable to the international astronomical community. Instead, this planet is named for the Roman god of the sea. September 23, 1846 Berlin J.G. Galle
Neptune I (Triton) Triton is named for the sea-god son of Poseidon (Neptune) and Amphitrite. The first suggestion of the name Triton has been attributed to the French astronomer Camille Flammarion. October 10, 1846 Liverpool W. Lassell
Neptune II (Nereid) The Nereids were the fifty daughters of the sea god Nereus and Doris and were attendants of Poseidon (Neptune). May 1, 1949 Fort Davis G.P. Kuiper
Neptune III (Naiad) The name of a group of Greek water nymphs who were guardians of lakes, fountains, springs, and rivers. August 1989 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Neptune IV (Thalassa) Greek sea goddess. Mother of Aphrodite in some legends; others say she bore the Telchines. August 1989 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Neptune V (Despina) Daughter of Poseidon (Neptune) and Demeter. July 1989 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Neptune VI (Galatea) One of the Nereids, attendants of Poseidon. July 1989 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Neptune VII (Larissa) A lover of Poseidon. After the discovery by Voyager, it was established that an occultation of a star by this satellite had been fortuitously observed in 1981 by H. Reitsema, W. Hubbard, L. Lebofsky, and D. J. Tholen. July 1989 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Neptune VIII (Proteus) Greek sea god, son of Oceanus and Tethys. June 1989 Voyager 2 Voyager Science Team
Neptune IX (Halimede) One of the Nereids, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris. August 14, 2002 Cerro Tololo M. Holman, J. Kavelaars, T. Grav, W. Fraser, and D. Milisavljevic
Neptune X (Psamathe) One of the Nereids, lover of Aeacus and mother of Phocus. August 29, 2003 Mauna Kea S.S. Sheppard, D.C. Jewitt, and J. Kleyna
Neptune XI (Sao) One of the Nereids, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris. August 14, 2002 Cerro Tololo T. Grav, M. Holman, J. Kavelaars, W. Fraser, and D. Milisavljevic
Neptune XII (Laomedeia) One of the Nereids, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris. August 13, 2002 Cerro Tololo J. Kavelaars, M. Holman, T. Grav, W. Fraser, and D. Milisavljevic
Neptune XIII (Neso) One of the Nereids, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris. August 14, 2002 Cerro Tololo M. Holman, J. Kavelaars, T. Grav, W. Fraser, and D. Milisavljevic

Dwarf Planets and their Systems

IAU Resolutions 5 and 6, "Definition of a Planet in the Solar System" AND "Pluto"
IAU Press Release from the 2006 General Assembly "Result of the IAU Resolution Votes"
IAU "Naming Astronomical Objects"
IAU Press Release "Plutoid chosen as name for Solar System objects like Pluto"

Ceres

Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
(1) Ceres Roman goddess of corn and harvests. January 1, 1801 Palermo Astronomical Observatory Giuseppe Piazzi

Pluto

Satellites in the plutonian system are named for characters and creatures in the myths surrounding Pluto (Greek Hades) and the classical Greek and Roman Underworld.
Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
(134340) Pluto Pluto was discovered at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ during a systematic search for a trans-Neptune planet predicted by Percival Lowell and William H. Pickering. Named after the Roman god of the underworld who was able to render himself invisible. January 23, 1930 Flagstaff C.W. Tombaugh
(134340) Pluto I (Charon) Named after the Greek mythological boatman who ferried souls across the river Styx to Pluto for judgement. April 13, 1978 Flagstaff J.W. Christy
(134340) Pluto II (Nix) Goddess of darkness and night, mother of Charon. (Nix is the Egyptian spelling of the Greek name Nyx.) May 15, 2005 Hubble Space Telescope H.A. Weaver, S.A. Stern, M.J. Mutchler, A.J. Steffl, M.W. Buie, W.J. Merline, J.R. Spencer, E.F. Young, and L.A. Young
(134340) Pluto III (Hydra) In Greek mythology, terrifying monster with the body of a serpent and nine heads that guarded the underworld. May 15, 2005 Hubble Space Telescope H.A. Weaver, S.A. Stern, M.J. Mutchler, A.J. Steffl, M.W. Buie, W.J. Merline, J.R. Spencer, E.F. Young, and L.A. Young
(134340) Pluto IV (Kerberos) In Greek mythology, the many-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the underworld. June 28, 2011 Hubble Space Telescope M.R. Showalter, D.P. Hamilton, S.A. Stern, H.A. Weaver, A.J. Steffl, and L.A. Young
(134340) Pluto V (Styx) Greek goddess who ruled over the underworld river also named Styx. June 26, 2012 Hubble Space Telescope M.R. Showalter, H.A. Weaver, S.A. Stern, A.J. Steffl, M.W. Buie, W.J. Merline, M.J. Mutchler, R. Soummer, and H.B. Throop

Haumea

Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
(136108) Haumea Hawaiian goddess of childbirth and fertility. March 7, 2003 Sierra Nevada Observatory, Spain  
(136108) Haumea I (Hi'iaka) Daughter of Haumea, patron goddess of the island of Hawaii and of hula dancers. January 26, 2005 Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea M.E. Brown and the adaptive-optics team
(136108) Haumea II (Namaka) Daughter of Haumea, water spirit in Hawaiian mythology. November 7, 2005 Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea M.E. Brown and the adaptive-optics team

Eris

Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
(136199) Eris Greek goddess of discord and strife. October 21, 2003 Palomar Observatory M.E. Brown, C.A. Trujillo, and D. Rabinowitz
(136199) Eris I (Dysnomia) Eris' daughter, spirit of lawlessness. September 10, 2005 Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea M.E. Brown and the adaptive-optics team

Makemake

Body Description Date of Discovery Discovery Location Discoverer
(136472) Makemake Polynesian (Rapa Nui/Easter Island) creator god. March 31, 2005 Palomar Observatory M.E. Brown, C.A. Trujillo, and D.L. Rabinowitz