Q:

What does Saturn's symbol mean?

A:

Quick Answer

The symbol for Saturn is a scythe or sickle, which represents its namesake's position as god of seed sowing. The sickle is an ancient tool for cutting down grains. The symbol is similar in appearance to a cursive "h" with a horizontal line across the top.

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Full Answer

Saturn the planet derives its name from the Roman god of agriculture. Ancient Greeks typically used planetary symbols in artwork. In recent times, the symbols are used more often in astrology than in formal scientific publications. The sun, moon and minor planets also have representative symbols. The International Astronomical Union prefers for scientists to use the abbreviation "S" for Saturn in formal contexts, such as journal articles.

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