Central part of a large floor mosaic, from a Roman villa in Sentinum (now known as Sassoferrato, in Umbria, Italy), ca. 200–250 C.E. Aion, the god of eternity, is standing inside a celestial sphere decorated with zodiac signs, in between a green tree and a bare tree (summer and winter, respectively). Sitting in front of him is the mother-earth goddess, Tellus (the Roman counterpart of Gaea) with her four children, who possibly represent the four seasons.
Myths about Uranus
Uranus, which was discovered
by William Herschel
in 1781, was not known in ancient times. Astronomers continued the practice of naming planets after deities in Greek and Roman mythology and named this new planet after the Greek god Ouranos (Roman Caelus).
Ouranos was the son and husband of Gaea and the first god of the sky. He was the father of many of the early gods and goddesses, but he was frightened of his oldest children and locked them up inside the Earth. This caused Gaea a lot of pain, and her Titan sons decided to fight their father. We don't have art that shows Ouranos, but this image of a Roman mosaic from a villa in Italy does show his wife, Gaea, with the Anatolian god Aion, who was identified with both Chronos and Ouranos, and her children.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
Uranus was discovered in 1781 by William Herschel. He argued with his friends over its name. They wanted to name it after him, be he wanted it named after the king of Great Britain. They chose to name...more
William Herschel was born in Germany. He moved to England and worked there most of his life. He lived between 1738-1822. He built powerful telescopes which let him observe the heavens with greater detail....more
Gaea, or Mother Earth, was the great goddess of the early Greeks. She represented the Earth and was worshipped as the universal mother. In Greek mythology, she created the universe and gave birth to both...more
Hades was the god of the underworld. One day, while he was riding through the field of battle, the goddess Aphrodite had her companion Eros playfully shoot an arrow into the heart of Hades. Struck by Eros...more
In Roman mythology Jupiter was the king of heaven and Earth and of all the Olympian gods. He was also known as the god of justice. He was named king of the gods in the special meeting that followed his...more
Neptune was the name that ancient Romans gave to the Greek god of the sea and earthquakes, Poseidon. Neptune was depicted as a bearded man with long hair, holding a trident and accompanied by dolphins...more
Pluto was the god of the underworld. One day, while he was riding through the field of battle, the goddess Venus had her companion, Cupid, playfully shoot an arrow into the heart of Pluto. Struck by Cupid's...more