Q:

How did Venus get its name?

A:

Quick Answer

The name for the planet Venus comes from the name of the ancient Roman goddess of beauty, fertility and love, which was also Venus. Every planet in the solar system except Earth is named after a Roman deity, but Venus is the only one to be named after a goddess instead of a god.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Some scholars have suggested that the reason the planet was named after Venus and not a male god was because it was the brightest of the five visible planets that were known to ancient astronomers, so they named it after their most beautiful deity. As Venus is the only planet named after a female, scientists decided to stick with this theme when naming the planet's main features, as all but one of them are named after famous women.

Besides Venus, the other four planets that were known to ancient Romans were Saturn, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter. When astronomers finally discovered the other two planets in the solar system, Uranus and Neptune, they chose to continue the tradition of naming them after gods. In addition, Pluto is also named after the Roman god of the underworld, even though it is no longer considered a planet.

The names of most of the moons in the solar system originate from Roman mythology, as do the names of many asteroids and even some stars and constellations.

Learn more about Planets

Related Questions

Explore