Q:

How was Mars named?

A:

Quick Answer

Mars received its name from the god of war in Roman mythology, Mars. Because the planet appeared red, it reminded the Romans of blood shed during battle. The ancient Greeks also named the planet after their god of war, Ares.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Ancient societies often used the color of a planet to determine its name. The red in the planet for which Mars is named comes from the iron content of the surface. Scientists named the largest volcano on the planet Olympus Mons after Mount Olympus in Roman mythology. The moons surrounding the planet were also named after the sons of the Greek god Ares, Phobos and Deimos, which mean "fear"and "panic" respectively.

Learn more about Planets

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the diameter of Mars?

    A: According to Space.com, Mars has a diameter of 6,794 kilometers or 4,222 miles. Universe Today says this is approximately 53 percent of Earth’s diameter. N... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who discovered Mars?

    A: Because Mars with its famous red coloration is readily visible from Earth, it is unknown who first discovered it; NASA lists the planet as "known by the an... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How fast does Mars spin?

    A: Mars rotates on its axis once every 24 hours, 37 minutes and 22 seconds, according to Jerry Coffey of Universe Today. This gives it a day length similar to... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How big is Mars?

    A: Mars is the second smallest planet in the solar system, with a diameter of just over 4,212 miles and a circumference of 13,256 miles. Its diameter is about... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore