How Was Saturn Named?


Quick Answer

The planet Saturn is named after Saturnus, an ancient Roman god associated with agriculture, wealth and liberation. It is the sixth planet from the Sun and second only in size to Jupiter. This size makes it visible to the naked eye.

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Full Answer

Although modern science has adopted the Roman names for planets, other ancient civilizations observed and named the planet independently of the Romans. The ancient Greeks named it after their god Kronos, a precursor and inspiration for Saturnus. In ancient Hindu mythology, the planet was named Shani, while ancient Hebrews called it Shabbathai. Both ancient Chinese and Japanese civilizations called the planet "earth star."

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