Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Naming Moons
Name: J Gordon
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
How do scientists give names to the moons of the planets?



Replies:
The planets were named long ago after various important Greek and Roman gods (Mars being the god of war, for example). The moons are generally named after minor gods that happen to be associated with those major ones.

A Smith


It is an old custom. It probably started with the ancient custom of naming the sky according to various religions. Also if a scientist were to name a moon after himself, no one would agree. So often the names were chosen by a committee to honor someone or a mythical person. These names were suggested and argued over and finally voted by associations of scientists and astrono- mers.

Samuel P Bowen


Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory