Mytholgy very prominent in nomenclature:


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Redlands, California
I'm unsure whether anyone has brought this up but there is a thriving activity going on of officially naming new objects in space after mythological lore and names and aside from the better known ones here are some examples:

Saturn I (Mimas) Named by Herschel's son John in the early 19th century for a Giant felled by Hephaestus (or Ares) in the war between the Titans and Olympian gods. July 18, 1789 Slough W. Herschel

Saturn II (Enceladus) Named by Herschel's son John for the Giant Enceladus. Enceladus was crushed by Athene in the battle between the Olympian gods and the Titans. Earth piled on top of him became the island of Sicily. August 28, 1789 Slough W. Herschel

Saturn III (Tethys) Cassini wished to name Tethys and the other three satellites that he discovered (Dione, Rhea, and Iapetus) for Louis XIV. However, the names used today for these satellites were applied in the early 19th century by John Herschel, who named them for Titans and Titanesses, brothers and sisters of Saturn. Tethys was the wife of Oceanus and mother of all rivers and Oceanids. March 21, 1684 Paris G.D. Cassini
Saturn IV (Dione) Dione was the sister of Cronos and mother (by Zeus) of Aphrodite.

Saturn V (Rhea) A Titaness, mother of Zeus by Kronos. December 23, 1672 Paris G.D. Cassini

Saturn VI (Titan) Named by Huygens, who first called it "Luna Saturni." March 25, 1655 The Hague C. Huygens

Saturn VII (Hyperion) Named by Lassell for one of the Titans. September 16, 1848 Cambridge, MA W.C. Bond and G.P. Bond; independently discovered September 18, 1848 at Liverpool by W. Lassell

Saturn VIII (Iapetus) Named by John Herschel for one of the Titans. October 25, 1671 Paris G.D. Cassini

Saturn IX (Phoebe) Named by Pickering for one of the Titanesses.


USGS Astrogeology: Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature - Planetary Body Names and Discoverers

Also check out the names for just one region of Venus:

USGS Astro: Planetary Nomenclature: Feature Data Search Results

- Art

Thanks for posting this stuff. I especially liked the bit about the dead giant Enceladus eventually becoming the Island of Sicily. And it's great that a guy in Sicily discovered Ceres which is named after the Roman goddess of corn. Something in this stuff is highly appealing to my genetically endowed Italian senses of appropriate balances in nature.

Sounds like part of Genesis maybe. Makes me also think of Kubrick's classic 2001, but that was a voyage to the moons of Jupiter if I remember correctly, and that looks like Roman territory on the .gov site. Thanks again .

Thanks Flow!

It's amazing to me how much the planetary objects are being assigned names from ancient mythology...Here's a very thorough list:

USGS Astro: Search Planetary Nomenclature

It would seem that someone would have to have more than a passing familiarity with mythic lore to really develope these as nomenclature.

- Art
Hi Art:

When you see governmental agencies doing such things in such a coordinated manner, chances are it is somebody's plan or vision. Throughout the ages in spiritual matters naming has been a very a big deal, and there are few bigger deals than attaching names to heavenly objects. These were the first things in nature outside of earthly realities that our ancient ancestors paid much attention to. As Yogi Berra once observed..."Deja vu all over again ?"

Gotta see that movie over the holidays...supposed to be special.