Solar System

The Many Moons in Our Solar System

News: The Curiosity Podcast is here! Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud and RSS.

Although most moons in our solar system are named after figures in Greek and Roman mythology, Uranus's moons get their names from English literature. 25 of the 27 are named after Shakespeare characters, with the majority of those taking their names from "The Tempest." The remaining two, Belinda and Umbriel, are named after characters invented by 18th-century English poet Alexander Pope. (One moon, Ariel, has a name that appears in both authors' work.) Ophelia and Cordelia are known as "shepherd moons." They keep Uranus's brightest ring intact by corralling its materials with their gravitational pull.

Advertisement

Love getting smarter? Sign up to our newsletter and get our best content in your inbox!

Exploring the moons in our Solar System

Advertisement