Planets of the Milky Way and Their Features

Aphrodite Terra n

[Gk Aphrodite Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, counterpart to the Romans' Venus] : a highland area along Venus' equator, about the size of South America

Cerberus n
[L Cerberus, fr. Gk Kerberos, the three-headed dog guarding the gate of Hades] : a large dark spot on the surface of the planet Mars

Jupiter n
[L Juppiter Jupiter, the chief and most powerful Roman god, husband of Juno] : the largest of the planets and the fifth from the sun

Mars n
[ME, fr. OF, fr. L martius, Fr. martius of Mars, fr. Mart-, Mars Roman god of war] : the planet forth in order from the sun and conspicuous for its red color

Mercury n
[L Mercurius Mercury, Roman god of merchandise, trade, and theft] : the planet nearest the sun

Neptune n
[L Neptunus Neptune, the Roman god of the sea] : the planet 8th from the sun

Olympus Mons n
[L Olympus, fr. Gk Olympos, the mythical home to the gods and godesses] : the largest volcano on Mars

Pluto n
[Pluton-, Pluto, fr. Gk Plouton Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld] : the planet farthest from the sun

Rhea Mons n
[L, fr. Gk Rhea Rhea, the daughter of Uranus and Gaea, wife of Cronus, and mother of Zeus, Poseidon, and others] : a large volcanic mountain on Venus

Saturn n
[L Saturnus Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture and father of Jupiter] : the 6th planet from the sun

Theia Mons n
[Gk Theia Theia, mother of Helios and Eos] : a volcano on the planet Venus

Uranus n
[LL, fr. Gk Ouranos Uranus, the Greek personification of the sky and father of the Titans] : the 7th planet from the sun

Venus n
[L Venus Venus, the Roman goddess of love] : the planet second from the sun


Andromeda n
[L, fr. Gk Andromede, the wife of Perseus] : a northern constellation between Perseus and Pegasus

Argo n
[Gk, the ship in which Jason and the Argonauts sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece] : a large southern constellation, now divided into four separate constellations

Cassiopeia n
[L, fr. Gk Kassiopeia, the wife of Cepheus and mother of Andromeda] : a northern constellation between Cepheus and Perseus

Cygnus n
a N constellation in the Milky Way near Lyra; also called the Northern Cross, the Swan

Hercules n
a large N constellation between Ophiuchus and Draco

Hydra n
[L, fr. Gk hydra water serpent, a water serpent in classical mythology with nine heads, each of which, if cut off, would grow back as two] : the Sea Serpent, a large southern constellation

Lupus n
[L lupus, fr. Gk lykos wolf; assoc. with Lycaeon, who was turned into a wolf] : a S constellation near the Milky Way, located between Centaurus and Scorpius

Orion n
[L, fr. Gk Orion, a giant hunter slain by Artemis in Greek mythology] : a constellation on the equator represented on charts by the figure of a hunter with a belt and sword

Pegasus n
[L, fr. Gk Pegasos a winged horse that causes the stream Hippocrene to spring from Mount Hellison with a blow of his hoof] : a northern constellation near the vernal equinoctial point

Perseus n
[L, fr. Gk Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae and slayer of Medusa] : a northern constellation between Taurus and Cassiopeia

Unicorn n
[ME unicorne, fr. LL unicorn(is) one-horned, fr. L uni- one + cornu horn, a mythical creature resembling a horse, bearing a single horn on its forehead: often symbolic of chastity and purity] : the constellation Monoceros, south of Gemini and west of Orion

Stars and Satellites

Adrastea n
[L, a daughter of Melisseus entrusted by Rhea with the rearing of the infant Zeus] : a satellite of Jupiter

Alcyone n
[L, fr. Gk Alkyone] : the brightest star in the Pleiades

Amalthea n
[L, a nymph who brought up the infant Zeus on the milk of a goat; in some versions she is a goat rather than a nymph] : a satellite of Jupiter

Arcturus n
[L, fr. Gk Arktouros, lit., bear watcher, fr. Arcas, son of Callisto who is turned into a bear like his mother to prevent him from killing her] : a giant fixed star of the first magnitude in Bootes

Atlas n
[L Atlant-, Atlas, fr. Gk, after the strongest god, Atlas, who was punished for his part in the revolt against the Olympians by being forced to hold the world on his shoulders for eternity] : the innermost moon of Saturn

Callisto n
[a nymph attendant of Artemis, punished for a love affair with Zeus by being changed into a bear and slain by Artemis] : one of the moons of Jupiter

Calypso n
[L, a nymph who detained Odysseus on Ogygia for seven years] : a satellite of Saturn

Carme n
[fr. Gk, the mother, by Zeus, of Britomartis] : a satellite of Jupiter

Cassiopeia's Chair n
[L, fr. Gk Kassiopeia, the wife of Cepheus and mother of Andromeda] : the most conspicuous group of stars in the constellation of Cassiopeia, resembling the outline of a chair

Cepheid n
[ISV, fr. L Cepheus, Princess Andromeda's father] : any of a class of pulsating stars whose very regular light variations are related directly to their intrinsic luminosities and whose apparent luminosities are used to estimate distances in astronomy

Charon n
[Gk, the ferryman who conveyed the souls of the dead across the river Styx in classical mythology] : satellite of the planet Pluto

Deimos n
[fr. Gk Deimos, son of Ares and brother of Phobus] : one of two satellites of Mars

Dione n
[Gk, a Titanesse and consort of Zeus, sometimes believed to be mother of Aphrodite; later replaced as consort by Hera] : one of the satellites of Saturn

Elara n
[L, the mother of Tityus in classical mythology] : a satellite of Jupiter

Enceladus n
[L Enceladus, a giant thought to lie buried under Mount Etna after warring with the gods and being struck down with a great stone flung at him by Athena] : a satellite of Saturn

Epimetheus n
[L, a son of Iapetus and brother of Prometheus and Atlas; the husband of Pandora and father of Pyrrha] : a satellite of Saturn

Europa n
[L, a sister of Cadmus who was abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull and taken to Crete, where she bore him Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Sarpedon] : one of the moons of Jupiter

Galatea n
[fr. Gk, a sea nymph courted in vain by Polyphemus, who killed her sweetheart Acis in jealousy] : a moon of the planet Neptune

Ganymede n
[L Ganymedes, fr. Gk Ganymedes Ganymede, a beautiful youth carried off to Olympus to be the cupbearer of the gods in classical mythology] : the largest of Jupiter's moons

Hesperus n
[ME, fr. L, fr. Gk Hesperos, god of evening] : the evening star

Hyperion n
[fr. L, fr. Gk Hyperion, a Titan, the father of Helios, Selene, and Eos] : one of the moons of Saturn

Iapetus n
[fr. L, fr. Gk, a Titan, son of Uranus and Gaea and father of Atlas, Epimetheus, and Prometheus] : one of the many satellites of Saturn

Io n
[L Io, a maiden loved by Zeus and changed into a heifer so that she might escape Hera's wrath] : one of the moons of the planet Jupiter

Janus n
[L Janus, Roman god of beginnings who is represented artistically with two opposite faces] : a moon of Saturn

Juno n
[L Juno, the sister and wife of Jupiter] : the fourth largest and one of the four brightest asteroids in the solar system

Leda n
[fr. L, the mother of Castor and Clytemnestra by her husband Tyndareus, and of Pollux and Helen by Zeus, who was wearing the form of a swan] : a satellite of the planet Jupiter

Metis n
[L, a Titanesse, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and the mother of Athena by Zeus] : one of the moons of Jupiter

Mimas n
[Gk, one of the Gigantes, killed by Hercules] : one of the satellites of Saturn

Naiad n
[ME, fr. L naiad-, naias, fr. Gk, nymphs of classical mythology living in and giving life to bodies of water] : a moon of Neptune

Pandora n
[fr. L, fr. Gk: lit. all-gifted, the first woman, created by Hephaestus, given treacherously to Epimetheus along with a box in which Prometheus had confined all the evils of the world; as expected, Pandora curiously opened the forbidden box and thus released into the world all troubles of mankind] : a satellite of the planet Saturn

Pasiphae n
[fr. Gk, the wife of Minos, mother of Ariadne, and mother of the Minotaur by the Cretan bull] : one of the many moons of Jupiter

Perseid n
[L Perseus; fr. their appearing to radiate from a point in Perseus] : any of a group of meteors that appear annually about August 11

Phobos n
[fr. L Phobus, a son and attendant of Ares in Roman mythology] : one of two satellites of Mars

Phoebe n
[L, fr. Gk Phoibe, Artemis] 1 : one of the nine satellites of Saturn 2 : the moon personified, in literature

Phoebus n
[L, fr. Gk Phoibus, Apollo] Literary : the sun

Pleiades n
[fr. F Pleiade, fr. L, fr. Gk Pleiad-, Pleias, fr. sing. of Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas turned into a group of stars in Greek mythology] : a conspicuous cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus that includes six stars in the form of a very small dipper

Prometheus n
[NL, fem. of L Prometheus Prometheus, a Titan who is chained and tortured by Zeus for stealing fire from Heaven and giving it to mankind] : a satellite of the planet Saturn

Proteus n
[NL, fr. L Proteus, fr. Gk Proteus Proteus, a sea god in Greek mythology noted for his ability to assume different forms and to prophesy] : a satellite of Neptune

Rhea n
[L Rhea, mother of Zeus, fr. Gk] : one of the nine satellites of Saturn

Tethys n
[L, a Titanesse, daughter of Uranus and Gaea, the wife of Oceanus and mother of the Oceanids and river gods] : a moon of Saturn

Thalassa n
[fr. Gk thalass(a) sea, the personification of the sea in classical mythology] : a satellite of Neptune

Thebe n
[L, a daughter of Asopus and Metope who was abducted by Zeus] : a satellite of the planet Jupiter

Titan n
[fr. L, fr. Gk Titan, any of a family of giants born of Uranus and Gaea and ruling the earth until overthrown by the Olympian gods] : a moon of Saturn once thought to be the largest in the solar system

Triton n
[L, fr. Gk Triton, a son of the sea god Neptune and Amphitrite, represented as having the head and trunk of a man and the tail of a fish, and as using a conch shell as a trumpet] : the largest satellite of Neptune

Vesta n
[Vesta Vesta, Roman goddess of the hearth, worshipped in a temple containing an altar on which a sacred fire was kept burning by vestal virgins, akin to the Greek Hestia] : the third largest and one of the four brightest asteroids in the solar system

Creative Commons License
An Etymological Dictionary of Classical Mythology by Elizabeth W. Kraemer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Last updated 1/13/14