Our Solar System
By: Brennon Touchet Tiffany Poirrier Seth Stansbury
Timocharis recorded the first observation of Mercury in 265 BC Mercury is named for the “winged Roman god of travel” because it seems to move so rapidly. It is also known to be of the Roman god of commerce and thievery because of its quick appearance.

Venus is the Roman name for the goddess of love. Venus was considered to be the brightest and most beautiful planet or star throughout the heavens.

The name earth comes from the German “erda” which is the name for the Earth Goddess and mother. Many say it is very difficult to pin-point the exact naming of Earth because its name has changed so drastically over the years.

Mars was named from the god of war because of its blood-like tint. The Egyptians called Mars “Her Desher” which means “the red one”. Mars’ moons are named “Phobos,” which comes from one of the horses that drew Mars’ chariot. The other moon or satellite is named “Deimos” which is named after one of Mars’ companions.

The fifth planet is known by two names: “Jupiter” by the Romans and “Zeus” by the Greeks. Jupiter, or Zeus, has many moons or satellites that are named after mythological characters that have a connection to Zeus. It is also considered the supreme God of Romans, which would be Zeus.
Saturn is derived from the name of the Roman God of agriculture and vegitation. The God launched agriculture by instructing his people how to farm the land. Saturn is also the name for the God of time. Saturn is the slowest of the five planets named after Gods in orbit around the sun, which is most likely why it was given the name of the God of time. In mythology, Saturn was the father of Jupiter. Saturday was also a derivative of Saturn.
Previously, Uranus was called “Georgium Sidus” (the star of George III) after King George III, the current king of Britain. Many others called it Herschel after its founder. Another suggested the name “Uranus” after the father of Saturn in Roman mythology to “fit in” with the rest of the planets. It was finally agreed upon in the mid 1800s. It was the first planet to be discovered by an astronomer. All the other planets were visible in the sky without having to search for them. In Greek Mythology, Uranus was the son or husband of Gaia (Earth), and father of Chronos (time) and the Titans
Neptune is the name for the Roman god of the sea. This name was chosen mainly for the blue color of the planet. It was also the counterpart of the Greek Poseidon
Pluto was the Roman goddess of darkness and the underworld. Because it’s the furthest away from the sun, it makes sense to be named after darkness. It’s title as a planet has now changed to a “dwarf planet” due to recent discoveries Brother of Jupiter and Neptune Son of Saturn and Rhea

The Current Naming Process
The overall naming process is pretty similar throughout most objects in space. The three particular objects, asteroids, plutoids, and minor planets, share basically the same process.
Minor Planets
Overview: the discoverer of a particular object has the privilege of suggesting a name to a committee that judges its suitability.
Specifically: The discoverer of the numbered object is defined to be the same as the discoverer of the principal designation. This discoverer is accorded the privilege of suggesting a name for his/her discovery. The discoverer has the privilege for a period of ten years following the numbering of the object. The discoverer writes a short citation explaining the reasons for assigning the name.

Names are judged by the fifteen-person Committee for Small-Body Nomenclature (formerly the Small Bodies Names Committee) of the International Astronomical Union, comprised of professional astronomers (with research interests connected with minor planets and/or comets) from around the world.
Stipulations: Proposed names should be: 16 characters or less in length (including any spaces or punctuation) preferably one word pronounceable (in some language) non-offensive not too similar to an existing name of a minor planet or natural planetary satellite

Object first must be defined as a plutoid Plutoids are celestial bodies in orbit around the Sun at a semimajor axis greater than that of Neptune that have sufficient mass for their self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that they assume a hydrostatic equilibrium (near-spherical) shape, and that have not cleared the neighbourhood around their orbit. Satellites of plutoids are not plutoids themselves. In keeping with minor planet naming guidelines, priority will be given to names proposed by the discovery teams, and plutoids may not share a name with a small solar system body.
Once an asteroid has been observed sufficiently well so that it can have a precise orbit calculated and astronomers can be reasonably confident that it won't become "lost" it is assigned a permanent number (usually given in parentheses) Once it is numbered it can be given a name which is the privilege of the object’s discoverer, although any proposed name must be approved by a special committee of the International Astronomical Union. (There are a few rules and prohibitions which exist as a result of international agreement.) Many discoverers today continue to follow the century-old tradition of naming their discoveries after family members, friends, home regions, and so on.

Some asteroids however, are named according to their orbits:

Orbits within the earth’s orbit are still usually named after characters for Greek Mythology

Orbits smaller than that of the earth after Egyptian mythology
Please, Information. "How the Planets and Satellites got their names". Fact Monster. September 12, 2008 <>. Last modified 2007. University Corporation for Atomspheric Research, "Discover Mercury". September 13, 2008 <>. Last modified 1997

The thought process:
so we havent come up with a topic yet as far as i know but we are working on it :)

pluto seems rather interesting =) Tiffany =) 15:41, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

the origin of the planets' names would be cool Seth lb42 19:43, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps Tiffany should pick Pluto for the NEXT project. You can do that NOW, in fact. See my notes for the next project and mention it in class. About the names... There are interesting stories for the names of each planet, comet, asteroid, and even stars. You could do a project with 2 aspects: 1) Background of the 5(7) planets' names from around the world, and 2) What systems do we have to name newer things, like asteroids, comets, stars, new planets ... --- leesonma 01:59, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

i really like that idea :) i've alwasys wanted to know why we named earth,earth, or any other planet B-rizzle 03:54, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

OK, it looks like you are decided. Iron out some other details, now. What sort of presentation format will you use? Poster, PowerPoint, Essay, Project board, Wiki page... Then start assigning responsibilities and researching. --- leesonma 23:10, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

How about we do a poster and either a powerpoint or a movie? I can do whatever we just need to decide. Also, who will start the research? Tiffany =) 01:06, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

i dont mind doing a powerpoint that is right up my alley (sp) but yea i just need to know what kind of information to put on it :) B-rizzle 03:10, 3 September 2008 (UTC)