Naming of moons

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The naming of moons has been the responsibility of the International Astronomical Union's committee for Planetary System Nomenclature since 1973. That committee is known today as the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN).

Prior to its formation, the names of satellites have had varying histories. The choice of names is often determined by a satellite's discoverer; however, historically some satellites were not given names for many years after their discovery; for instance, Titan was discovered by Huygens in 1655, but was not named until 1847, almost two centuries later.

Before the IAU assumed responsibility for astronomical nomenclature, only twenty-five satellites had been given names that were in wide use and are still used: 1 of Earth, 2 of Mars, 5 of Jupiter, 10 of Saturn, 5 of Uranus, and 2 of Neptune.[1] Since then, names have been given to 137 additional planetary and dwarf planetary satellites: 52 satellites of Jupiter, 53 of Saturn, 22 of Uranus, 12 of Neptune, 5 of Pluto, 2 of Haumea, and 1 each of Eris, Gonggong, Quaoar, and Orcus. Names have also been given to some satellites of minor planets, including the dwarf planet candidates Salacia and Varda which have one satellite each. The number will continue to rise as current satellite discoveries are documented and new satellites are discovered.

At the IAU General Assembly in July 2004,[2] the WGPSN suggested it may become advisable to not name small satellites, as CCD technology makes it possible to discover satellites as small as 1 km in diameter. Until 2014, names were applied to all planetary moons discovered, regardless of size. From 2015, some small moons have not received names.

Naming of moons by Solar System object[edit]


Every human language has its own word for the Earth's Moon, and these words are the ones normally used in astronomical contexts. However, a number of fanciful or mythological names for the Moon have been used in the context of astronomy (an even larger number of lunar epithets have been used in non-astronomical contexts). In the 17th century, the Moon was sometimes referred to as Proserpina. More recently, especially in science-fictional contexts, the Moon has been called by the Latin name Luna, presumably on the analogy of the Latin names of the planets, or by association with the adjectival form lunar. In technical terminology, the word-stems seleno- (from Greek selēnē "moon") and cynthi- (from Cynthia, an epithet of the goddess Artemis) are sometimes used to refer to the Moon, as in selenography, selenology, and pericynthion.


The moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos) were named by Asaph Hall in 1878, soon after he discovered them. They are named after the sons of the god Ares (the Greek equivalent of the Roman god Mars).


The Galilean moons of Jupiter (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) were named by Simon Marius soon after their discovery in 1610. However, by the late 19th century these names had fallen out of favor, and for a long time it was most common to refer to them in the astronomical literature simply as "Jupiter I", "Jupiter II", etc., or as "the first satellite of Jupiter", "Jupiter's second satellite", etc.

By the first decade of the 20th century, the names Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto had once again recovered popularity, but the later-discovered moons, numbered, usually in Roman numerals V (5) through XII (12), remained unnamed.[3][dubious ] By a popular though unofficial convention,[citation needed] Jupiter V, discovered in 1892, was given the name Amalthea,[4] first used by the French astronomer Camille Flammarion.[5]

The other irregular satellites (discovered 1904 to 1951) were, in the overwhelming majority of astronomical literature, simply left nameless. No names were proposed until Brian G. Marsden suggested a nomenclature for these satellites in 1955.[6] Although the 1955 names met with immediate acceptance in some quarters (e.g. in science fiction[7] and popular science articles[8]), they were still rarely if ever met in astronomical literature until the 1970s.[9]

Two other proposals for naming the satellites were made between 1955 and 1975, both by Soviet astronomers, E. I. Nesterovich (in 1962) and Yu. A. Karpenko (in 1973).[10][11] These met no particularly enthusiastic reception.

In 1975, following Charles Kowal's discovery of the satellite Jupiter XIII in 1974 the IAU Task Group for Outer Solar System Nomenclature granted names to satellites V-XIII, and provided for a formal naming process for future satellites to be discovered. Under the new process, Jupiter V continued as Amalthea, Jupiter XIII was named Leda in accordance with a suggestion of Kowal's, and all previous proposals for the seven satellites VI-XII were abandoned in favor of new names, in accordance with a scheme suggested by the German philologist Jürgen Blunck where prograde moons received names ending in 'a' and retrograde moons received names ending in 'e'.[12]

The new names met considerable protest from some quarters. Kowal, despite suggesting a name for Jupiter XIII, was of the opinion that Jupiter's irregular satellites should not be named at all.[13] Carl Sagan noted that the names chosen were extraordinarily obscure (a fact that Tobias Owen, chair of the Task Group, admitted was intentional in a response to Sagan[10]) and suggested his own names in 1976;[14] these preserved some of the names from the 1955 proposal. Karpenko had noted the same in his 1981 book "The Names of the Starry Sky", along with stating that the names chosen for retrograde moons, and therefore the "e" ending, were not always the ones for which it was the more common one.[15]

The proposals are summarized in the table below (data from Icarus unless specified otherwise[10][14]):

Number 1955 Proposal
Brian Marsden[6]
1962 Proposal
E. I. Nesterovich[16]
1973 Proposal
Yu. A. Karpenko[11]
1975 Proposal
IAU Committee[10]
1976 Proposal
Carl Sagan[14]
Jupiter VI Hestia Atlas Adrastea Himalia Maia
Jupiter VII Hera Hercules Danae Elara Hera
Jupiter VIII Poseidon Persephone Helen Pasiphae Alcmene
Jupiter IX Hades Cerberus Ida Sinope Leto
Jupiter X Demeter Prometheus Latona Lysithea Demeter
Jupiter XI Pan Dedalus Leda Carme Semele
Jupiter XII Adrastea Hephaestus Semele Ananke Danae

Current practice is that newly discovered moons of Jupiter must be named after lovers or descendants of the mythological Jupiter (Zeus). Blunck's scheme for the outer moons was retained, with the addition that names ending in 'o' could also be used for prograde moons. At the IAU General Assembly in July 2004,[2] the WGPSN allowed Jovian satellites to be named for Zeus' descendants in addition to his lovers and favorites which were the previous source of names, due to the large number of new Jovian satellites that had then recently been discovered. All of Jupiter's satellites from XXXIV (Euporie) on were named for descendants of Zeus, until Jupiter LIII (Dia), named after another one of his lovers.


In 1847 the seven then known moons of Saturn were named by John Herschel. Herschel named Saturn's two innermost moons (Mimas and Enceladus) after the mythological Greek Giants, and the outer five after the Titans (Titan, Iapetus) and Titanesses (Tethys, Dione, Rhea) of the same mythology. Until then, Titan was known as the "Huygenian (or Huyghenian) satellite of Saturn" and the other moons had Roman numeral designations in order of their distance from Saturn. Subsequent discoverers of Saturnian moons followed Herschel's scheme: Hyperion was discovered soon after in 1848, and the ninth moon, Phoebe, was named by its discoverer in 1899 soon after its discovery; they were named for a Titan and a Titaness respectively. The name of Janus was suggested by its discoverer, Audouin Dollfus.

Current IAU practice for newly discovered inner moons is to continue with Herschel's system, naming them after Titans or their descendants. However, the increasing number of moons that were being discovered in the 21st century caused the IAU to draw up a new scheme for the outer moons. At the IAU General Assembly in July 2004,[2] the WGPSN allowed satellites of Saturn to have names of giants and monsters in mythologies other than the Greco-Roman. Since the outer moons fall naturally into three groups, one group is named after Norse giants, one after Gallic giants, and one after Inuit giants. The only moon that fails to fit this scheme is the Greek-named Phoebe, which is in the Norse group.


The Roman numbering scheme of Uranus' moons was in a state of flux for a considerable time. Sir William Herschel thought he had discovered up to six moons and maybe even a ring. For nearly fifty years, Herschel's instrument was the only one the moons had been seen with.[17] In the 1840s, better instruments and a more favourable position of Uranus in the sky led to sporadic indications of satellites additional to Titania and Oberon. Publications hesitated between William Herschel's designations (where Titania and Oberon are Uranus II and IV) and William Lassell's (where they are sometimes I and II).[18] With the confirmation of Ariel and Umbriel, Lassell numbered the moons I through IV from Uranus outward, and this finally stuck.[19]

The first two Uranian moons, discovered in 1787, did not receive names until 1852, a year after two more moons had been discovered. The responsibility for naming was taken by John Herschel, son of the discoverer of Uranus. Herschel, instead of assigning names from Greek mythology, named the moons after magical spirits in English literature: the fairies Oberon and Titania from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the sylphs Ariel and Umbriel from Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock (Ariel is also a sprite in Shakespeare's The Tempest). The reasoning was presumably that Uranus, as god of the sky and air, would be attended by spirits of the air.

Subsequent names, rather than continuing the "airy spirits" theme (only Puck and Mab continuing the trend), have focused on Herschel's source material. In 1949, the fifth moon, Miranda, was named by its discoverer, Gerard Kuiper, after a thoroughly mortal character in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Current IAU practice is to name moons after characters from Shakespeare's plays and The Rape of the Lock (although at present only Ariel, Umbriel, and Belinda have names drawn from the latter poem, all the rest being from Shakespeare). All the retrograde irregular moons are named after characters from one play, The Tempest; the only prograde irregular moon, Margaret, is named from Much Ado About Nothing.


The one known moon (at the time) of Neptune was not named for many decades. Although the name Triton was suggested in 1880 by Camille Flammarion, it did not come into general use until the mid 20th-century, and for many years was considered "unofficial". In the astronomical literature it was simply referred to as "the satellite of Neptune". Later, the second known moon, Nereid, was named by its discoverer in 1949, Gerard P. Kuiper, soon after its discovery.

Current IAU practice for newly discovered Neptunian moons is to accord with these first two choices by naming them after Greek sea deities.

For the "normal" irregular satellites, the general convention is to use names ending in "a" for prograde satellites, names ending in "e" for retrograde satellites, and names ending in "o" for exceptionally inclined satellites, exactly like the convention for the moons of Jupiter.[20]


Pluto and its five moons.[21]

The name of Pluto's moon Charon was suggested by James W. Christy, its discoverer, soon after its discovery.

The other four moons are named Hydra, Nix, Kerberos, and Styx.

Charon, Hydra, Nix, and Kerberos are all characters in Greek mythology, with ties to Hades (the Greek equivalent of Pluto). Charon ferries the dead across the River Acheron, Hydra guards the waters of the underworld, and Nix (a respelling of Nyx), mother of Charon, is the goddess of darkness and the night. Kerberos is a giant three-headed dog who guards the entrance to the underworld. The fifth moon is named for the river Styx that forms the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead.


The name of Eris's moon Dysnomia was suggested by its discoverer Michael E. Brown, who also suggested the name of the dwarf planet. The name has two meanings: in mythology Dysnomia (lawlessness) is the daughter of Eris (chaos). However, the name is also an intentional reference to the actor Lucy Lawless who plays the character Xena. The background for this is that during the long period when Eris had no formal name, the name 'Xena' – originally Brown's nickname for his discovery – spread and became popular. When the name 'Eris' was chosen, Brown suggested Dysnomia (which until then had been referred to as Gabrielle) as a reference to this.[22] Hence, Dysnomia is the only moon which could be said to be named after an actor. The names Eris and Dysnomia were accepted by the IAU on 14 September 2006.


The name of Haumea and its moons were suggested by David L. Rabinowitz of Caltech and refer to the mother goddess and her daughters in Hawaiian mythology.


When the discoverers of Gonggong proposed choices for a public vote on its name, they chose figures that had associates that could provide a name for the satellite.[23] Xiangliu's name was chosen by its discovery team led by Csaba Kiss.[24]


Quaoar was named after the creator god of the Tongva tribe. Brown, who had co-discovered both Quaoar and its moon, left the name of the moon up to the Tongva. The Tongva chose the sky god Weywot, son of Quaoar.[25]


On 23 March 2009, Brown asked readers of his weekly column to suggest possible names for the satellite of Orcus which he had codiscovered, with the best one to be submitted to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on 5 April.[26] The name Vanth, the winged Etruscan psychopomp who guides the souls of the dead to the underworld, was chosen from among a large pool of submissions. Vanth was the only suggestion that was purely Etruscan in origin. It was the most popular submission, first suggested by Sonya Taaffe.[27]

The Etruscan Vanth is frequently portrayed in the company of Charun (Charon), and so as the name of the moon of Orcus (nicknamed the "anti-Pluto" because resonance with Neptune keeps it on the opposite side of the Sun from Pluto), it is an allusion to the parallels between Orcus and Pluto. Brown quoted Taaffe as saying that if Vanth "accompanies dead souls from the moment of death to the underworld itself, then of course her face is turned always toward Orcus", a reference to the likely synchronous orbit of Vanth about Orcus.[27]

Asteroids and other trans-Neptunian objects[edit]

Unlike the planets and dwarf planets, relatively few moons orbiting asteroids have been named. Among them are the following:

Name of moon Name of primary Roman numeral
Dactyl 243 Ida I
Echidna 42355 Typhon I
Linus 22 Kalliope I
Menoetius 617 Patroclus I
Petit-Prince 45 Eugenia I
Phorcys 65489 Ceto I
Remus 87 Sylvia II
Romulus 87 Sylvia I
Sawiskera 88611 Teharonhiawako I
Zoe 58534 Logos I

Roman numeral designations[edit]

The Roman numbering system for satellites arose with the very first discovery of natural satellites other than Earth's Moon: Galileo referred to the Galilean moons as I through IV (counting from Jupiter outward), refusing to adopt the names proposed by his rival Simon Marius. Similar numbering schemes naturally arose with the discovery of multiple moons around Saturn, Uranus, and Mars. The numbers initially designated the moons in orbital sequence, and were re-numbered after each new discovery; for instance, before the discovery of Mimas and Enceladus in 1789, Tethys was Saturn I, Dione Saturn II, etc.,[28] but after the new moons were discovered, Mimas became Saturn I, Enceladus Saturn II, Tethys Saturn III and Dione Saturn IV.

In the middle of the 19th century, however, the numeration became fixed, and later discoveries failed to conform with the orbital sequence scheme. Amalthea, discovered in 1892, was labelled "Jupiter V" although it orbits more closely to Jupiter than does Io (Jupiter I). The unstated convention then became, at the close of the 19th century, that the numbers more or less reflected the order of discovery, except for prior historical exceptions (see Timeline of discovery of Solar System planets and their natural satellites); though if a large number of satellites were discovered in a short span of time, the group could be numbered in orbital sequence, or according to other principles than strictly by order of discovery. The convention has been extended to natural satellites of minor planets, such as (87) Sylvia I Romulus. The outer irregular satellites of Jupiter (VI through XII) were left officially unnamed throughout this period, although as stated above some unofficial names were used in some contexts.

From 1975 to 2009, the International Astronomical Union was assigning names to all planetary satellites, and Roman numerals were usually not assigned to satellites until they are named. (An exception is Saturn's moon Helene, which received the Roman numeral XII in 1982, but was not named until 1988.) During this period, the use of Roman numeral designations diminished, and some are very rarely used; Phobos and Deimos are rarely referred to as Mars I and Mars II, and the Moon is never referred to as "Earth I". However, since 2015 some moons have again been numbered without being named, starting from Jupiter LI.

The thirteen named satellites of Saturn from Aegir to Surtur were named in alphabetical order corresponding to their Roman numerals.

Provisional designations[edit]

When satellites are first discovered, they are given provisional designations such as "S/2010 J 2" (the 2nd new satellite of Jupiter discovered in 2010) or "S/2003 S 1" (the 1st new satellite of Saturn discovered in 2003). The initial "S/" stands for "satellite", and distinguishes from such prefixes as "D/", "C/", and "P/", used for comets. The designation "R/" is used for planetary rings. These designations are sometimes written like "S/2003 S1", dropping the second space. The letter following the category and year identifies the planet (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune; although no occurrence of the other planets is expected, Mars and Mercury are disambiguated through the use of Hermes for the latter). Pluto was designated by P prior to its recategorization as a dwarf planet. When the object is found around a minor planet, the identifier used is the latter's number in parentheses. Thus, Dactyl, the moon of 243 Ida, was at first designated "S/1993 (243) 1". Once confirmed and named, it became (243) Ida I Dactyl. Similarly, the fourth satellite of Pluto, Kerberos, discovered after Pluto was categorized as a dwarf planet and assigned a minor planet number, was designated S/2011 (134340) 1 rather than S/2011 P 1,[29] though the New Horizons team, who maintained that dwarf planets were planets, used the latter.

Note: The assignation of "H" for Mercury is specified by the USGS Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature; since they usually follow IAU guidelines closely, this is very likely the IAU convention, but confirmation is needed: there have been no moons found to be orbiting Mercury as of yet.

After a few months or years, when a newly discovered satellite's existence has been confirmed and its orbit computed, a permanent name is chosen, which replaces the "S/" provisional designation. However, in the past, some satellites remained unnamed for surprisingly long periods after their discovery.


The timeline only includes moons of the planets and the more likely dwarf planets. Ceres (no moons), Orcus, Pluto, Haumea, Quaoar, Makemake, Gonggong, Eris, and Sedna (no moons) are generally agreed among astronomers to be dwarf planets. Salacia and Varda are more controversial.

Pre-IAU names[edit]

The following names were adopted by informal processes preceding the assumption by the IAU of control over the assignment of satellite nomenclature in 1973.

Pre-IAU Names
Date Namer Name Image Planet/Number Designation Discovery date References/Notes
17th century
1614 Simon Marius Io
Io highest resolution true color.jpg
Jupiter I 1610 Marius (Simon Mayr), in his book Mundus Iovialis anno M.DC.IX Detectus Ope Perspicilli Belgici, names the Galilean moons, and attributes the suggestion to Johannes Kepler.
Jupiter II
Ganymede - Perijove 34 Composite.png
Jupiter III
Jupiter IV
19th century
1847 John Herschel Mimas
Mimas Cassini.jpg
Saturn I 1789 Herschel named the seven known satellites of Saturn in his book Results of Astronomical Observations made at the Cape of Good Hope, as reported by William Lassell, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 42–43 January 14, 1848
PIA17202 - Approaching Enceladus.jpg
Saturn II
Saturn III 1684
Dione in natural light.jpg
Saturn IV
PIA07763 Rhea full globe5.jpg
Saturn V 1672
Titan in true color.jpg
Saturn VI 1655
Iapetus as seen by the Cassini probe - 20071008.jpg
Saturn VIII 1671
1848 William Lassell Hyperion
Hyperion true.jpg
Saturn VII 1847 Lassell, following John Herschel's suggested scheme, names Hyperion Discovery of a New Satellite of Saturn, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 195–197.
1852 John Herschel Ariel
Ariel (moon).jpg
Uranus I 1851 Herschel named the four known satellites of Uranus in Astronomische Nachrichten, Vol. 34, No. 812, pp. 325/326, 21 June 1852 (communication dated 26 May 1852.)
PIA00040 Umbrielx2.47.jpg
Uranus II
Titania (moon) color, cropped.jpg
Uranus III 1787
Voyager 2 picture of Oberon.jpg
Uranus IV
1878 Asaph Hall Phobos
Phobos colour 2008.jpg
Mars I 1877 Hall named his two newly discovered satellites of Mars Phobus and Deimus: Astronomische Nachrichten, Vol. 92, No. 2187, pp. 47/48 14 March 1878 (signed 7 February 1878). The names were subsequently amended to Phobos and Deimos.
Mars II
1880 Camille Flammarion Triton
Triton moon mosaic Voyager 2 (large).jpg
Neptune I 1846 Flammarion suggested the name Triton in his 1880 book Astronomie populaire, p. 591. The name was considered unofficial for decades afterwards.
c. 1893 Camille Flammarion Amalthea
Jupiter V 1892 Flammarion suggested the name Amalthea in correspondence with discoverer E. E. Barnard. Barnard declined to propose any name, however, and Amalthea remained an unofficial name until its adoption by the IAU in 1975.
April 1899 William Henry Pickering Phoebe
Phoebe cassini.jpg
Saturn IX 1899 Pickering suggested the name Phoebe in A New Satellite of Saturn, Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 274–276, April 1899, by his brother Edward C. Pickering.
20th century
April 1939 Seth Barnes Nicholson declines to name satellites of Jupiter he has discovered (Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 51, No. 300, pp. 85–94, signed March 1939)
June 1949 Gerard P. Kuiper Miranda
PIA18185 Miranda's Icy Face.jpg
Uranus V 1948 Kuiper proposed the name Miranda in his report of the discovery, The Fifth Satellite of Uranus, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 61, No. 360, p. 129, June 1949.
August 1949 Gerard P. Kuiper Nereid
Neptune II 1949 Kuiper proposed the name Nereid in his report of the discovery, The second satellite of Neptune, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 61, No. 361, pp. 175–176, August 1949.
1 February 1967 Audouin Dollfus Janus
PIA12714 Janus crop.jpg
Saturn X 1966 Dollfus named Janus in a report of 1 February 1967 relating to its discovery (IAUC 1995: Saturn X (Janus)).

IAU names[edit]

The following names were selected through a formal process controlled by the IAU. Only in a few cases is the person who chose the name identified.

20th century[edit]

IAU Names - 20th century
Date Name Image Planet/Number Designation Discovery date References/Notes
7 October 1975 Himalia Cassini-Huygens Image of Himalia.png Jupiter VI 1904 IAUC 2846: Satellites of Jupiter. Also confirmed the name Amalthea.
Elara Elara - New Horizons.png Jupiter VII 1905
Pasiphaë Pasiphaé.jpg Jupiter VIII 1908
Sinope Sinopé.jpg Jupiter IX 1914
Lysithea Lysithea2.jpg Jupiter X 1938
Carme Carmé.jpg Jupiter XI
Ananke Ananké.jpg Jupiter XII 1951
Leda Leda WISE-W3.jpg Jupiter XIII 1974
1982 Thebe
Jupiter XIV 1979 Transactions of the International Astronomical Union, Vol. XVIIIA, 1982. Mentioned in IAUC 3872 (in 1983). Also confirmed the name Janus. Saturn XII was also numbered at this time, but left unnamed as "Dione B". In the 1982 announcement Thebe and Adrastea were mistakenly swapped.
Jupiter XV
Jupiter XVI
Epimetheus PIA09813 Epimetheus S. polar region.jpg Saturn XI 1980
Telesto cassini closeup.jpg
Saturn XIII
Calypso N1644755236 1.jpg
Saturn XIV
30 September 1983 Atlas
Atlas color PIA21449.png
Saturn XV 1980 IAUC 3872: Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn
3 January 1986 Prometheus
Prometheus 12-26-09a.jpg
Saturn XVI IAUC 4157: Satellites of Saturn and Pluto
PIA21055 - Pandora Up Close.jpg
Saturn XVII
3 January 1986 Charon
Charon in True Color - High-Res.jpg
Pluto I 1978 IAUC 4157: Satellites of Saturn and Pluto. James W. Christy announced the name Charon shortly after his discovery of the satellite in 1978, but the name remained unofficial until its adoption by the IAU in 1986.
8 June 1988
(numbered 1982)
PIA12758 Helene crop.jpg
Saturn XII 1980 IAUC 4609: Satellites of Saturn and Uranus
8 June 1988 Cordelia
Uranus VI 1986 IAUC 4609: Satellites of Saturn and Uranus
Uranus VII
Uranus VIII
Uranus IX
Uranus X
Uranus XI
Uranus XII
Uranus XIII
Uranus XIV
Uranus XV 1985
16 September 1991 Pan
Pan by Cassini, March 2017.jpg
Saturn XVIII 1990 IAUC 5347: Satellites of Saturn and Neptune
16 September 1991 Naiad
Naiad Voyager.png
Neptune III 1989 IAUC 5347: Satellites of Saturn and Neptune
Neptune Trio.jpg
Neptune IV
Neptune V
Galatea moon.jpg
Neptune VI
Larissa 1.jpg
Neptune VII
Proteus (Voyager 2).jpg
Neptune VIII
30 April 1998 Caliban
Caliban discovery.jpg
Uranus XVI 1997 B. J. Gladman, P. D. Nicholson, J. A. Burns, J. J. Kavelaars, B. G. Marsden, G. V. Williams and W. B. Offutt propose the names Caliban and Sycorax in their account of the discovery: Gladman, B. J.; Nicholson, P. D.; Burns, J. A.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Marsden, B. G.; Williams, G. V.; Offutt, W. B. (1998). "Discovery of two distant irregular moons of Uranus". Nature. 392 (6679): 897–899. Bibcode:1998Natur.392..897G. doi:10.1038/31890. S2CID 4315601.. IAUC 7132: Satellites of Uranus (The IAU appears to have adopted these names prior to those reported in IAUC 7479.)
Uranus XVII
21 August 2000 Prospero
Prospero - Uranus moon.jpg
Uranus XVIII 1999 IAUC 7479: Satellites of Uranus
Uranus - Setebos image.jpg
Uranus XIX
Stephano - Uranus moon.jpg
Uranus XX

21st century[edit]

For completeness, moons that were left unnamed upon their official numbering have also been included.

IAU Names - 21st century
Date Name Image Planet/Number Designation Discovery date References/Notes
22 October 2002 Callirrhoe
Callirrhoe - New Horizons.gif
Jupiter XVII 1999 IAUC 7998: Satellites of Jupiter
S 2000 J 1.jpg
Jupiter XVIII 2000
Jupiter XIX 2001 Spelled "Magaclite" in IAUC 7998; corrected 29 November 2002 in IAUC 8023: Satellites of Jupiter.
Jupiter XX IAUC 7998: Satellites of Jupiter
Jupiter XXI
Jupiter XXII 2000
Jupiter XXIII 2001
Jupiter XXIV
Jupiter XXV
Jupiter XXVI
Jupiter XXVII
8 August 2003 Autonoe
Jupiter XXVIII 2002 IAUC 8177: Satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus
Jupiter XXIX
Jupiter XXX
Jupiter XXXI
Jupiter XXXII
Jupiter XXXIII
Jupiter XXXIV
Jupiter XXXV
Jupiter XXXVI
Jupiter XXXVII
8 August 2003 Ymir
Saturn XIX 2000 IAUC 8177: Satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus
Saturn XX
Tarvos discovery.gif
Saturn XXI
Saturn XXII
Saturn XXIII Spelled "Suttung" in IAUC 8177; emended on 21 January 2005 in IAUC 8471: Satellites of Saturn.
Saturn XXIV IAUC 8177: Satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus
Saturn XXV
Albiorix WISE-W4.jpg
Saturn XXVI
Saturn XXVII Spelled "Skadi" in IAUC 8177; emended on 21 January 2005 in IAUC 8471: Satellites of Saturn.
Saturn XXVIII Spelled "Erriapo" in IAUC 8177; corrected on 14 December 2007 (USGS)
Saturn XXIX IAUC 8177: Satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus
Saturn XXX Spelled "Thrym" in IAUC 8177; emended on 21 January 2005 in IAUC 8471: Satellites of Saturn.
8 August 2003 Trinculo Uranus XXI 2002 IAUC 8177: Satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus
21 January 2005 Narvi
Saturn XXXI 2003 IAUC 8471: Satellites of Saturn
Methone PIA14633.jpg
Saturn XXXII 2004
Pallene N1665945513 1.jpg
Saturn XXXIV
30 March 2005 Hegemone Jupiter XXXIX 2003 IAUC 8502: Satellites of Jupiter
Mneme Discovery Image.jpg
Jupiter XL
Aoede Jupiter XLI
Thelxinoe Jupiter XLII
Jupiter XLIII 2002
Kallichore Jupiter XLIV 2003
Helike CFHT 2003-02-25 annotated.gif
Jupiter XLV
Carpo CFHT 2003-02-25.gif
Jupiter XLVI
Eukelade s2003j1movie arrow.gif
Jupiter XLVII
Cyllene Jupiter XLVIII
29 December 2005 Francisco Uranus XXII 2006 IAUC 8648: Satellites of Uranus
Uranus XXIII
Uranus moon 021002 02.jpg
Uranus XXIV
Uranus XXV
Uranus XXVI
Uranus XXVII
21 June 2006 Nix
Nix best view.jpg
Pluto II 2005 IAUC 8723: Satellites of Pluto
Hydra Enhanced Color.jpg
Pluto III
17 July 2006 Daphnis
Daphnis (Saturn's Moon).jpg
Saturn XXXV 2005 IAUC 8730: Saturn XXXV (Daphnis) = S/2005 S 1
13 September 2006 Dysnomia
Eris and dysnomia2.jpg
Eris I 2005 IAUC 8747: (134340) Pluto, (136199) Eris, and (136199) Eris I (Dysnomia)
3 February 2007 Halimede
Neptune IX 2002 IAUC 8802: Satellites of Neptune
Neptune X 2003
Sao VLT-FORS1 2002-09-03 annotated.gif
Neptune XI 2002
Laomedeia VLT-FORS1 2002-09-03.gif
Neptune XII
Neso VLT-FORS1 2002-09-03.gif
Neptune XIII
5 April 2007 Kore
Kore s2003j14movie circled.gif
Jupiter XLIX 2003 IAUC 8826: Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn
5 April 2007 Aegir Saturn XXXVI 2004 IAUC 8826: Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn
Saturn XXXIX
Farbauti Saturn XL
Fenrir Saturn XLI
Saturn XLII
Saturn XLIII
Saturn XLIV Spelled "Hyrokkin" in IAUC 8826; corrected on 31 July 2007 in IAUC 8860: Saturn XLIV (Hyrrokkin)
Saturn XLV 2006 IAUC 8826: Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn
Loge N00177425.jpg
Saturn XLVI
Skoll Saturn XLVII
Surtur Saturn XLVIII
20 September 2007 Anthe
Anthe crop.jpg
Saturn XLIX 2007 IAUC 8873: Satellites of Saturn
Jarnsaxa Saturn L 2006
Saturn LI
Saturn LII 2007
17 September 2008 Hiʻiaka
Haumea Hubble.png
Haumea I 2005
Haumea Hubble.png
Haumea II 2005
5 May 2009 Aegaeon
N1643264379 1.jpg
Saturn LIII 2009 IAUC 9041: New name/designation of satellite of Saturn (LIII), S/2008 S 1. (subscription only)
4 October 2009 Weywot
Quaoar-weywot hst.jpg
Quaoar I 2006 MPC 67220: New Names of Minor Planets
11 November 2009 Herse Jupiter L 2003 IAUC 9094: Designation and name assigned to S/2003 J 17 (the 50th satellite of Jupiter to be so designated and named): Jupiter L (Herse). (subscription only)
30 March 2010 Vanth
Orcus-Vanth 10801.jpg
Orcus I 2005 MPC 69496: New Names of Minor Planets
18 February 2011 Actaea
Salacia Hubble.png
Salacia I 2006 MPC 73984: New Names of Minor Planets
2 July 2013 Kerberos
Kerberos (moon).jpg
Pluto IV 2011 IAU1303 News Release
Styx (moon).jpg
Pluto V 2012
16 January 2014 Ilmarë
Varda-ilmare hst.jpg
Varda I 2009 MPC 86715: New Names of Minor Planets
7 March 2015 (unnamed)
2010 J 1 CFHT image.gif
Jupiter LI 2010 CBET (Central Bureau Electronic Telegram) 4075: 20150307: Satellites of Jupiter, March 7, 2015 (subscription only)
2010 J 2 CFHT discovery full.gif
Jupiter LII 2010
Dia-Jewitt-CFHT image-crop.png
Jupiter LIII 2000
9 June 2017 (numbered)
19 August 2019 (named)
2016 J 1 CFHT 2003-02-26 annotated.gif
Jupiter LIV 2016 MPC 105280: Numbering of Natural Satellites
Names Approved for Five Jovian Satellites
2003 J 18 CFHT recovery full.gif
Jupiter LV 2003
Jupiter LVI 2011
Eirene Jupiter LVII 2003
Philophrosyne Jupiter LVIII 2003
2017 J 1 CFHT precovery full.gif
Jupiter LIX 2017
5 October 2017 (numbered)
19 August 2019 (named)
Eupheme CFHT 2003-02-25 annotated.gif
Jupiter LX 2003 MPC 106505: Numbering of a Natural Satellite
Names Approved for Five Jovian Satellites
25 September 2018 (numbered)
3 October 2018 (named)
(unnamed) Jupiter LXI 2003 MPC 111804: Numbering of Natural Satellites
Name Approved for Jovian Satellite: Valetudo
Names Approved for Five Jovian Satellites
Name Approved for Neptunian Satellite: Hippocamp
Valetudo CFHT precovery 2003-02-28 annotated.gif
Jupiter LXII 2016
25 September 2018 (numbered)
19 August 2019 (named)
2017 J 2 CFHT 2003-02-26 annotated.gif
Jupiter LXIII 2017
2017 J 3 CFHT 2003-12-25 annotated.gif
Jupiter LXIV
Pandia CFHT precovery 2003-02-28.png
Jupiter LXV
(unnamed) Jupiter LXVI
Jupiter LXVII
Jupiter LXVIII
2017 J 8 CFHT precovery full.gif
Jupiter LXIX
Jupiter LXX
Ersa CFHT precovery 2003-02-24.png
Jupiter LXXI 2018
(unnamed) Jupiter LXXII 2011
25 September 2018 (numbered)
20 February 2019 (named)
Neptune XIV 2013
5 February 2020 Xiangliu
Xiangliu orbiting 225088 Gonggong (2010, cropped).jpg
Gonggong I 2016 MPC 121135: New Names of Minor Planets
1 June 2021 (numbered)
24 August 2022 (named)
Gridr Saturn LIV 2019 MPC 132212: Numbering of a Natural Satellite
Names Approved for 10 Small Satellites of Saturn
10 August 2021 (numbered)
24 August 2022 (named)
Angrboda Saturn LV MPC 133821: Numbering of Natural Satellites
Names Approved for 10 Small Satellites of Saturn
Skrymir Saturn LVI
Gerd Saturn LVII
(unnamed) Saturn LVIII
Eggther Saturn LIX
(unnamed) Saturn LX
Beli Saturn LXI
Gunnlod Saturn LXII
Thiazzi Saturn LXIII
(unnamed) Saturn LXIV
Alvaldi Saturn LXV
Geirrod Saturn LXVI

Other references[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Moon; Phobos and Deimos; Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and Amalthea; Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Titan, Hyperion, Iapetus, Phoebe and Janus; Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, Oberon and Miranda; Triton and Nereid.
  2. ^ a b c [1] Archived October 9, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Nicholson, Seth Barnes (April 1939). "The Satellites of Jupiter". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 51 (300): 85–94. Bibcode:1939PASP...51...85N. doi:10.1086/125010.
  4. ^ Barnard, E. E. (1893). "Jupiter's fifth satellite". Popular Astronomy (1): 76–82.
  5. ^ USGS Astrogeology Research Program, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature[2]
  6. ^ a b Marsden, Brian (1955). "Satellite Nomenclature". Journal of the British Astronomical Association. 65: 308–310.
  7. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1957). Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter. Doubleday & Co. ISBN 0-553-29682-5.
  8. ^ Asimov, Isaac (December 1963). "Roll Call". The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
  9. ^ Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia; Katherine Haramundanis (1970). Introduction to Astronomy. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-478107-4.
  10. ^ a b c d Owen, Tobias (September 1976). "Jovian Satellite Nomenclature". Icarus. 29 (1): 159–163. Bibcode:1976Icar...29..159O. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(76)90113-5.
  11. ^ a b Журнал "Земля и Вселенная" №6 1973 г
  12. ^ "IAUC 2846: N Mon 1975 (= A0620-00); N Cyg 1975; 1975h; 1975g; 1975i; Sats OF JUPITER". Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  13. ^ Kowal, Charles T. (December 1976). "The Case Against Names". Icarus. 29 (4): 513. Bibcode:1976Icar...29..513K. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(76)90071-3.
  14. ^ a b c Sagan, Carl (April 1976). "On Solar System Nomenclature". Icarus. 27 (4): 575–576. Bibcode:1976Icar...27..575S. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(76)90175-5.
  15. ^ Ю. А. Карпенко, "Названия звёздного неба", 1981. pp. 94-96
  16. ^ Nesterovich, E. I. (1962). "On some regularities in structure of systems of planetary satellites". Bulletin of VAGO (Astronomical-Geodetical Society of the U.S.S.R.). 31 (38): 51–56.
  17. ^ Herschel, J.; On the Satellites of Uranus, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 3, No. 5 (March 14, 1834) pp. 35–36
  18. ^ Lassell, W.; Observations of Satellites of Uranus, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 8, No. 3 (January 14, 1848), pp. 43–44
  19. ^ Lassell, W.; Letter from William Lassell, Esq., to the Editor, Astronomical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 33 (signed November 11, 1851), p. 70
  20. ^ M. Antonietta Barucci; Hermann Boehnhardt; Dale P. Cruikshank; Alessandro Morbidelli, eds. (2008). "Irregular Satellites of the Giant Planets" (PDF). The Solar System Beyond Neptune. p. 414. ISBN 9780816527557. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  21. ^ "Names for New Pluto Moons Accepted by the IAU After Public Vote". IAU Press Release. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  22. ^ Tytell, David (2006-09-14). "Tytell, David: All hail Eris and Dysnomia". Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  23. ^ "Astronomers Invite the Public to Help Name Kuiper Belt Object". International Astronomical Union. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  24. ^ Schwamb, M. (29 May 2019). "The People Have Voted on 2007 OR10's Future Name!". The Planetary Society. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Heavenly Bodies and the People of the Earth" Archived 2009-01-05 at, Nick Street, Search Magazine, July/August 2008
  26. ^ Michael E. Brown (23 March 2009). "S/1 90482 (2005) needs your help". Mike Brown's Planets (blog). Archived from the original on 28 March 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  27. ^ a b Michael E. Brown (6 April 2009). "Orcus Porcus". Mike Brown's Planets (blog). Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
  28. ^ Herschel, William (1 January 1790). "Account of the Discovery of a Sixth and Seventh Satellite of the Planet Saturn; With Remarks on the Construction of Its Ring, Its Atmosphere, Its Rotation on an Axis, and Its Spheroidical Figure. By William Herschel, LL.D. F. R. S". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 80: 1–20. Bibcode:1790RSPT...80....1H. doi:10.1098/rstl.1790.0001. JSTOR 106823.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2012-02-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)