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How are planets and moons named?

Who is Miranda? She is the heroine in Shakespeare’s last play “The Tempest”, but Miranda is also the name of a moon of planet Uranus belonging to a set of exceptions. Whereas all of the planets in our solar system and most of the moons are named after Greek and Roman mythology the satellites of Uranus have names that were used by William Shakespeare or Alexander Pope. Dwarf planets also are named after gods, but the Greek and Romans don’t govern the sky alone any more. Haumea discovered 2003 is the Hawaiian goddess of fertility and Makemake found 2005 is a Polynesian creator god.

Miranda photographed by Voyager 2 in 1986. Credit: NASA/JPL

Miranda photographed by Voyager 2 in 1986. Credit: NASA/JPL


Category: Solar System

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