Moons, galaxies, and stars are famous for having cool and interesting names inspired by mythology, fauna, literature, or other sources.

This is why many people look to the stars for inspiration when they are looking for names for their children, pets, or even to name characters in fiction.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the names of moons in the Solar system and where they get them from.

How do Moons get their names?

Moons within the Solar system are one of the few types of objects that still receive proper names when new ones are discovered. And surprisingly, they are still being discovered. New moons were discovered orbiting Saturn as recently as 2021.

Unlike stars or galaxies that only receive scientific designations these days because it would be hard to name the millions of them that are out there, Moons are scarce enough that astronomers still give them names.

The organization in charge of naming them is the International Astronomical Union formed by astronomers from many different countries.

Moons are named depending on their parent planet. Generally, they are characters from Greek mythology that are related in some way to the equivalent of the Roman god their planet is named after. But there are a few exceptions with Uranus being the most unique.

Mars – Named after the sons of the Greek god of war, Ares (the equivalent to the Roman god, Mars)

Jupiter – Named after descendants or lovers of Zeus (the Greek equivalent to Jupiter)

Saturn – Named after the Titans or their descendants. When those ran out giants and large creatures from other mythologies were used, for example, Jötunns from Norse mythology.

Uranus – Named after William Shakespeare’s or Alexander Pope’s characters

Neptune – Named after sea-related Greek deities or mythological characters

Remember that neither Mercury nor Venus have any moons.

The name of Earth’s Moon comes from the old English word Mōna which means month and also shares origins with the Latin word for measurement.

Moon names

We have compiled a list of all the natural satellites (moons) in the Solar system. It is ordered by the distance to the Sun of their parent planet.

Some of Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons have been discovered so recently that they have yet to be named so at the moment they only have a scientific designation. Others haven’t even been confirmed as satellites and are still being studied.

Some of these moons are so small that they can’t be seen with home telescopes and have only been discovered thanks to modern imaging techniques. Only about 20 moons in the Solar system – including ours – are large enough to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium which is what shapes big objects like planets spherical.

NameParent planetName meaning
PhobosMarsGreek god of fear and panic
DeimosMarsGreek god of dread and terror
IoJupiterAncestor to Perseus, Cadmus, Heracles, and Minos
EuropaJupiterMother of king Minos of Crete
GanymedeJupiterMale hero of Troy. Served as Zeus cup-bearer in Olympus
CallistoJupiterOne of the nymphs. Daughter of king Lycaon and one of Artemis followers
AmaltheaJupiterFoster-mother of Zeus
HimaliaJupiterNymph of the island of Rhodes. Had three sons with Zeus: Sparteus, Kronios and Kytos
ElaraJupiterMortal princess, daughter of king Orchomenus and mother of the giant Tytios.
PasiphaeJupiterQueen of Crete. Daughter of Helios and mother of the minotaur.
SinopeJupiterDaughter of Ares and one of the Amazons. It is believed the Turkish city of Sinop is named after her.
LysitheaJupiterMother of Heracles and Zeus. Daughter of the titan Oceanus.
CarmeJupiterMother of Britomartis, goddess of mountains and hunting
AnankeJupiterPersonification of necessity. It also means “constrain” or “force”.
LedaJupiterAetolian princess and later Spartan queen.
ThebeJupiterName used by a few of Zeus’ daughters. It is also the name of a city in central Greece.
AdrasteaJupiterGoddess of “inevitable fate”. Was in charge of nurturing and protecting Zeus.
MetisJupiterFirst wife of Zeus and mother of Athena.
CallirrhoeJupiterOne of the Oceanids (daughters of the titan Oceanus)
ThemistoJupiterDaughter of the river god Inachus.
MegacliteJupiterPrincess of the Locris region.
TaygeteJupiterOne of the Pleiades, daughter of the titan Atlas.
ChaldeneJupiterMother of the hero Solymos.
HarpalykeJupiterPrincess of Arcadia.
KalykeJupiterAlternatively written as Calyce. Thessalian princess. It is also the name of one of the nymphs.
IocasteJupiterNamed after Jocasta, daughter of king Menoeceus and wife of Oedipus.
ErinomeJupiterIn her story, Venus compelled her to fall in love with Jupiter to ruin her.
IsonoeJupiterOne of the Danaides. Zeus turned her into a spring after her death.
PraxidikeJupiterGreek goddess of punishment.
AutonoeJupiterTheban princess and eldest daughter of Cadmus.
ThyoneJupiterAlso known as Semele. Youngest daughter of Cadmus.
HermippeJupiterDaughter of Boetus. Had a son with Poseidon.
AitneJupiterThe personification of mount Etna
EurydomeJupiterAlso known as Eurynome or Euanthe. Mother of the Graces, goddesses of charm, beauty, goodwill, and creativity
EuantheJupiterSee above
EuporieJupiterAlso known as Euporia. Greek goddess of abundance.
OrthosieJupiterGreek goddess of prosperity and one of the Horae.
SpondeJupiterOne of the Horae (goddesses of seasons and time periods)
KaleJupiterOne of the Graces or Charities (goddesses of charm, beauty, goodwill, and creativity)
PasitheeJupiterOne of the Graces or Charities (goddesses of charm, beauty, goodwill, and creativity)
HegemoneJupiterOne of the Graces or Charities (goddesses of charm, beauty, goodwill, and creativity)
MnemeJupiterOne of the three original muses (goddesses of literature, science, and arts)
AoedeJupiterOne of the three original muses (goddesses of literature, science, and arts)
ThelxinoeJupiterOne of the three original muses (goddesses of literature, science, and arts)
ArcheJupiterOne of the muses
KallichoreJupiterOne of the nymphs
HelikeJupiterOne of the nymphs
CarpoJupiterDaughter of Zeus and one of the Horae (goddesses of the seasons)
EukeladeJupiterAlso written as Eucelade. One of the muses
CylleneJupiterA naiad (a spirit or nymph that hangs in rivers, lakes, streams or other water bodies)
KoreJupiterAlternativve name for Persephone, daughter of Zeus and wife to Hades which made her queen of the underworld.
HerseJupiterPersonification of dew. Daughter of Zeus and the Moon (Selene). Also known as Ersa.
S/2010 J 1Jupiter
S/2010 J 2Jupiter
DiaJupiterDaughter of Deioneus, wife of Ixion.
S/2016 J 1Jupiter
S/2003 J 18Jupiter
S/2011 J 2Jupiter
EireneJupiterPersonification of Peace. One of the Horae.
PhilophrosyneJupiterSpirit of friendliness and kindness. One of the Charities or Graces.
S/2017 J 1Jupiter
EuphemeJupiterGreek spirit of words of good omen, praise, and acclaims.
S/2003 J 19Jupiter
ValetudoJupiterRoman goddess of health and hygiene
S/2017 J 2Jupiter
S/2017 J 3Jupiter
PandiaJupiterGreek representation of the Moon. Daughter of Zeus and Selene.
S/2017 J 5Jupiter
S/2017 J 6Jupiter
S/2017 J 7Jupiter
S/2017 J 8Jupiter
S/2017 J 9Jupiter
ErsaJupiterPersonification of dew. Daughter of Zeus and the Moon (Selene). Also known as Herse.
S/2011 J 1Jupiter
S/2003 J 2Jupiter
S/2003 J 4Jupiter
S/2003 J 9Jupiter
S/2003 J 10Jupiter
S/2003 J 12Jupiter
S/2003 J 16Jupiter
S/2003 J 23Jupiter
S/2003 J 24Jupiter
S/2016 J 4Jupiter
S/2016 J 3Jupiter
S/2018 J 3Jupiter
S/2018 J 4Jupiter
S/2021 J 1Jupiter
S/2021 J 2Jupiter
S/2021 J 3Jupiter
S/2021 J 4Jupiter
S/2021 J 5Jupiter
S/2021 J 6Jupiter
MimasSaturnOne of the Gigantes (giants). Son of Gaia (Earth)
EnceladusSaturnOne of the Gigantes (giants). Son of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky)
TethysSaturnOne of the Titans. Mother of the Oceanids.
DioneSaturnOne of the Titans
RheaSaturnOne of the Titans. Older sister of Cronus.
TitanSaturnNamed after the Greek Titans
HyperionSaturnTitan god of observation. Father of Helios, Eos, and Selene (the Moon)
IapetusSaturnOne of the Titans. Father of Atlas and Prometheus. Also written as Japetus
PhoebeSaturnOne of the first generation Titaness. It means “shining” or “bright”. Original owner of the oracle of Delphi.
JanusSaturnRoman god of beginnings, duality, time, and doorways.
EpimetheusSaturnOne of the Titans. Brother of Prometheus
HeleneSaturnNamed after Helen of Troy. Granddaughter of Cronus.
TelestoSaturnPersonification of divine blessing and success. One of the Oceanids.
CalypsoSaturnA nymph who lived in the island of Ogygia
AtlasSaturnOne of the Titans. Condemned to hold up the sky for eternity after the Titanomachy
PrometheusSaturnOne of the Titans. Known for stealing the fire of the gods and gifting it to humanity
PandoraSaturnAlso known as Anesidora.It means “she who sends up gifts”
PanSaturnGod of the wild, sheperds, and flocks.
YmirSaturnAncestor to all the frost giants in Norse mythology. Also known as Aurgelmir, Brimir, or Bláinn
PaaliaqSaturnNamed after after a fictional shaman in the book The Curse of the Shaman
TarvosSaturnA divine figure of a bulle with thre cranes perched on its back
IjiraqSaturnShapeshifting creature in Inuit mythology
SuttungrSaturnA Jötunn (giant) in Norse mythlogy
KiviuqSaturnA hero in Inuit mythology
MundilfariSaturnFather of the Sun and the Moon in Norse mythology
AlbiorixSaturnNamed after a Gallic giant who was said to be “king of the world”
SkathiSaturnAlso known as Skadi or Skaði. A goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter, and the mountains
ErriapusSaturnA giant in Gaulish (Celtic) mythology
SiarnaqSaturnInuit goddess of the sea. Also kown as Sedna
ThrymrSaturnKing of the Jǫtnar in Norse mythology
NarviSaturnNamed after Narfi, a Jötunn (giant) in Norse mythlogy
MethoneSaturnOne of the Alkyonides, the seven beatiful daughters of Alkyoneus
PalleneSaturnOne of the Alkyonides, the seven beatiful daughters of Alkyoneus
PolydeucesSaturnAlternative name for Pollux, son of Zeus and Leda
DaphnisSaturnA Sicilian sheperd, descendant of the Titans
AegirSaturnPersonification of the tranquil seas in Norse mythology
BebhionnSaturnIrish goddess of birth
BergelmirSaturnA giant of Norse mythology. Grandsonof Ymir
BestlaSaturnMother of Odin
FarbautiSaturnFather of Loki
FenrirSaturnGiant wolf from Norse mythology
FornjotSaturnA giant of Norse mythology
HatiSaturnGiant wolf from Norse mythology. Son of Fenrir
HyrrokkinSaturnA female Jötunn (giant)
KariSaturnPersonification of wind in Norse mythology
LogeSaturnAlso named Logi. A fire Jötunn (giant)
SkollSaturnGiant wolf from Norse mythology. Son of Fenrir
SurturSaturnAlso known as Surt. Leader of the fire fire Jötunn (giants)
AntheSaturnIt means “flowery”. One of the Alkyonides, the seven beatiful daughters of Alkyoneus
JarnsaxaSaturnA female Jötunn (giant)
GreipSaturnA female Jötunn (giant)
TarqeqSaturnA lunar (moon) deity in Inuit mythology
AegaeonSaturnOne of the hekatonkheires, three giants of Greek mythology
GridrSaturnA female Jötunn (giant)
AngrbodaSaturnA female Jötunn (giant)
SkrymirSaturnMaster of illusions and master of castle ruler of the castle Útgarðr in Norse mythology
GerdSaturnWife of the god Freyr
S/2004 S 26Saturn
EggtherSaturnA Jötunn (giant) who raises wolves
S/2004 S 29Saturn
BeliSaturnA Jötunn (giant)
GunnlodSaturnA female Jötunn (giant)
ThiazziSaturnA Jötunn (giant). Father of Skadi
S/2004 S 34Saturn
AlvaldiSaturnA Jötunn (giant). Father of Thiazzi
GeirrodSaturnA Jötunn (giant) who was killed by Thor
S/2004 S 7Saturn
S/2004 S 12Saturn
S/2004 S 13Saturn
S/2004 S 17Saturn
S/2004 S 21Saturn
S/2004 S 24Saturn
S/2004 S 28Saturn
S/2004 S 31Saturn
S/2004 S 36Saturn
S/2004 S 37Saturn
S/2004 S 39Saturn
S/2006 S 1Saturn
S/2006 S 3Saturn
S/2007 S 2Saturn
S/2007 S 3Saturn
S/2009 S 1Saturn
S/2019 S 1Saturn
ArielUranusNamed after a character in Alexander Pope’s works.
UmbrielUranusNamed after the “dusky melancholy sprite” in Alexander Pope’s works.
TitaniaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream
OberonUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream
MirandaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
CordeliaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play King Lear
OpheliaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet
BiancaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew
CressidaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play Troilus and Cressida
DesdemonaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play Othello
JulietUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet
PortiaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice
RosalindUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play As You Like It
BelindaUranusNamed after a character in Alexander Pope’s works.
PuckUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream
CalibanUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
SycoraxUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
ProsperoUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
SetebosUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
StephanoUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
TrinculoUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
FranciscoUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
MargaretUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing
FerdinandUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
PerditaUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale
MabUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet
CupidUranusNamed after a charcter in Shakespeare’s play Timon of Athens
TritonNeptuneGreek god of the sea. Son of Poseidon
NereidNeptuneNamed after the Nereids, the sea-nymphs of Greek mythology
NaiadNeptuneNamed after the Naiads, spirts or nymphs of rivers, seas, fountains, etc.
ThalassaNeptunePre-Greek word for “sea” and its representation in mythology
DespinaNeptuneAlso known as Despoina. One of Poseidon’s daughter
GalateaNeptuneOne of the Nereids in Greek mythology
LarissaNeptuneNymph from Thelassy in Greek mythology
ProteusNeptuneShape-changing sea god in Greek mythology
HalimedeNeptuneOne of the Nereids in Greek mythology
PsamatheNeptuneOne of the Nereids in Greek mythology
SaoNeptuneOne of the Nereids. Associated with “safety” and “rescue” at sea.
LaomedeiaNeptuneOne of the Nereids in Greek mythology
NesoNeptuneOne of the Nereids in Greek mythology
HippocampNeptuneNamed after the mythological sea-horse creature
Moon names and their meanings

Names of dwarf planet moons

Some dwarf planets also have their own natural satellites and some of them have also received proper names.

(unnamed)2003 AZ84
S/2015 (136472) 1Makemake
(unnamed)2013 FY27

Other words and names that mean “moon”

  • Luna – The term used to refer to something that pertains to the moon is “lunar”. This comes from the Spanish word for “moon”, which is “luna”. It derives from the Latin word lūna. It is also commonly used as a girl’s name.
  • Cynthia – This name means “from mount Cynthos”. In ancient Greece, it was commonly associated with the moon.
  • Selene – Greek goddess of the Moon. Some variants like Selena or Serena are also commonly used in some countries. It is also sometimes used as a prefix to refer to something related to the Moon, for example, selenography is the study of the surface of the Moon.
  • Artemis – Greek goddess of the hunt. She was often associated with the Moon as well.
  • Diana – Roman equivalent of Artemis

Who named the moons?

Moons were usually named by their discoverer. For example, the Martian satellites Phobos and Deimos were named by the American astronomer Asaph Hall.

For a while in the 17th and 18th century, naming moons fell out of fashion. They were just refered to by the name of their parent planet with a roman numeral at the end. For example, Io was referred to as “Jupiter I”, Europa was “Jupiter II”, Callisto was “Jupiter IV”, etc.

As more moons were discovered, naming conventions started to be agreed to and that’s how all the satellites started to recieve names based on certain themeslike Uranus’ moons being named after Shakespeare’s characters and Saturn’s being named after Titans and giants.

Since the creation of the Planetary System Nomeclature in 1973, the International Astronomical Union is the organization in charge of assigning names to moons and any other celestial bodies.

List of names of other celestial objects

If you didn’t find the names you were looking for in this list, try our other lists of names for other celestial objects. Stars and constellations tend to have more interesting names than galaxies.


Elena is a Canadian journalist and researcher. She has been looking at the sky for years and hopes to introduce more people to the wonderful hobby that is astronomy.