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Naming Your Colony World

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I think I'm going to call it... "Bob".
Cale, Titan A.E.

So! You've left Earth and settled a new world? Good for you! Now comes the part where you name it. You might want to follow the traditions laid down by the settlers before you:

  • New Something: Take a place on Earth, any place at all. Now add "New" to the beginning. Great, you've named your world! Welcome to New Detroit! Or New Paris! New New York! New New New York! Why bother to be creative when you can steal somewhere else's name, and have Truth in Television on your side into the bargain — a lot of cities and landmasses use this very same convention in reality. A variation is to change "New" to "Nu", symbolizing gradual language drift phoneticizing the planet's name, or the use of other languages' words for new (i.e. Nova Tierra, Nouvelle-Terre, Neue Erde, etc.). Making the second word fancier adds cool points. For example, instead of "New Scotland", you use Gratuitous Latin to christen "New Caledonia".
  • Named the Same: If you're too lazy to even slap "New" on the front, just fully copy a name from Earth. Like the above, you will have truth in television on your side. And is anyone actually going to confuse Henan the province with Henan the planet light-years away?
  • Symbolica: Don't like naming it after places on Earth? Consider a symbolic name! Something nice-sounding like Bounty or Serenity will put the inhabitants in a good mood and celebrate the planet's fruits. Or you could name it something strong so as to show the universe you're tough, like Citadel or Thor.
    • If you do choose a symbolic name, be prepared for it to quickly become either heavily ironic, or eerily appropriate. Definitely don't name anything Icarus, because that myth involves him becoming too proud of his technology, blundering into a dangerous situation, having his technology break, and falling to death. If your floating city or space colony is named this, the fate it meets is likely to be... unpleasant.
    • Similarly, fiction is littered with planets called Hell, Hades, and similar names. They're usually called this for good reason. In many cases the original colonists were not there voluntarily, or didn't know what it was like when they left and couldn't turn back when they arrived (e.g. a Generation Ship or other one-way STL vessel). There are two cities named Hell in real life, but as far as we know those names are from other origins.
  • Mnemosyne: Can't think of anything original? Pick something random from mythology! Greek mythology is especially popular, but don't overlook the benefits of Egyptian, Norse, or even obscure Babylonian myths as a gold mine for planet names!
  • XK-37: Don't like word names? Random letters and numbers work well, too. When a colony's planet or moon only has a alphanumeric code, this hints that it has a low rank in the pecking order, because no one cared to give it a name beyond its classification number.
  • Numbered Homeworld: This combines the familiarity of a name with the simplicity of a number. Does the star your planets orbits have a name? If so, just count how many planets are closer to the star than yours. For example, your planet is the second closest to the star Polaris — name it Polaris-2. Its neighbours are Polaris-1 closer to the star, Polaris-3 on the other side, and so on. Or you can use Roman numerals: Polaris I, Polaris II, etc.
  • Starname: Even better, just use the star name for the planet as well, and forget the number. Or change the name slightly, like if the star is called "Alabazon", the planet can be "Alabazia". It certainly won't be confusing. If the planet is particularly important, you can always split the difference with Numbered Homeworld and add "Prime" on the end.
  • Egopolis: You have a great name of your own, why not use it for the planet as well? Thousands of years from now, your descendants will still be singing your praises every day on Planet Bob.
  • Namesake: If your own name doesn't seem fit for a planet, try someone else's. Show your appreciation for someone close to you, or honour someone famous (and capitalize on their good reputation).
  • Erehwon: The old standby, inspired by Samuel Butler's 1872 novel of the same name. The perfect descriptor for that little mudball out in the back of beyond via (nearly) Sdrawkcab Name.
  • Planet Shout-Out: Today's pop culture is the future's mythology, so why not name your planet after a creator, place or character of existing fiction? If you don't want to run the All Hail the Great God Mickey! angle, just say that the people who named the planet in-universe were also nerds.
  • Propagandica: Name your planet after something that will give good PR, like Richworld. Or flatter the guy who pays your salary. "Mr. Jones, sir, I've named the new planet Jonesworld to thank you for all your help!"
  • Appropriation: Turns out the planet's intelligent aliens already have names for it, and unless they're Starfish Language, no harm in using it?

Be warned that depending on the name you chose you might be Tempting Fate, leading to What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?

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See Numbered Homeworld and Egopolis for examples of planets named that way

Examples of "New" Planets

    Card Games 
  • Race For The Galaxy has a starting planet called New Sparta, and World cards called New Earth and New Vinland.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 
  • Titan A.E.: There's both a "New Bangkok" and "Earth" (which people insist on calling "New Earth", despite the fact that the original has been destroyed, so there's not much chance of confusion).

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Aeon 14: A justified Symbolica variant. Intrepid planned to settle the planet New Eden, orbiting 82 Eridani. When Eden is denied them by a Lightspeed Leapfrog courtesy of the Time Dilation through Kapteyn's Streamer, they name the star system they buy from the Transcend New Canaan, after the Biblical promised land. The rest of the system is similar: the main settlement is located on Carthagenote , and the other planets are renamed Tyre, Troy, and Athens.
  • Childe Cycle has New Earth around Sirius.
  • CoDominium has New Washington, New Chicago, New Utah, Novi Kossovo, New Scotland and New Ireland (the last two are in the New Caledonia system). Which is at least not so confusing, since the original Washington, Chicago, Kosovo, Scotland, and Ireland, were pretty much wiped out in a nuclear war centuries earlier.
  • The Eschaton Series:
    • The planet of New Muscovy, which includes the land of New Austria and the city of New Prague. There's also Novy Petrograd (New St. Petersburg), the capital of Rochard's World. These are mostly justified, since most of these planet's inhabitants were transported there suddenly.
    • The planets of New Dresden and Novy Kurdistan appear in the second book.
  • Hainish has New South Georgia and New Tahiti (AKA Athshe, its native name, and World 41), named after the archipelago that forms the bulk of its above-water landmass.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has New Betel.
  • Honor Harrington: There are plenty of "new" planets in the series, such as New Berlin and the city of Nouveau Paris on the symbolically named planet of Haven. New Dijon and New Geneva are also examples.
  • Humanx Commonwealth has New Paris and New Riviera.
  • The Hyperion Cantos have a few:
    • The planets New Earth, New Mekka, and New Harmony.
    • The capital of the Jewish colony planet Hebron is called New Jerusalem.
    • The New Tiber river on Pacem.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • Foundation and Earth: Alpha is known by the inhabitants as 'New Earth', they're descendants of the last humans to be evacuated from Earth.
    • The Robots of Dawn: Aurora, in the Tau Ceti system, was originally named New Earth, but as the Spacers and Earthers diverged, the colonists decided to rename themselves after the roman goddess of dawn. Their largest city is named Eos, the Greek name for dawn. The moons are called Tithonus I and Tithonus II, named after the Greek prince of Troy, and lover of Eos.
    • "The Mule": Neotrantor is the new capital of the (First) Galactic Empire after the sack of Trantor itself. Before becoming the new capital of the Empire, it had been named Delicass.
  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy:
    • Hamilton puts more thought into this than most. In his world, colonization of most planets is limited to a particular ethnicity (in order to prevent rioting and culture clashes), and so the naming tends to be based on the ethnicity of the colonists. He also flits between more than one standard. Thus, the planets of New California, Nashville and Yosemite are American-ethnic, Norfolk and Avon are English-ethnic, Kursk is Russian, Oshanko is Japanese, Garissa is Kenyan, and Kulu is...unclear.
    • Kulu is technicaly another example of this. The name is implied to be a distortion of Kowloon, building on the Saldana family's historical links to the New Hong Kong asteroid colony.
  • Lone Star Planet, by H. Beam Piper, has Capella IV, a.k.a. New Texas.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's stories include New Beginnings (Time Enough for Love), New Canaan (Tunnel in the Sky), New Mars (Starman Jones), the city of New Finlandia (Citizen of the Galaxy)
  • The Saga of Seven Suns: New Portugal.
  • Spaceforce: Earth is at the centre of a galactic union of about 1200 planets, which demonstrate the full range of colony world naming conventions. New Scotland and New Florida are mentioned.
  • Starplex, by Robert J. Sawyer, has Tau Ceti IV and Epsilon Indi III, otherwise known as New Beijing and New New York.
  • Star Wars: Star Wars Legends has New Alderaan, settled after the original's destruction, as well as New Apsolon, New Bornalex, New Cov and New Plympto.
  • Sundowner Sheila: Terra Nova.
  • Variable Star has Brasil Novo (New Brazil). The native-born Brazilians on the colony ship aren't very happy when other people start calling it "Bravo."
  • "With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama", by Richard A. Lupoff, features the (white) space warriors of New Alabama against the (black) settlers of New Haiti.

    Live Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • New Caprica, which itself has a city called New Caprica City after Caprica City, the capital of the old Caprica. The colonials were not especially gifted when it came to naming things.
    • In the series finale, the remaining survivors manage to find a habitable planet to settle on: the planet Earth.
  • Doctor Who
    • For their first adventures in his new incarnation, the Doctor takes Rose to a human city in the far future. Apparently after Earth was destroyed there was a nostalgia for Earth That Was, hence this trope.
      Rose: What's the city called?
      Doctor: New New York.
      Rose: Oh, come on.
      Doctor: It is. It's the city of New New York. Strictly speaking, it's the fifteenth New York since the original, so that makes it New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York.
    • There are also New Canaan, New Washington, New Alexandria, New Venus, and New Savannah.
    • The Daleks declare that Earth will become "New Skaro" at one point, but are obviously stopped.
  • Fireball XL5 has a New Earth.
  • Firefly has New Melbourne and New Canaan.
  • Stargate Universe gave us Novus (literally, Ancient for "new"), settled by an alternate timeline version of the Destiny crew.
  • Star Trek:
    • New (Earth, France, Gaul, Paris, Berlin, Manhattan, Providence, Reykjavik, Seattle, Sydney, Halana, Sahara, Siberia, Brooklyn IX and Bajor) all feature at some point or another. The first human interstellar colony, Eta Cassiopeia III, was also named Terra Nova.
    • Star Trek: Voyager. Captain Janeway and her Number Two Chakotay are stranded on an alien planet which they call New Earth. They're rescued before an Adam and Eve Plot can commence, so presumably the planet was renamed by whoever found it next.
  • Jon Stewart's proposal that "I think we might need a new planet." Possible names included Pluto II and Stewartitania.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 2300 AD: The city of Nuevo Angeles on Kwantung, after Los Angeles.
  • BattleTech: New Earth.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has a few, but none of them explain what the original place was (except New Badab, which replaced the Red Corsairs old homeworld of Badab).

    Video Games 
  • Civilization: Each civilization has a list of city names, but this list is always far shorter than the maximum number of cities you can possibly have on larger maps, so if you expand a lot, and reach the end of the list, the list would restart except it would put the word "New" in front of it. With 2 exceptions/Easter eggs: Instead of New Tokyo, the name Neo Tokyo is used, and in instead of New Istanbul, the name Not Constantinople is used. And just in case the "New" list is filled again, the list starts over appending a "-2" ("New York-2") to the city's name, then it starts over with "-3" ("Tokyo-3"), and so on.
  • Elite: New California.
  • Escape Velocity had a dozen planets named "New" something, most notably New England and New Ireland. Nova also has Neo New York, though that colony has long since been abandoned when the game starts
  • EVE Online has New Caldari. One wonders what happened to Old Caldari.
  • Freelancer: Capital planets are named this way, while all other planets don't have new prefixes. (See below).
  • Galactic Civilizations: In the backstory, the Iconians were driven off their homeworld when their AI servants turned against them. Their in-game faction is The Remnant, based on their former colony world of New Iconia, while Iconia is now the capital of the Absolute Xenophobe Yor Collective.
  • Halo has many, including New Caracas, New Constantinople, Newsaka, Terra Nova, and New Llanelli.
  • Mass Effect: The Bring Down the Sky expansion features the planet Terra Nova (Latin: "New Land" or "New Earth").
  • No Man's Sky has planets named New Eridu, New Digdigter, New Arion, and New Ventu, among others. One can only wonder what happened to Old Eridu, Digdigter, Arion, and Ventu.
  • Outpost 2: New Terra, even though it's much more similar to Mars. It does have one important similarity with Old Terra in that it gets blown up.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the Spiritual Successor to Civilization II, doesn't do "New X" when you use up your base name list, but the headquarters for the Lord's Believers is New Jerusalem.
  • StarCraft: "New Gettysburg", the big turning-point battle and the beginning of the end of the Confederacy of Man. One wonders why a faction calling itself the Confederacy that uses the Stars and Bars as its flag in a Terran society peppered with Deep South stereotypes would name (or not rename) a location named after the real-life counterpart's high-water mark.
  • The Starcraft II Wings Of Liberty campaign includes a mission on the prison planet New Folsom, presumably a nod towards the real maximum-security Folsom State Prison in California.

    Web Original 
  • Orion's Arm: The planets of the Beta Virginis system were named New Africa, New Asia, New Europe, New America, New Australia, New Antartica, New Luna, New Mars, New Jupiter and New Saturn by its first colonists. New Africa and New Asia were renamed Aiball Oh-one and Aiball Oh-oh after being settled by sapient machines, while New Europe was renamed Isoai after being conquered by the machines following a very badly-thought out war. (what the machines call them is not known); the other planets were all named other things over the centuries as well. Other examples include New Root, New Gaia, New Mars, Nova Terra (not to be confused with Terranova), New Montana, New Robinson, New Sol, New Daffy, New Vulcan and a lot of planets called New Earth.
  • The Pentagon War has asteroids named New France and New Mars.
  • Tech Infantry has several cases of this, including New Tokyo, New Paris, New Chicago, and New Madrid.
  • Void Dogs has Nova Hibernia, Nova Caledonia, and Nova Terra (which strangely enough is in the Sol system).

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers: Animated: New Kaon, named for a former Decepticon city on Cybertron.
  • Transformers: Prime, Megatron constructs another "New Kaon" on Earth at the end of season two. For some reason, it gets renamed Darkmount as soon as season three kicks off.

Examples of Planets Named for Actual Places


  • Adaptation. has Genoa and Texcoco.
  • The Black Corridor, by Michael Moorcock, has Munich 15040.
  • In "The Black Sheep of Vaerlosi" by Desmond Warzel, the name of the titular planet is, according to Word of God, a corruption of Værløse (a small Danish town), used for no particular reason except that the author liked the sound.
  • Childe Cycle has Ste. Marie, Freiland and Oriente.
  • CoDominium has Frystaat, High Cathay, High Shanghai, Danube, Deigo, Santiago, Domingo, Dalarna, Makassar, Levant, Meiji, Zanj, and, last but not least, Sparta.
  • The Demon Princes has the planets of Madagascar, Raratonga and Walpurgis.
  • Empire Star: Tyre.
  • Encounter With Tiber: The titular planet, Tiber.
  • Ender's Game: The broader series has Lusitania, Trondheim, Pacifica, Ganges, Moskva, Albion and Zanzibar.
  • The Eschaton Series has the planet of Moscow.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Planet Damogran has islands named Easter Island and France. This is lampshaded by Douglas Adams by mentioning that in Galacticspeke, "easter" means flat, small, and light-brown, which Easter Island is; the name France, whose meaning is not explained, is also an entirely meaningless coincidence. This is because one of the side effects of working on the Improbability-powered starship Heart Of Gold, which was built on France-the-island, is a whole string of entirely meaningless coincidences.
  • Honor Harrington has an example with the planet Montana. Which is also a Planet of Hats who act like stereotypical Montanans. There's also Casimir, Congo, Prague, San Martin, Zulu, Dresden, and Zanzibar.
  • Hyperion Cantos has a lot of these, since the series is essentially about humanity becoming stagnant despite moving to the stars: Maui-Covenant has mobile islands and intelligent dolphins, Tsingtao-Hsishuang Panna is populated mainly by Chinese and famed for its food, T'ien Shan is full of Chinese Buddhist temples, Fuji has its samurai businessmen, Hebron is the site of New Jerusalem, Qom-Riyadh has a Muslim population, Madhya is presumably Indian, etc.
  • Iota Cycle: Iota Horologii is orbited by Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa, America, and Antarctica.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • The Currents Of Space: Libair is mentioned as a planet with some of the galaxy's darkest-skinned people and takes its name from Liberia, a country in Africa, where humans tend to be naturally dark-skinned.
    • "The General (Foundation)": Loris is a region in the Four Kingdoms, under seige by General Riose. The region is named after Locris, a region of Greece (the province was established in prehistoric times and still existed until 2006), and appears again as Captain Pritcher's homeworld in "The Mule".
    • "Search by the Mule": Rossem, one of the planets under the control of Tazenda, is an exceptionally cold world, and populated only in the equatorial regions. The name itself is similar to both Russia (or "Rossiya") and to Rossum (or Rossum's Universal Robots). Dr. Asimov was an emigrant from Russia and wrote about robots.
    • Foundation's Edge: Sayshell, capital of the Sayshell Union, takes its name from the Seychelles islands on Earth in the Indian Ocean. References to ornamental script, bright clothing, spicy vegetarian foods, and meditation suggest the planet was deliberately named for their ancestral home. However, it should also be mentioned that the territory of the Sayshell Union (a nation) extends beyond the star system of Sayshell, and shares its name with the capital city and capital planet.
      "Sayshell City," he said, "the capital of the planet. City - planet - star - all named Sayshell."
    • "The Encyclopedists": Smyrno is one of the Four Kingdoms nearby Terminus. It takes its name from Smyrna, part of the original Roman Empire that the series is based on. Its role as a centre for the Christian Church in Real Life parallels the early fate of the Four Kingdoms.
  • Mikhail Akhmanov:
    • A variation in the Arrivals from the Dark series, where an Earth-like world found and settled by humans is named Gondwana after an ancient Earth supercontinent (the southern one). Basically, it's named after a place that used to be real.
    • Deliberately done in Akhmanov's Dick Simon duology where the various Earth nations, after the discovery of the Ramp, moved whole cities to newly-discovered habitable worlds, leaving Earth covered in enormous craters. Interestingly, when the US, Canada, UK, and Japan chose to move to the same world, they named their new planet Columbia in honor of Christopher Columbus, figuring he was there before Amerigo Vespucci. European nations call their new planet Europe and even named the four continents after old names for European places: Gallia (French), Iberia (Spanish), Teutonia (German), and Slavenia (Ukrainian, Czechs, and Poles). Russia moves to Russia, along with Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, India, and a dozen others. Most Asian nations went to China. Rich South American countries (including Brasil, Peru, and Argentina) went to Southmerica. The rest of the Latin American nations were sent to the less hospitable Latmerica, which continues to be the hotbed for wars and coups. Black-skinned Africans, and a few African-Americans forming the nation of New Alabama, went to a world they called Black Africa. Muslim countries split into three worlds: Ul-Islam (dominated by Iran), Allahu Akbar (mostly Arabs), and Seljukia (dominated by Turkey and Pakistan). Many other worlds were settled by smaller groups seeking independence: Manitou and Amazonia (Native Americans), Himalayas, Monaco, Kurdistan, Vasconia, Sicily-2, New Ireland, Tahiti, Singapore. And those are just the more important worlds, including the unimaginatively-named planets Galactic University (center of academic learning) and Firing Range (Space Police HQ). Overall, there are about 500 planets where humans are present, including a few worlds with natives, all by the end of the 21st century. Unsurprisingly, the most unstable worlds are Latmerica, Black Africa, Ul-Islam, and Allahu Akbar. All settled planets have Ramp stations, forming a Portal Network of sorts. The only planets that don't are prison worlds, garbage worlds, and Old Earth (cut off from the Ramp near the end of the Exodus).
  • Revelation Space has Yellowstone.
  • Thousand Cultures: Hedon.
  • In The Interdependency, the capital of the titular empire is on a lifeless rock known as Xi'an (in Real Life, it's the capital of Shaanxi Province in China). Two other colonies are also named Dalasýsla and Ponthieu.
  • Many colonies in The Lost Fleet are named after places on Earth: Glenlyon (a glen in Scotland), Kosatka (a village in Poland), Eire (the Irish name for Ireland), Adowa (a town in Ethiopia), Catalan (an ethnic group on the Iberian Peninsula), and Turan (a historic region in Central Asia).

    Live Action TV 
  • Andromeda has the planet Galena, which started out as a mining colony, switched to agriculture when the mines petered out, then to tourism when agriculture turned out to be not particularly profitable. This is also a capsule history of the town of Galena, Illinois.
  • Firefly has Londinium (the Roman name for London), Penglai, Aberdeen, Deadwood, Jiangyin, Regina, St. Albans, Athens, Kerry, Salisbury, and Whittier.

    Tapletop Games 
  • Twenty Three Hundred AD: Tau Ceti II and Epsilon Eridani II, otherwise known as Kwantung and Dukou, respectively. Also, Tiranë and Montaña.
  • FTL: 2448 has America.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has a planet receiving very little light from its sun, whose inhabitants have fallen so far behind in technology that the musket is still in use, while literary and cultural stunting is prevalent. The name of this misbegotten wreck, nicknmaed "the Blighted Planet"? Birmingham.

    Video Games 
  • Escape Velocity: Nova has Las Vegas.
  • Freelancer: Systems names like Pittsburgh, Houston, Leeds, etc. Most of the capitals follow the New Something rule, being named New Tokyo, New London, New Berlin, and Manhattan. Although Manhattan is in the New York system. Presumably, the capitals were the ones settled first (the hulks of the Sleeper Starships make up memorable skyscrapers on those worlds). After that, it would make sense that colonists far away from Earth wouldn't much care about adding "new" to all names.
  • Halo:
    • Arcadia colony appears in Halo Wars. Arcadia would also appear in a list of provinces in Greece.
    • Other examples include Dwarka (after the city in India), Venezia (after Venice), Aleria (after a French town), and Oban (after a town in Scotland).
  • Mass Effect: Many planets and systems are named after locations on Earth. Each cluster usually follows a pattern. The Artemis Tau cluster, for instance, has the Athens, Sparta, Knossos, and Macedon systems. The Maroon Sea has Caspian, Matano, and Vostok (lakes). The Voyager Cluster has Columbia, Yangtze, and Amazon (rivers).
  • Outpost 2: One of the factions named its colony Plymouth.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: A few of these show up. The only one you're terribly likely to see, however, is the University base Baikonur, named after the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan; this base name is the second on the University list and so will show up in any game where the University manages not to get destroyed within the first mission century. I suppose that's just what you get when you literally put a rocket scientist in charge of a faction.
  • In Stellaris this is the UNE's default naming convention for colonies. For instance you can end up with Tuscany orbiting Alpha Centauri.

    Web Original 
  • Tech Infantry has New Madrid, which in-universe is an example of "New Planet" naming as above. But the real reason it was named that was that the Midwestern people who wrote Tech Infantry named it for New Madrid, Missouri, and the earthquake-prone fault line that runs through it.
  • Orion's Arm: Audubon, Tierra del Fuego, Penglai and Danzig.

    Real Life 
  • Saturn's largest moon Titan, having a rich array of geological (Titanological?) features recently discovered, has a few of these:
    • Faculae — "bright spots" on the moon's surface — are (save one) named after islands on Earth that are not countries unto themselves (e.g., Crete Facula, Mindanao Facula, Oahu Facula).
    • The lacus and lacunae of Titan — hydrocarbon lakes and dry lake beds, respectively—are named after Earth lakes (e.g. Ontario Lacus, Jingpo Lacus, Eyre Lacunanote ). Bays (sinus in Latin) in both these and in the maria (hydrocarbon seas, named after mythical sea monsters) are also named after similar features on Earth (e.g. Moray Sinus, Puget Sinus).

Examples of Symbolically Named Planets

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

  • The Alliance/Union universe (of which the book is a part) also includes Glory, Thule, Eldorado, Venture, Esperance, Paradise and Fargone. Forty Thousand in Gehenna is set on the planet of the same name.
  • "Assumption" by Desmond Warzel makes brief reference to a planet named Gehenna.
  • Catteni: Botany, founded as a Penal Colony, is named after Botany Bay, the site of Britain's first penal colony in Australia.
  • Childe Cycle:
    • Harmony and Association were settled by several fundamentalist sects' the names were an attempt to try to ease tensions. It doesn't work.
    • Another example is Newton, and appropriately named technocratic planet.
  • Ciaphas Cain: Parodied; the series often gives grandiose-sounding Canis Latinicus names that are actually Bilingual Bonus jokes, e.g. Nusquam Fundimentibusnote  and the ice planet Simia Orichalcaenote .
  • CoDominium has the likes of Covenant, Haven, Arrarat, Friedland, Tabletop, and Xanadu.
  • In Confederation of Valor, the main character grew up on a colony called Paradise.
  • In The Cunning Blood, Zeta Tucanae I and II were nicknamed Longshadow and Hell, respectively.
  • Cylinder Van Troffa has Filia ("Daughter", in Latin).
  • Dragon's Egg: The title refers to a neutron star, so named because it first appeared beneath Draco, as if the constellation had laid an egg.
  • Ender's Game: The series includes the planets Path, Hijra and Divine Wind.
  • The Forever War: Forever Free has the planet Middle Finger. Whoever named that one had an weird sense of humour.
  • Foundation:
    • The main continuity includes Terminus at the edge of the galaxy itself, as well as Haven and Gaia/Galaxia.
    • Roger McBride Allen's Caliban trilogy, set in the same universe, ignores the stricture above about calling your planet "Hell". It's set on Inferno.
  • Furthest is set on a planet of the same name, which literally is the furthest from...pretty much anywhere.
  • The Gaea trilogy has Gaea.
  • A Game of Universe: The protagonist grew up on the mining colony Hades. It's well named.
  • Hal Clement's stories include Tenebra and Enigma 88.
  • Hellspark: The titular planet is purposely spelled as one word, specifically to cause ambiguity on how it's to be pronounced: either "Hell Spark" or "Hell's Park". It was originally settled by linguists, according to the planet's popular history.
  • The Heritage Universe, by Charles Sheffield, has Opal, Quake, Plesureworld, Iceworld, Deadworld and Sentinel Gate.
  • The History of the Galaxy series has the planet of Paradise
  • The Honor Harrington:
    • Hades (nicknamed Hell) is very aptly named. There's also Haven, which was originally a symbolic name but became far more ironic over time. Hope and Refuge also fit under this trope, as does the planet Torch, specifically named for its symbolic connotations.
    • There's also the planet Masada, home to religious zealots, which clearly derived its name from the Real Life Zealots' last stand in the Roman War Against the Jews in 70 A.D..
    • Other examples include Blackbird, Air, Flax, Lynx, Phoenix, Pontifex, Shuttlesport, Smoking Frog, Basilica, Marsh, Midsummer, Unicorn.
  • Humanx Commonwealth has Hivehom, the homeward of the insectoid Thranx, as well as Dawn, Willow-Wane, Midworld, Horseye, Longtunnel, Moth, Prism and Comagrave.
  • Hyperion Cantos: Renaissance Vector, Mare Infinitus, Garden, God's Grove, Nordholm, Heaven's Gate, Whirl, Madre De Dios, Esperance, Sibiatu's Bitterness (a.k.a. Inevitable Grace), Nevermore (which is apparently in perpetual twilight)...
  • In The Mouth Of The Whale, by Paul J. McAuley, has a planet called Whale's Mouth, referencing the star Fomalhaut in the constellation Piscis Austrinus.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • "The Mule": Delicass is the name of Neotrantor in the Back Story of the collapsing Empire. The planet used to be one of twenty worlds that supplied Trantor with food on a daily basis. Delicass evokes the word delicacy, a type of food.
    • The Currents Of Space: Florina, the planet of "kyrt" plants, is presumably covered in the "little flowers" of the plants, because it is their primary export.
    • Foundation's Edge: Gaia's name, by way of the Gaia hypothesis, is derived from Gaia, the Greek goddess who personified the Earth and is the ancestral mother of all life. Both planet and star share the same name, and the name Gaia was chosen to symbolize its planetary consciousness.
    • "The Traders": Glyptal IV is briefly mentioned as a planet within the Foundation's sphere of trading/mail, where Les Gorm was given the job of delivering a message to Ponyets. The Greek word glyptos means carving or engraving, as in writing.
    • "The Mule": Haven is the system that the protagonists escape to when "Part 1" ends and the Mule conquers Terminus. It (briefly) serves as a home base against the Mule's military, but they are eventually invaded as well, and the protagonists must escape again.
    • Prelude to Foundation: Helicon, homeworld of Hari Seldon, shares its name with a mountain from Greece (and Greek Mythology). In myth, the mountain is host to the Muses. This can also be seen as symbolic, as Seldon is the "poet" inspired to create psychohistory and the Seldon Plan.
    • Foundation and Earth: Melpomenia is named for Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy. Its tragic ending is that it was rendered uninhabitable for humans due to radical climate change; the only life form able to survive that was a carbon dioxide feeding 'moss'.
    • The Stars, Like Dust: Nephelos, one of the planets conquered by the Tyranni, is named to evoke the term Nephilim, a Hebrew word for "the fallen". The planet has fallen to the Tyrants.
    • ''The Foundation Trilogy": Since "Foundation (1942)", Terminus has been the capital panet of the (First) Foundation. It is given this name because it is the furthest habitable planet from the galactic core, the 'terminus' of the galaxy. It also shares its name with the Roman god of boundary stones and property disputes.
    • The Stars, Like Dust: Tyrann is a planet named to evoke the terms tyrant and tyranny, with a Greek root that is equivalent to Emperor. The Tyranni are conquering the planets within and nearby the Horsehead Nebula.
  • Jack Vance:
    • Big Planet has the titular (not very imaginatively named) planet.
    • The Demon Princes: The Rigel Concourse includes Barleycorn, Chrysanthe, Elfland, Goshen, Hardacres, Image, Lyonesse, Nowhere, Somewhere, Tantamount, Unicorn, Xion and Ys.
  • Jacob's Ladder Trilogy: The crew of the Jacob's Ladder call their destination planet "Grail", because it's the goal of their long quest and because Jacob Dust gave the ship medieval-Arthurian storybook stylings.
  • Known Space has Wunderland, Hearth, Home, We Made It (with its capital city Crashlanding), Primary, Jinx, Plateau, Cue Ball, Canyon, Down, Sheathclaws, and Silvereyes.
    • People from We Made It are referred to as "Crashlanders". See if you can guess why!
    • Because of its thick Venus-like atmosphere, Plateau is uninhabitable apart from a single mountain, 40 kilometres high, with the colony huddled on its flat top. That is obviously how the planet got its name, but the mountain itself is named for the remark by the captain of the first colony ship when he spotted it, after cruising around for hours looking for a landing site: Mount Lookitthat.
    • Canyon used to be named Warhead, until the military base there got taken out by the Wunderland Peacemaker, and is now named after its new geographic feature, a giant canyon roughly the size of Baja California.
    • Silvereyes is home to large fields of "sunflowers", plants that reflect and concentrate sunlight into deadly beams to burn away competing vegetation, grazers, diseased fellows and anything that comes in their vicinity. These are large enough to be visible from space, and resemble giant, silvery eyes.
  • Mirabile is about a colony world of that name; it means "wonderful" or "marvelous" in Latin and Italian.
  • Mostly Harmless has NowWhat and its capital OhWell.
  • The Noon Universe has Ark, Hope, Pandora and Rainbow.
  • Peter F. Hamilton:
  • Revelation Space has lots of these : Diadem, Sky's Edge, Haven, Grand Teton, Spindrift, Turqoise, Resurgam ("resurgent/re-emergeant")...
  • Rocheworld: The titular "world" is a pair of planets called Roche ("Rock", in French) and Eau ("Water"). One of the sequels involves the planet Gargantua.
  • The Saga of Seven Suns: Corvus Landing, Palisade, Rendezvous, Hurricane Depot, Sunshine, Happiness.
  • In Spaceforce's United Worlds of Earth, the older colony worlds were given 'cheesy' names like Hope, Inspiration and Horizon.
  • Space Prison: Ragnarok.
  • Star Carrier: All three of the extrasolar colonies visited series use this version for their local names. (Their navigation names fall under Numbered Homeworld instead.
    • Eta Boötis IV's local name, "Al Haris al Sama", means "Guardian of Heaven" in Arabic.
    • 70 Ophiuchi is orbited by a garden world named Osiris, after the Egyptian deity.
    • 36 Ophiuchi A is orbited by a proto-garden world dubbed Arianrhod after a figure from Celtic Mythology, specifically the Mabinogion.
  • Starling has Empyrean, a name meaning "belonging to or deriving from heaven", populated by a race of bird-like people.
  • Star Wars: Star Wars Legends has Bastion, Despayre (a prison planet), Foundry and Necropolis.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's stories include such worlds as Faraway, Sanctuary, Sheol, Inferno, Whistle Stop, Far-Star, Ultima Thule, Heavenly Mountains, Thule, Blessed, Felicity and Landfall.
  • The Unteleported Man, by Philip K. Dick, has Whale's Mouth, , referencing the star Fomalhaut in the constellation Piscis Austrinus.
  • In Uplift, two of humans' first extrasolar colonies are named NuDawn and Atlast. (After making contact with Galactic Civilization and acquiring later planets legally, humans tend to use the names aliens had already given them.)
  • Utopia: Older Than Steam: The original Utopia was named because it literally means both "nowhere" (outopia) and a "good place" (eutopia) in Greek.
  • Xenogenesis: While not the name of one planet, but of towns in recolonized Earth, it's remarked that quite a large number of new settlements are named "Phoenix" because everyone thought it would be symbolic and original.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andromeda: Acheron, Halcyon, Serendipity
  • Blake's 7: Destiny, Goth, Horizon (a planet on the edge of the galaxy, used as a jumping off point for exploring the next galaxy), Albion, Obsidian (which has a supervolcano), Teal, Spaceworld, Ultraworld, Freedom City, Space City, Terminal, Star One (a single planet orbiting a star). In "City At The Edge Of The World", Vila discovers a new world suitable for colonization, and there's a joking debate over whether to call it Homeworld or Vilaworld.
  • Doctor Who universe — Anathema, Arcadia, Heaven, Hell, Eden, Oblivion, Sheol.
  • Fireball XL5 does this by way of puns: Amazonia, Aridan, Conva, Granatoid, Herbos, Magneton, Minerra, Platonia, and Triad.
  • Firefly: Haven, Shadow, Hope, Angel, Beaumonde, Lilac, Triumph, Whitefall, Greenleaf, Harvest, Highgate, Newhall, Silverhold, Three Hills, Verbena, and — of course — Serenity
  • Star Trek: Babel, Eden, Gaia, Genesis, Gideon, Haven, Hell, Parliament, Tantalus, Ultima Thule.
  • Space: Above and Beyond: Anvil.
  • The colony ship in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy was named Terra Venture.
  • Stargate SG-1 has an In-Universe use of this when the three superpowers of Jonas Quinn's homeworld name the planet Langara after a word found in all three of their ancient languages, in order to be symbolic of planetary unity. It was chosen by committee. (Out of universe, it's named afer a college in Vancouver.)
  • Stargate Universe: The Icarus Base, which of course gets blown up in the pilot. One imagines General Jack O'Neill, the Deadpan Snarker former lead of SG-1, carving somebody a new one for jinxing the project.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 2300 AD: Sheol, Limbes ("Limbo" in French).
  • Rifts one of the parallel universes has a planet named Wormwood.
  • The Starfinder adventure path "Horizons in the Vast" takes place on a planet newly colonized by a collaboration between the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium, named "New Harmony." It's up to the players as administrators of one of the settlements as to whether it lives up to its name.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • No one has any idea in what universe it was a good idea to name a planet Armageddon. No matter the Imperium has been fighting so many wars against the orks on this planet that Armageddon has come to mean "paradise" in Ork.
    • One planet home to vicious giant spiders received its name from the punctuated transmission of one of the Space Marines deployed to its surface:
      This. World. Is. Murder.
    • One industrial world was originally know as Mordax by its human owners, but the orks took over and gave it a name better suited to its specific industry: Moredakka.
    • Abandoned Hope: Whatever's on it, the Inquisition has blocked off all access.
    • Archipelaga, a world mostly covered by water.
    • Cinderus IX, whose minerals are used in producing the Titan-killing Volcano Cannon.
    • The planet Eldritch, which used to belong to the C'tan-serving Necrons, now a dead world after being subject to Exterminatus.
    • Firestorm, a Death World home to a Space Marine Chapter.
    • Fortress, a... fortress world.

    Video Games 
  • A Blurred Line gives us Paradise.
  • Elite: Eden, Discovery, Merlin.
    • And until it was discovered during playtesting and hastily Dummied Out, Arse. This was a complete accident arising from the game's then-groundbreaking use of Procedural Generation out-of-universe, and we can only speculate as to what the Watsonian explanation for calling a newly-discovered planet that would have been.
  • Escape Velocity: Nova: Nirvana, Gem, Snowmelt, Diva.
  • Halo features a number of symbolic planet names, the most prominent being Reach (the first extrasolar human colony) and Harvest (an extremely fertile agricultural colony). Others include Tribute, Circumstance, Threshold, Basis, and Onyx. A number of Covenant worlds have this too, such Weeping Shadows of Sorrow, the prison planet; in fact, a number of Elite worlds in particular translate to this type, e.g. Malurok = "Decided Heart".
  • Homeworld: The artefact that proves that the planet's population are descended from Ancient Astronauts has a star-map etched on it, with their language's word for "home" (Hiigara) above a particular set of coordinates. Whether this is what their ancestors actually called it when they lived there is never stated outright, but the name "Hiigara" sticks. The manual for Homeworld II implies that this was indeed the name of the planet.
  • Mass Effect: The intro mission in Mass Effect takes place on a colony planet named Eden Prime. Come to that, Eden Prime is in the Utopia system, and all the planets of that system have some sort of symbolism to them (i.e., Arcadia, Eden Prime, Zion, Nirvana, and Xanadu).
  • Nexus: The Jupiter Incident has the Noah colony, founded by the people aboard the Noah's Ark colony ship.
  • Outpost 2: One of the factions named their colony Eden. The other, breakaway faction decided on the equally symbolic but more down-to-earth "Plymouth". Both these names end up being quite appropriate in their own ways, as the single-player campaign ends with the player's faction being forced off the planet in a spaceship. Especially "Eden", given that it was their faction who got everyone into this mess when their terraforming technology went Grey Goo and ultimately destroyed the planet.
  • Pirate Galaxy: Axiom.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Most base names have some connection to the faction's ideology (and if they were founded as a land-base or a sea-base):
    • Gaian bases mostly have suitably environmental names, like "Velvetgrass Point" and "Song of Planet."
    • Spartan bases generally have names that would do the NRA and Robert A. Heinlein proud: Fort Liberty, Commander's Keep, and Blast Rifle Crag being among the more memorable.
    • The Believers tend to have names with a definite Biblical ring to them: besides New Jerusalem (the Headquarters), there's Far Zion, Sanctity Base, He Walked On Water, Loaves and Fishes...
    • The University, by contrast, has names that often sound like research installations (often dual Russian and English) or university departments: Bibliotyek Letters, Bibliotyek Science, Gagarin Memorial, Zarya Sunrise (after the Russian module of the ISS!), Oceanographic Lab...
    • The Morganites name their bases like corporate subsidiaries: Morgan Industries, Morgan Robotics, Morgan Cybernetics (I think), Morgan Transport, Morgan Bank, Morgan Collections, Morgan Hydrochemical...
    • The Peacekeepers, who regard themselves as the continuation of the United Nations mandate to settle Planet, also have a theme in that everything is "UN [Something Human Rightsy/Bureaucratic]," like UN Equality Village.
    • Hive bases all have names that seem to be pulled out of a strange mishmash of Mao's China (not just Red China, but Mao's specifically), Taoist philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche, and 1984. Great Collective, Huddling of the People, Fecundity Tower (yeah...), Sea Collective, and, of course, The Hive.
    • This continues in the Expansion Pack with the new factions:
      • The Cybernetic Consciousness names bases with the "[Greek letter] [some other word]" template (e.g. Alpha Prime, Delta Trench, Omicron Quadrangle).
      • The Free Drones name their bases after the ideas of liberation and worker equality (e.g. Free Drone Central, Worker's Paradise, Chainlink Break).
      • The Nautilus Pirates, naturally, use nautical names for both land and sea bases (being a sea-based faction, they have more sea base names than others). Examples: Deadman Tavern, Landlubber Inn, Safe Haven, Cutlass Cay, Port Svensgaard.
      • The Cult of Planet are another religious faction (except non-Christian), and their base names reflect that: Dawn of Planet, Seers of Chiron, Planetvision Gate, Ark of the Edicts.
      • The Data Angels have, for the most part, Cyberpunk-related base names: Data DeCentral, Gibson Base, Trojan Source, Stack Heap, Tears in Rain.
      • The Planetary Caretakers, being aliens, have strange-sounding names that, nevertheless, carry their point of keeping Planet from Transcending in memor of their destroyed homeworld (e.g. Tau Ceti Memory, Hymn : Modulation, Adapt to Live, Home : Hearth.
      • The Planetary Usurpers are the other side of the coin, being warriors by nature they have appropriate base names (e.g. Courage : To Question, Strafing Run, Tusk and Claw, Salt : Wound, Tau Ceti Mantle).
  • Silicon Dreams: The Snowball 9 was travelling the the planet Eden.
  • Star Control II: Gaia.
  • Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri: NewHope.
  • Xenosaga's Michtam was formerly named Abraxas, which is a representation of the driving force of individuation, which is of thematic importance to the plot.

  • Outsider: The human colony worlds orbiting Tau Ceti and 82 Eridani are named Aldea and Esperanza, respectively, meaning "Vilage" and "Hope" in Spanish.

    Web Original 
  • Orion's Arm: Twilight, the oceanic world of Pacifica, Arcadia, Fons Luminis, Silence, Halcyon, Atlantis, Ecotopia, Felicidade, Trees, Newlife, Newhope, Root, Metropolis.
  • Tech Infantry has Avalon, a paradise of a planet thanks to liberal application of Life Magic, and the new capital of the Earth Federation after Earth itself is destroyed.

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers has had many that also count as Punny Names: Athenia, Beest, Combatron, Dread, Eurythma, Gigantion, Goo, Greengard, Hive, Hub, Junk, Master, Methuselah, Micro, Monacus, Paradise, Vehicon, Velocitron, Wednesday...

Examples of Mythologically-Named Planets

    Comic Books 


  • In Arrivals from the Dark, two of the first human extrasolar colonies are named Baal and Astarte.
  • The Childe Cycle has Mara, named after the Buddhist equivalent of Satan. In-universe, the name was a holdover from when the Exotics were the Chantry Guild, specifically occultists. Possibly Zombri, which is close enough to "Zombie".
  • Chthon: The titular planet.
  • CoDominium has Krishna.
  • The Demon Princes has Jezebel.
  • Deucalion has the titular planet, while its capital New Geneva is an example of New Something naming.
  • Ender's Game has Eros.
  • The Expanse: The Ganymedan refugees who establish humanity's first exosolar colony name their planet "Ilus", in contrast to the later colonists from Earth who refer to it as "New Terra".
  • H. Beam Piper's Terro-Human Future History goes this route, (Uller, Niflheim, and Zarathustra being some of the most noticable) reserving Greek and Roman names for the Solar System. Then they gave up on it because they were running out of names.
  • Heorot: Tau Ceti IV, a.k.a. Avalon.
  • In The History of the Galaxy, the first Lost Colony attacked by the Earth Alliance is named Dabog.
  • The Honor Harrington series is full of Mnemosyne names like Manticore, Sphinx, Medusa, Hades (nicknamed Hell, see symbolic names), and Gryphon. There's also Beowulf and Grendelsbane. Some other mythological names include Asgard, Durandel, and Enki.
  • Humanx Commonwealth has Annubis (sic).
  • Hyperion Cantos:
    • Hyperion itself. Also one of its cities, Endymion. Plus, during the last book, several Ouster colonies are given symbolic names by the Pax for the seven deadly sins: Belphegor (sloth), Leviathon (envy), Beelzebub (gluttony), Satan (anger), Asmodeus (lechery), Mammon (avarice) and Lucifer (pride).
    • Lusus, Ixion, and Parvati are also examples.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • The Robots of Dawn: Aurora, in the Tau Ceti system, was originally named New Earth, but as the Spacers and Earthers diverged, the colonists decided to rename themselves after the Roman goddess of dawn. Their largest city is named Eos, the Greek name for the goddess of dawn. The moons are called Tithonus I and Tithonus II, named after the Greek prince of Troy, and lover of Eos.
    • Robots and Empire: Euterpe, Spacer world that Gladia Delmarre once visited. It takes its name from the Greek Muse of music.
    • Foundation's Edge: Gaia's name, by way of the Gaia hypothesis, is derived from Gaia, the Greek goddess who personified the Earth and is the ancestral mother of all life. Both planet and star share the same name, and the name Gaia was chosen to symbolize its planetary consciousness.
    • Prelude to Foundation: Helicon, homeworld of Hari Seldon, shares its name with a mountain from Greece (and Greek Mythology). In myth, the mountain is host to the Muses. This can also be seen as symbolic, as Seldon is the "poet" inspired to create psychohistory and the Seldon Plan.
    • "Mother Earth": Hesperos, a planet reused in Robots and Empire, is named for the Greek god associated with the evening star. When it appears in Robots and Empire, a daughter from Aurora awaited news of her father's death.
    • "The Mule": Lyonesse is amoung several territories mentioned by Mayor Indbur III that the Foundation is engaged in negotiations with. Lyonesse is from Celtic Mythology, an island near Cornwall that had drowned.
    • Foundation and Earth: Melpomenia is named for Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy. Its tragic ending is that it was rendered uninhabitable for humans due to radical climate change; the only life form able to survive that was a carbon dioxide feeding 'moss'.
    • The Robots of Dawn: Pallas, one of the Spacer worlds, is named after the epithet of Athena, from Greek Mythology.
    • ''The Foundation Trilogy": Since "Foundation (1942)", Terminus has been the capital planet of the (First) Foundation. It is given this name because it is the furthest habitable planet from the galactic core, the 'terminus' of the galaxy. It also shares its name with the Roman god of boundary stones and property disputes.
    • Foundation And Chaos: Eos, barren and extremely cold. Robots are repaired and maintained. Dors was constructed on this planet. Eos was the Titan of the dawn, and the planet was named after the capital city of Aurora.
  • Known Space has Fafnir and Kobold.
  • Minerva has the titular planet, now known as the Asteroid Belt.
  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy has Perseus, Romulus, Remus, and Pallas.
  • Poul Anderson:
  • Revelation Space includes examples such as Zion, Ararat, Golgota, (Biblical), Fand (Celtic Mythology), Roc (giant bird from Persian mythology), Hades, Cerberus (Classical Mythology), Hela and Haldora (Norse Mythology).
  • Robert A. Heinlein's stories include Elysia, Mithra, Tangaroa, Hespera, Hekate and Valhalla.
  • Saga Of The Seven Suns: Charybdis.
  • Singularity: Bifrost and Heimdall.
  • The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge, has Tiamat.
  • Star Corps: Marduk and its moon Ishtar.
  • Terran Trade Authority: Procyon II, also named Sisyphus.
  • Viagens Interplanetarias uses this, Theme Naming different systems with different mythologies: Tau Ceti has Krishna, Vishnu, and Ganesha (Hindu Mythology), Procyon has Osiris, Isis, and Thoth (Egyptian Mythology), Epsilon Eridani has Kulkulkan (Mayan Mythology).
  • A World of Difference has the planet Minerva, placed where Mars would be.
  • A Wrinkle in Time has Uriel, unaffected by the Black Thing and named for an angel; Camazotz, a Crapsaccharine World named after a scary Mayan bat-god; and its neighboring planet Ixchel, which only seems scary and is named after a nicer Mayan goddess.

    Live Action TV 
  • Andromeda has Tartarus and Hephaestus
  • Doctor Who has Olympus and Vulcan.
  • Firefly: Osiris, Ezra, Persephone, Bellorophon, Ares, Sihnon, Heranote 
  • Space: Above and Beyond: Vesta, Tellus, Ixion.
  • Star Maidens: Medusa.
  • Star Trek: Romulus (and its brother planet Remus), Qo'noS (transliterated to Kronos in English) & Vulcan.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 2300 AD has Moiroi, and it's moons Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.
  • Blue Planet has Lambda Serpentis II, named Poseidon.
  • Fighting Fantasy: Titan.
  • In Traveller most of the planets of the Sword Worlds are named after swords. Some mythological and some from the works of J. R. R. Tolkien as Sword Worlders hold him in awe.

    Video Games 
  • Alien Legacy: The remarkable similarity of the Beta Caeli system structure to the Solar System is reflected in the planets' names, except the colonists go with Greek names rather than Roman ones. The names are Hermes (Mercury), Rhea (if Venus was habitable, but named after the mother of the gods), Prometheus (Rhea's moon), Gaea (Earth), Ares (Mars), Zeus (Jupiter), Hera (Io), Hebe (Ganymede), Cronus (Saturn), Poseidon (Uranus/Neptune), Thetis (Triton), and Hades (Pluto).
  • Borderlands: Pandora, Promethea and Elpis. Also, most of the planets mentioned in background lore such as Hephaestus and Hieronymus.
  • Colony is set on Minerva, the first human interstellar colony.
  • Halo has some: Gilgamesh, Endymion (Halsey's homeworld, named after the Greek shepherd), Tantalus (another Greek figure), etc.
  • Pandora: First Contact: Yet another example of someone naming a planet Pandora (cartographic designation - Nashira 667 Cc).
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: The planet is officially named Chiron, after a centaur in Classical Mythology (namely, one of only two good ones). In practice, everyone simply calls it Planet.
    • Various other celestial bodies in the Alpha Centauri system are also given names related to Greek centaurs and their complex relationship with Hercules.
      • The two moons of Chiron/Planet are named Pholus and Nessus. Pholus was the other good centaur and had been one of Hercules' teachers. Nessus was a typically violent and malevolent but atypically cunning centaur who (in one telling) managed to kill Hercules after he was dead; Nessus tried to rape Hercules' wife Deianira, which Heracles prevented by killing the centaur. As he lay dying, Nessus tricked Deianira into putting his blood on to Hercules' shirt. His blood was actually poison, and the blood kills Heracles in excruciating pain.
      • The only other planet in the Alpha Centauri A system, a little-mentioned Mercury-like rock, is named Eurytion, a centaur who forced King Dexamenus to give one of his daughters (Mnesimache or Deianira, depending on the myth) to him in marriage, and was killed by Hercules for his trouble.
      • For reasons that should be obvious from the above, Alpha Centauri B gets the name Hercules. Also, did we mention that Hercules accidentally killed the mythological Chiron? And, indirectly, the mythological Pholus—with one arrow?note  And that Alpha Centauri B's perihelions (in the game) are responsible for significant climate changes that result in Mind Worms attacking your bases even more ferociously than usual?
    • Finally, the "Map of Planet" (the canonical "standard" map) features landmarks named mostly after Greek mythological figures: the Isle of Dexamenus, the Isle of Deianira, the Sea of Mnesimache, the Pholus Ridge, Eurytion Bay, the Straits of Endymion....
  • Terminal Velocity (1995): Ymir.
  • Xenosaga has the planet Ariadne, named after the mythical princess of Crete. There is also Michtam, presumably named for the psalms. Finally, there is the asteroid Pleroma.

    Web Original 
  • Artemis Neo has the planet Artemis, named after the Greek Goddess.
  • Orion's Arm: Dionysus, Nessus, Daedelus, Deucalion, Vulcan, Gaia, Zarathustra, Diwali, Ain Soph Aur.
  • Tech Infantry has Hrothgar, after a character in Beowulf; Avalon, after a location in Arthurian Legend, and Enoch and Babylon, named for places in The Bible.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The names of most of the bodies in our solar system, such as Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, Io, Europa, Titan, Ceres, Eris...
  • A certain asteroid that has a relatively high chance of hitting Earth sometime in the near future (meaning not that high of a chance, just higher than usual for an asteroid) is named Apophis. Subverted: although apt mythologically (seeing as Apophis in Egyptian Mythology was the evil snake who kept trying to eat Ra/The Sun every night), the astronomer who discovered it was definitely thinking of the evil Goa'uld Apophis from Stargate SG-1.
  • The extrasolar gas giant HD 209458 b has been unofficially named Osiris.
  • Saturn's largest moon Titan, having a rich array of geological (Titanological?) features recently discovered, has a few of these:
    • Maria—large hydrocarbon seas—are named after mythological sea creatures/sea monsters. There are three of them: Kraken Mare (after, um, the Kraken), Ligea Mare (after one of the Sirens of Classical Mythology), and Punga Mare (after Punga, the ancestor of sharks in Pacific Mythology).
    • Fluminae—hydrocarbon rivers—are named after mythological rivers (e.g. Celadon Flumina, after the river in the Iliad, and Elivagar Flumina, after a group of ice rivers in Norse Mythology).
    • Albedo features—areas darker or lighter than surrounding terrain—are named after various paradises in mythology.
    • Several different kinds of features are named after deities of happiness; craters and "large ringed features" are named after deities of wisdom; virgae (large colored features) are named after rain gods; and fluctuses (flow features) are named after deities of beauty.

Examples of Numbers And Letters Planets

    Comic Books 

  • Alien: The first film is set on LV426. Aliens renames it Acheron, a reference to the mythological river of the underworld.

  • Blind Lake has HR8832/B and UMa47/E.
  • Dragonriders of Pern: No numbers, but "Pern" started out as an acronym for "Parallel Earth, Resources Negligible". The later colonists just get lazy and call it by the acronym. The eventual collapse of civilization on Pern prompts everyone to forget the origins of the name.
  • Hyperion Cantos has NGCes 2629-4BIV
  • In The Little Prince, the title character lives on asteroid B612.
  • Star Wars: Star Wars Legends has M2398 and M4-78
  • The Vorkosigan Saga has Beta Colony and Orient IV.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Babylon 5 this used to be near-standard practice for the Centauri during their golden age, following a precise scheme: while secondary capitals for use in case their homeworld has to be evacuated have proper names, worlds projected to be major colonies are named Centauri Alpha followed by a number (with "Centauri" usually omitted outside official documents), secondary colonies are named Centauri Beta followed by a number ("Centauri" being again omitted), and lesser systems being named "Quadrant" followed by a number. Interestingly, they applied this scheme to their home system: their homeworld is technically named Durana but is usually referred to as Centauri Prime out of sheer pride, while the inhabited moon is Beta One.
  • Doctor Who has S14 and UX-4732
  • Earth 2 has G889
  • Power Rangers in Space: Andros hails from KO-35.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • P number letter-(118, 234, 382, 513, 729, 774, 797, 866, 888, 974, 989, 1279, 7763, 8596, etc.)
    • Stargate Atlantis: Pegasus Galaxy planets start with M instead of P.
    • In both cases, however, planets with an actual civilization on them will often have a more normal name as well (Chu'lak, Tollana, Abydos, Asuras, etc). Once it's known by the SGC or Atlantis, this name usually replaces the alphanumeric registry code.
  • Star Trek has AR-558, L374, M-113, MS1 and MZV.

    Video Games 
  • Alien vs. Predator 2 is set on LV-1201
  • Borderlands: The Eden system, notably Eden-6 and Eden-5. Also a case of Symbolica/Mnemosyne, depending on how you look at it.
  • The Escape Velocity series features a number of these, usually assigned to uninhabited and/or inhospitable worlds. EV Nova often uses the format "UHP-####", where UHP stands for Uninhabited Planet. If a planet is settled later on, the name changes. UHP-1002 was renamed "Nirvana" when it was settled, after the company that terraformed it.
  • EVE Online: Systems in 0.0 space have numeric names like B-VIP9. Some of the constellations and regions also have numeric names.
  • Metroid: Samus grew up on K-2L and SR388 is the Metroid home planet.
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, when your Faction runs out of base names, you start on a list going Alpha Sector, Beta Sector, Gamma Sector, etc., through the Greek alphabet.

    Web Original 
  • Tech Infantry has this scheme for newly-discovered planets, but once they get colonized and settled, places named things like "H4" get renamed things like "New Madrid".

    Real Life 
  • Every star has anywhere from one to a dozen different referents depending on the number of catalogs it is recorded in, with each catalog having its own nomenclature. It can be the number of the star in the order it was discovered/examined, or a positional code. Most of the moons of the gas giants in our own system also fit this trope. Jupiter alone has 63 moons, the smaller ones only have a Roman numeral. A great many asteroids are also only known by a catalog number.
  • Since we started discovering them in 1995, extrasolar planets are typically given the name of the star they orbit followed by a lower-case letter, starting with "b" and going in the order that the planets were discovered. The star Gliese 581, for example, has planets named Gliese 581b, Gliese 581c, and Gliese 581d.

Examples of Planets Named After the Star

    Anime And Manga 

    Card Games 
  • In Race For The Galaxy, two of the starting worlds are simply named Alpha Centauri and Epsilon Eridani.

  • Antares is set on a planet of the same name, orbiting the star of the same name.
  • Monty: One of the characters is an alien who claims to be from the planet Rigel.

  • Moon Pilot had an alien from the planet Beta Lyrae.
  • Spaceballs visits "the Moon Of Vega", although this being Spaceballs it's not supposed to make sense.
  • Star Wars: According to Expanded Universe materials, this is common practice. Of the planets featured in the movies, Alderaan, Bespin, Coruscant, Hoth, Kamino, Kashyyyk, Naboo, Utapau, and Yavin share names with their star. (Others, like Tatooine and its twin suns Tatoo I and Tatoo II, are close.) Numbers are also attached to planets, to make it it clear which planet is being referenced (or moon, as in the case of Yavin IV, the fourth moon the gas giant Yavin).

  • Alliance/Union: Most Stations are named after the stars they orbit: Alpha Centauri, Barnard's, Kapteyn, Kruger 60, GRM 34, 82 Eridani, 40 Eridani, Beta Cassiopeia, etc.
  • Andromeda Nebula: 61 Cygni.
  • Anne McCaffrey:
  • Citizen of the Galaxy has Proxima.
  • Dune mentions a planet called Bela Tegeuse, which may be a corruption of Betelgeuse.
  • Dying Earth: One story references Sadal Suud (from Sadalsuud, now more commonly known as Beta Aquarii).
  • Honor Harrington: The mythologically-named planet Manticore is located in the star system of Manticore.
  • Hyperion Cantos:
    • The Weintraub family hails from Barnard's World, orbiting, of course, Barnard's Star.
    • There's also Tau Ceti Center, the capital of the Hegemony.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • "The Encyclopedists": 61 Cygni is mentioned as one of several star systems that lay claim to being the homeworld of humanity.
    • "The Encyclopedists": Alpha Centauri is mentioned as one of several star systems that lay claim to being the homeworld of humanity.
    • Foundation and Earth: Alpha, which the protagonists identify as meaning "First", is a planet around Alpha Centauri covered entirely by ocean, with the exception of a single island, having been terraformed to evacuate the last humans on Earth.
    • "The Encyclopedists": The third planet of Arcturus, Lord Dorwin says, is a candidate proposed by Lameth and Gleen for the homeworld of humanity. In Real Life, the star is also called Alpha Bootis.
    • (Empire Novels?): The planet Fomalhaut is mentioned for their extreme dialect of Galactic Standard. In Real Life, there's a star named Fomalhaut in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus.
    • Foundation's Edge: Gaia's name, by way of the Gaia hypothesis, is derived from Gaia, the Greek goddess who personified the Earth and is the ancestral mother of all life. Both planet and star share the same name, and the name Gaia was chosen to symbolize its planetary consciousness.
    • Pebble in the Sky: The planet Ophiuchus takes its name from the constellation of Ophiuchus, rather than just one star.
    • Foundation's Edge: Sayshell, capital of the Sayshell Union, takes its name from the Seychelles islands on Earth in the Indian Ocean. References to ornamental script, bright clothing, spicy vegetarian foods, and meditation suggest the planet was deliberately named for their ancestral home. However, it should also be mentioned that the territory of the Sayshell Union (a nation) extends beyond the star system of Sayshell, and shares its name with the capital city and capital planet.
      "Sayshell City," he said, "the capital of the planet. City - planet - star - all named Sayshell."
    • "The Encyclopedists": Sirius is mentioned as one of several star systems that lay claim to being the homeworld of humanity.
    • "The Encyclopedists": Vega is mentioned for its export of tobacco, and is named for the star Vega, also known as Alpha Lyrae.
  • Non-Stop: Procyon.
  • On The Sand Planet, by Cordwainer Smith, has Misser, which is probably a corruption of Mizar. "Misr" is also Arabic for Egypt, which the planet's climate and culture parallels.
  • Space Opera had Sirius Planet.
  • Stargonauts has Algol.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

  • Outsider: The human colony worlds within the Alpha Centauri system are named Alpha (also referencing its status as the first extrasolar colony) and Proxima. Somewhat confusingly, Proxima does not orbit Proxima Centauri, but Alpha Centauri B.

    Web Original 
  • Tech Infantry has several cases of this, including Alpha Centauri, Wilke's Star, Jennifer's Star, and most of the rest of the planets, really, since if the planet isn't named for the star, the star is probably named for the principal inhabited planet.

    Real Life 
  • This is the official astronomical policy for naming extrasolar planets: the name of the star, followed by a lowercase Latin letter in order of discovery. Since most stars have number-soup names like HR 8799, the results also fall under the previous category. Those few that don't include 51 Pegasi b and Tau Boötis b.

Examples of Planets Named for People

  • Interstellar: The extrasolar planets are given flatly descriptive, preliminary names, each based on the surname of the explorer sent to study it: Miller's Planet, Mann's Planet, Edmunds' Planet...

  • Alliance/Union:
    • One of the most important planets in the setting is Pell's World, orbiting Pell's Star. There's also Russell's, Bryant's and Wyatt's.
    • In an odd example that doesn't really fit in any category, some stations were named after famous space probes: Viking, Mariner, Voyager, etc.
  • Animorphs has an twist on this trope. Every planet not in Earth's solar system is named for the indigenous sapient species; for instance, the planet the Andalites evolved on is called the Andalite homeworld, the Taxxons' planet is the Taxxon homeworld, etc. Whether this is what the natives themselves call it or simply the named used for convenience's sake is not entirely clear, however.
  • Biosphere: Boglietti's Planet.
  • In Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, the planet Murphy is named after Simon Murphy, the first leader of the colony.
  • Childe Cycle: Cassida, Coby, Dunnin's World.
  • CoDominium series: Tanith, Prince Samual's World, St. Ekaterina, Maxroy's Purchase, Franklin, Dayan, Istvan, Byer's World, and, of course, Murcheson's Eye.
  • Coyote: In an unusual example, the 47 Ursae Majoris system includes the planets Fox, Raven, Wolf, and Bear, and Bear's moons Dog, Hawk, Eagle, Coyote, Snake, and Goat.
  • The Demon Princes:
    • The planets in the Vega system are named Padraic, Mona, Noaille, Aloysius, Boniface, and Cuthbert.
    • The Rigel Concourse includes Diogenes and Fiame.
  • Downward To The Earth: Holman's World, known to its natives as Belzagor.
  • Empire Star: Rhys.
  • Ender's Game has Shakespeare.
  • The Eschaton Series: Rochard's World.
  • Heritage: has Miranda.
  • Honor Harrington strikes again, with the planet Grayson, named after a religious leader who founded it. And also Monica, Barnett, Gregor, Halliman, Hamilton, Hancock, Parmley, Trevor's Star, Yeltsin's Star...
  • Hyperion Cantos:
    • It's explained that the three continents of Hyperion are more properly called Creighton, Allensen, and Lopez, after three mid-level bureaucrats in the Survey Service. Everybody just calls them Equus, Ursa, and Aquila after the animals they're shaped like instead. (A theme which is carried on in several locations on the planet, like the Bridle Range, Horse's Eye, Cat Key, Felix, etc.)
    • There also the Da Vinci Spaceport and Keats, the capital of Hyperion.
  • Isaac Asimov:
  • In Mostly Harmless, the recently discovered tenth planet "was named Persephone, but rapidly nicknamed Rupert after some astronomer's parrot."
  • ' Revelation Space has Marco's Eye, the moon of the planet Yellowstone. Named after one of the earliest explorer's of the planet's star system.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's stories has Garson's Planet and Byer's Planet.
  • The Saga of Seven Suns: Boone's Crossing, Forrey's Folley, Barrymore's Rock.
  • Shivering World: Goddard and Copernicus.
  • Singularity: Mancken's World.
  • Star Wars Legends: In Alien Exodus, an early and non-canon novel, the planet Corellia is named after Antonia Corelli, the pilot of the 25th Century Earth spacecraft, displaced by a wormhole en route to Alpha Centauri, whose passengers and crew were the first Humans in the Galaxy
  • Thousand Cultures: All planets are named for Nobel Peace Prize laureates, e.g. (Woodrow) Wilson, (Theodore) Roosevelt, and (Jane) Addams.
  • The Vorkosigan Saga has Barrayar, named after the ruling Vorbarra family, and Sergyar, named after Prince Serg.
  • When Worlds Collide: Bronson Alpha and Bronson Beta.

    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Elite: Taylor Colony and Tracy's Haven.
  • Escape Velocity has a few planets named "X's world," with the funniest examples being Murphy's World ("a planet of terrible luck") and George's World (in the THX-1138 system).
  • Halo:
    • Biko (Carter's homeworld), Herschel, etc.
    • The planet Madrigal, introduced in Halo: The Cole Protocol, may be named after a person, Madrigal being a Spanish surname and the inhabitants of the planet being culturally Spanish.
  • Mass Effect: Quite a few throughout the series:
    • Planets in the Skepsis system are named after biologists: Wallace, Darwin, Watson, Crick, Pauling, and Keimowitz.
    • Planets in the Boltzmann system are named after theoretical physicists (most of whom are still alive): Bekenstein, Feynman, Thooft, Veltman, and Wheeler.
    • The Hawking Eta cluster features the Schwarzschild, Chandrasekhar, and Thorne systems. (More physicists.)
    • The Kepler Verge cluster has the Newton and Herschel systems.
    • The Armstrong Nebula cluster features the Gagarin and Tereshkova (the first woman in space) systems. Humanity's first and largest deep space station is also named Gagarin Station.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri has a few examples:
    • Virtually all of Morgan Industries' bases are all named "Morgan _______". Of course, Morgan Industries is Mega-Corp, and with names like "Morgan Robotics", "Morgan Solarfex", "Morgan Collections", etc., it's fairly obvious that he's not quite that egotistical: presumably, these are all divisions of the corporation.
    • A couple of the other factions get these, most notably the Human Hive's "Yang Mine" and Gaia's Stepdaughters' "Deidre's Fishery".
    • If the first batch of Mind Worms you breed is ever killed in battle, you get the option of renaming the base where the worms were bred in memory of the young, promising Talent you put up to the task of controlling them. It's rather touching, and you get a bit of (non-fourth-wall-breaking) text to explain why you would do this.
  • Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri: Thatcher.
  • X:
    • Argon Prime (originally "Sonra IV") was named for the leader of the colonists who settled there, Nathan R. Gunne. A couple of centuries of lingual drift altering the pronunciation and you get "Argon" out of that.
    • The first extrasolar human colony world was named "Aldrin", after Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the Moon.

    Web Original 
  • Orion's Arm: Darwin, Turing, Bill and Bull, Robinson, Daffy, Kiyoshi.
  • Tech Infantry has Jennifer's Star, named for the girlfriend (and later wife) of the guy who originally created the game.

    Real Life 
  • The unofficial name for Gliese 581 g, the first planet discovered outside of the solar system with a fair chance of supporting (Terragen) life, is Zarmina's World (or Zarmina for short). It's named after the wife of the chief scientist on the team that discovered it.
  • For a time, Uranus was called "Herschel" after its discoverer, Sir William Herschel. It was the first planet to be discovered using modern technology instead of naked-eye observation, so there wasn't a standard for names yet.
    • And Herschel himself tried to name the planet "Georgium Sidus" or George's Star, after King George III, his patron. Needless to say, astronomers outside of Britain were not too thrilled with his choice.
    • Neptune likewise spent a very brief amount of time named LeVerrier, after the French mathematician that pinpointed its location using only calculus. Britain didn't like this for the obvious reason, and declared that if this new planet was going to be called LeVerrier, they would go back to calling Uranus Herschel. Since this would have caused a nightmare of nomenclature, someone suggested Neptune to preserve the mythological theme.
    • Part of the reason for Pluto's name was that the P-L alludes to Percival Lowell, who founded the project that ultimately led to its discovery.
  • A large number of asteroids are named after people, sometimes the discoverers themselves, but more typically people that they find notable (anyone who discovers an asteroid gets the right to name it whatever they want, within certain restrictions).See here.

Examples of Planets Named The Same

    Video Games 
  • No Man's Sky: While they're not planets per se, there are two systems named Paroi. The difference between them is that one is named Paroi Minor and the other is named Paroi Major.
  • Star Control II has the Supox, who live on planet... Earth. This causes some confusion between them and the Captain until they explain that their planet is called "earth" as in "soil".note 

Examples of Planets Named Erewhon

  • Ciaphas Cain briefly mentions a planet called Sodallagainnote , which according to Amberley Vail was charted by an apparently very bored explorator several millennia ago. Also the planet The Last Ditch takes place on, Nusquam Fundimentibusnote .
  • The Demon Princes has Nowhere, which is the same idea without being spelled backwards. This is part of the Rigel Concourse, a system of twenty-six planets originally given pompous names by their discoverer but then filed under much sillier names by an obscure clerk. Also in the same system is the planet "Somewhere".
  • Honor Harrington does indeed contain a planet Erewhon.
  • Nimishas Ship, by Anne McCaffrey, has a planet named Erewhon, which is perfectly descriptive of it.

Examples of Planets Named for Pop-Culture References

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • In Legion of Super-Heroes, the planet full of people who can eat anything is named after stomach medicine — it's called Bismoll.
    • A variant: the Martians' own name for their planet is Ma'aleca'andra, a variant of Malacandra, which is what Martians call their planet in C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy.

  • "Search by the Mule": Rossem, one of the planets under the control of Tazenda, is an exceptionally cold world, and populated only in the equatorial regions. The name itself is similar to both Russia (or "Rossiya") and to Rossum (or Rossum's Universal Robots). Dr. Asimov was an emigrant from Russia and wrote about robots.
  • Star Carrier: Deep Space has a planet called Vulcan. This would normally fall into the series' Symbolica pattern, except for the fact that the planet orbits 40 Eridani A, Vulcan's quasi-canonical location in Star Trek. This is explicitly true In-Universe, although the name Star Trek isn't mentioned.
  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob): Milo hits a twofer in Omicron2 Eridani (AKA 40 Eridani), discovering habitable twin planets (i.e. planets that orbit a common center of gravity rather than a larger body), which he names Vulcan and Romulus. The colonists decide to keep the names. In fact, all but one of the Bobs' naming choices are accepted without complaint. Only the Japanese settlers of a planet named after a place in Norse Mythology decide to change it to something Shinto-related.

    Live Action TV 
  • Firefly has Heinlein, Ariel and Miranda. We should note that the latter two are also names of moons of Uranus; see below.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 

    Real Life 
  • The dwarf planet of Eris was originally named Xena by the team that discovered it. Naturally, they also named its moon Gabrielle. When that was also rejected by the astronomical communitynote , they re-named the moon Dysnomia, which translates as "Lawlessness", after Lucy Lawless, the actress who portrayed Xena on television.
  • Another asteroid in the Main Belt is named 12796 Kamen Rider.
  • Unlike the moons of the other planets (named for the associates of the gods in Classical Mythology), The Moons of Uranus are named after characters (generally female) from the works of William Shakespeare and The Rape of the Lock. Originally, the names were given with the idea that Uranus, a sky god, would be attended by "spirits of the air" like the fairies Titania and Oberon from A Midsummer Night's Dream or the sylphs Ariel and Umbriel from The Rape of the Lock, but later astronomers started to just take names from the works rather than continue with the air-spirits theme. These works aren't quite popular culture (they were already over 200 years old when the moons were named in the mid-19th century), but they are hardly mythology, either. And one must admit, it is rather fitting that the moons of the planet discovered by an Englishman (or rather an Anglicized German, but who's counting?) be named after the great works of English literature.
  • Another actual astronomical naming convention demanding pop culture references has arisen respecting geographical features on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Montes (mountain ranges) on Titan are named after mountains in Tolkien's Legendarium (e.g. Misty Montes, Mindolluin Montes, Taniquetil Montes, Doom Montes); planitia (low plains) and labyrinthi (complex series of valleys and ridges) are named after planets in Frank Herbert's Dune universe (e.g. Arrakis Planitia, Chusuk Planitia, Sikun Labyrinthus); and each fretum (strait connecting larger bodies of liquid) is named after a character from Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe (e.g. Hardin Fretum, Seldon Fretum).
  • One astronomer named the asteroid he discovered Mr. Spock. To this day, he still claims that it's just named after his cat. People are no longer allowed to name asteroids after their pets because of this. Oddly, they are still allowed to name them after pop culture references.
  • The extrasolar planet Kepler-16b is unofficially nicknamed Tatooine because it orbits Binary Suns.
  • There are petitions on Change.Org to rename a nebula to "Madokami" and a newly discovered planet to "Gallifrey". Some signatories cite the argument that "fiction is just new mythology, and plenty of stuff already has a mythological name", other signatories cite a wish to acknowledge and promote the show and/or its ideals, and still others are taking it too seriously or not seriously at all. note .

Examples of Public Relations Naming of Planets

  • The Robots of Dawn: Aurora, in the Tau Ceti system, was originally named New Earth, but as the Spacers and Earthers diverged, the colonists decided to rename themselves after the Roman goddess of dawn. Their largest city is named Eos, after the Greek goddess of dawn.

    Real Life 
  • Greenland was named that by its first colonizers in hopes of attracting more settlers ("green" being used as a synonym for "full of nature"). It is actually... not very green.
  • Galileo Galilei originally called the four large moons of Jupiter that he discovered Cosmica Sidera (Latin for "Cosimo's Stars") after his patron Cosimo de' Medici. Cosimo suggested he change it to Medicea Sidera (the "Medicean Stars") for all four Medici brothers. Simon Marius, who independently discovered the moons shortly after Galileo, came up with the contemporary names (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto), after Johannes Kepler suggested that he name them for the lovers of Zeus. These names stuck despite Galileo's protests; in the process, however, Galileo invented the ancestor of the modern system of giving designations of the planet+a Roman numeral in order of distance from the primary (e.g. calling Ganymede Jupiter III)
  • The discoverer of Uranus was Sir William Herschel, a German who moved to England and did his most important work there, later becoming a British subject. He wanted to call the planet itself Georgium Sidus ("George's Star") or just "Planet George", after King George III, who was his patron. The name didn't stick; the French in particular didn't fancy honouring the British monarch every time they mentioned the seventh planet, and came up with a number of alternate names—one of which was Herschel, funnily enough, and another, Neptune (yes). Eventually, a German named Bode suggested that if Saturn was named after the father of Jupiter, this planet should be named after the father of Saturn—Uranusnote . The name stuck (with a little help from the chemists, who gave the newly-discovered uranium its name to back Bode up).
  • The dwarf planet Ceres, called by its discoverer Guiseppe Piazzi Ceres Ferdinandea to honour king Ferdinand of Naples, his patron. He stayed about the only person who ever used the full name while everyone else quickly reduced it to Ceres.