What is Planet Name Generator?
Writing a sci-fi novel about the universe or outer space? Then you need to use our cosmic planet name generator. From names of major planets to naming newly identified objects, this planet name generator has over 1,000 planet name ideas.
Our planet name generator is based on the names of current planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn. We have included both current planet names and new planet names which haven’t been used yet.
And have used greek gods, myths and scientific objects as inspiration. Try our planet name generator now:
Planet Naming Rules
Creating a realistic planet name for your sci-fi novel is not as simple as naming a fantasy character or coming up with a forest name. There’s a couple of rules created by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that one must follow. For those who are unfamiliar the IAU is the official group that oversees new discoveries in space, including planets, stars, comets and other objects.
First of all, the name you give your planet in your story will depend on the type of planet it is. We will explain each type of planet below. Before we explain these planet types, here are some general rules to follow:
- Avoid naming a planet after individual names or using pet animal names.
- Avoid using a name which is too similar to current planet names.
- Planet names are ideally less than 16 characters in length.
- Names in most cases are one word long.
- Planet names should be easy to pronounce.
Now let’s explain the main types of planets and their individual naming rules:
These are the big planet names that you are likely to already know. They include the following eight planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
If you’re looking to introduce a new major planet in your story, then the naming rule is simple. Name the planet after a Greek or Roman god. For example:
- Mercury: God of Travellers and Merchants
- Mars: God of War
- Venus: Goddess of Love
- Earth (or Terra in Latin): Goddess of Earth or Mother Earth
Okay, so you get the picture – Major planets are named after mythological gods and goddesses. Do some research and find a list of gods in Roman and Greek myths – Use this list to help you create a major planet name.
Dwarf planets are planet-like objects in the solar system – But they are technically not planets. The most common dwarf planet is Pluto. Again the names of dwarf planets can come from Roman or Greek myths. Here are some examples coming from Greek Mythology:
- Pluto: Also known as Hades – Ruler of the underworld
- Styx: Goddess of the river
- Hydra: Serpent-like monster
- Nyx: Goddess of the night.
Dwarf planet naming rules are similar to major planets. However dwarf planets can be named after any creature in mythology – Not just gods and goddesses (Hydra as an example). So it’s back to books with this one, your first task would be to research all creatures in mythology and make a list. From this list, you can develop your planet name ideas.
Minor planets are planets which have not yet been identified. Since they have just been newly discovered, a provisional name must be assigned to them. If in your sci-fi novel, you are talking about a newly discovered planet, you might want to give it a provisional name first. The naming rules for minor planets is the easiest to understand.
First take the year of discovery, such as 2001, 2021, 2012 etc. – This will depend on what year your story is set in. Next, assign two capital letters to it. These capital letters have their own meanings, such as the letters AD means that the planet was discovered at the beginning of January and it was the 4th discovery made that month. Here is a screenshot taken from the Minor Planet Center website on the meanings of these capital letters:
Take for example the minor planet, 2001 KX was found in the second half of May (K) 2001. And it was the 23rd discovery made that month (X). And that’s all you need to know about naming minor planets in your sci-fi book.
The final type of planet discussed in this post is exoplanets. These are planets that are found outside the solar system. The names of these planets are also quite simple to understand, once you know the naming rules. Exoplanet names contain two key elements – The first is a noun and the second is a lowercase letter (always starting from ‘b’).
The first element, the noun can be created based on any related noun to that planet. For example, you might name it after a star it orbits (e.g. 51 Pegasi star), project name (COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits or CoRoT), or the instrument that was used to discover the planet (i.e. Kepler space telescope).
The second element, the lowercase letter relates to the order of discovery, such as the first discovery is given the letter ‘b’. The second discovery is given the letter, ‘c’ and so on. For example, exoplanet-d was the third planet discovered near the exoplanet star.
Sometimes exoplanets may be given a capital letter instead of lowercase one for the second element. This means the planet orbits the brightest, biggest star in the sky. For example, the planet name Sirius A means that Sirius is the biggest star in the sky. Therefore the planet name, Sirius B is orbiting a less bright (or dimmer) star, but Sirius is still the brightest star in the sky.
Expand your solar systems with this random planet name generator
Earth, Saturn, Uranus and Venus are just a selection of planets in our solar system, many named after gods in Roman mythology.
But what do you do when your story travels beyond this solar system into uncharted territory? All of a sudden you encounter exoplanets, some in single-star systems, others in multiple-star systems.
There's millions if not billions of them out there; how do you possibly come up with appealing names for all of them? Simple: you use this planet naming generator to help you out.
Made up names for planets to suit your universes
Maybe you're playing No Man's Sky, Spore or Warhammer 40k and are lacking inspiration for a cool planet name. Perhaps you're writing your next sci-fi adventure and need identifiers for a new group of exoplanets.
Be it games or stories, this generator will provide thousands of ideas for you to use, all made up of a combination of a regular random planet name idea and a randomly generated identifier.
Use whichever part you like and keep clicking that generator button to find the perfect match for you.
Astronomical planet naming conventions
Historically, our Sun and Moon, easy-to-see planets and a handful of stars received names.
Without the proper equipment to explore the vastness of space, people simply didn't have the option to extend their knowledge from hundreds to the now more than a billion astronomical objects we know.
With so many objects to identify in outer space, it became necessary for astronomers to come up with a system to easily identify all of them, not only by name but by features and level of importance to researchers.
This is where the International Astronomical Union (IAU) comes into play. They hold the authority to create and expand this designation system for planets, stars and any other kinds of celestial bodies.
For example, exoplanet naming conventions dictate that they should be identified by using the name of the star they orbit and then adding a lowercase letter.
This is of course not very exciting, which is why the IAU launched a program in 2014 to gather input from the worldwide community, letting people from all over submit and vote on new proper names for exoplanets.
A small selection of names that were chosen:
What's the best fit for your adventure? Will you go with a designation system or proper names for your planets?
What are good planet names?
There's thousands of random planet names in this generator. Here are some samples to start:
- Nippe B6Q
- Streron 71
- Zars 59TC
- Gippe FV04
- Tromia O5S2
- Gippe FV04
- Crarvis EHB
- Chilles 97AG
- Streshan 897
- Madus 09
- Philia 9924
- Grov 3126
- Nippe HN5
- Brolla 2Q
- Thilia 74
- Zeshan I8VJ
- Chippe U6J
- Lao O