With the word “Planet” in our company name, we could hardly allow ourselves to miss out on the fact that it is World Space Week; a week-long international celebration of space (and the science and technology that supports our understanding and exploration of space).
World Space Week takes place every year between 4th and 10th October; the former being the date on which the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched in 1957 and the latter being the date on which the “Outer Space Treaty” was put into force in 1967.
With this in mind, we thought we’d take a look at some names that have an extra-terrestrial flavour.
PLANETS & THEIR MOONS
All of the planets within our solar system have been named after mythological gods and goddesses (with the exception of Earth); these names were taken from the Roman pantheon of gods, while many of the moons and satellites that orbit these planets have names taken from Greek mythology (usually related to the Roman counterpart used for the name of the planet they orbit).
MERCURY ~ VENUS ~ EARTH ~ MARS ~ JUPITER ~ SATURN ~ URANUS ~ NEPTUNE ~ PLUTO (yes, we know, technically Pluto is a dwarf planet)
- Mars’ moons are DEIMOS and PHOBOS, named after the children of Ares – the Greek equivalent of Mars.
- Jupiters’ moons are named after (some of) the lovers and children of Zeus (the Greek equivalent of Jupiter) and include: ADRASTEA, AMALTHEA, CALLISTO, DIA, ELARA, EUROPA, IO, LEDA, METIS, PASIPHAE, and THEBE.
- Saturns’ moons are named after Titans and Giants from Greek mythology (Cronus, the leader of the Titans, was the Greek equivalent of Saturn), other figures from Greek and Roman mythology, along with giants from the Inuit, Norse, and Gallic mythologies, including: ATLAS, AEGIR, ANTHE, CALYPSO, DAPHNIS, DIONE, FENRIR, JANUS, KARI, MIMAS, PALLENE, PAN, PANDORA, PHOEBE, PROMETHEUS, and RHEA.
- Uranus’ moons are named after literary characters created by Shakespeare and Alexander Pope (the first moons to be discovered were named after “spirits of the air” – i.e. the fairies TITANIA and OBERON and the sylphs ARIEL and UMBRIEL – because Uranus is the Roman god of the sky), including: BELINDA, BIANCA, CORDELIA, CRESSIDA, CUPID, DESDEMONA, FERDINAND, FRANCISCO, JULIET, MAB, MARGARET, MIRANDA, OPHELIA, PERDITA, PORTIA, and ROSALIND.
- Neptune’s moons are named for water deities from Greek mythology (as Neptune is the Roman god of the sea), including: GALATEA,
HALIMEDE, LARISSA, NAIAD, NEREID, NESO, PSAMATHE, SAO, and TRITON (although one is still known as the rather catchy S/2004 N 1!).
- Plutos’ moons are named after figures from Greek mythology with connections to the Underworld (which was, of course, ruled over by Pluto): CHARON, HYDRA, KERBEROS, NIX, and STYX.
While Earth itself wasn’t named after a god or goddess, there are many “Earth Goddesses” who have been/are worshipped as the personification of the Earth – with GAIA being the Greek name and TERRA being the Roman equivalent.
CONSTELLATIONS & THEIR STARS
Another source of space-inspired names is constellations and some of the stars that feature within these arrangements. In modern astronomy, there are 88 constellations officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union and they include 42 animals, 29 objects, and 17 humans/mythological characters.
ANDROMEDA (the chained princess) AQUILA (the eagle) ARA (the altar)
ARIES (the ram) AURIGA (the charioteer) CARINA (the keel)
CASSIOPEIA (the chained queen) COLUMBA (the dove) CRUX (the southern cross)
CYGNUS (the swan or northern cross) DELPHINUS (the dolphin) DRACO (the dragon)
GEMINI (the twins CASTOR & POLLUX) GRUS (the crane) HERCULES (the hero)
LACERTA (the lizard) LEO (the lion) LUPUS (the wolf) LYNX (the lynx)
LYRA (the lyre) NORMA (the carpenter’s square) ORION (the hunter)
PAVO (the peacock) PERSEUS (the hero) PHOENIX (the mythical bird)
TUCANA (the toucan) VELA (the sails)
VIRGO (variously identified as ASTRAEA, DEMETER, ERIGONE, and SHALA)
Individual stars in these constellations include: ADHARA, ALCYONE, ALTAIR, ALUDRA, ARISTA, BELLATRIX, DENEB, MAIA, MEISSA, NASHIRA, POLARIS, REGULUS, SIRIUS, SUHA, and VEGA.
THE SKY IS FULL OF STARS
Of course, there are plenty of names that take inspiration from things associated with space itself, such as:
ASTRA COSMO ESTELLE EVREN HALLEY HALO LUNA MOON NOVA ROCKET SEREN STAR STELLA STEREN TARA ZEKE
Of course, if you’re eager to spend time watching the night sky at this time of the year, you’ll definitely need to wrap up warm – and our multipurpose Stikins ® name labels are an ideal way to keep track of all those extra winter warmers.
Our name labels measure just 30mm wide by 15mm high, which means they fit neatly onto the wash-care label of all sorts of fabric items – so you can find them easily when you need to read the label but they can also be tucked discretely out of sight when they’re not needed. Each label is white in colour and is either printed with a bold black font OR is available as a blank label for you to personalise as you wish (as part of our Stikins ® Name Label Kit).
Each label is made with our unique Stikins ® adhesive, which has been specially developed and independently tested to make sure that it can survive repeat trips through the washing machine (as well as repeat exposure to the delights of British weather!).
Stikins ® can be ordered online (at stikins.co.uk), by post, or by phone.