List of adjectivals and demonyms of astronomical bodies

The adjectival forms of the names of astronomical bodies are not always easily predictable. Attested adjectival forms of the larger bodies are listed below, along with the two small Martian moons; in some cases they are accompanied by their demonymic equivalents, which denote hypothetical inhabitants of these bodies.

For Classical (Greco-Roman) names, the adjectival and demonym forms normally derive from the oblique stem, which may differ from the nominative form used in English for the noun form. For instance, for a large portion of names ending in -s, the oblique stem and therefore the English adjective changes the -s to a -d, -t, or -r, as in Mars–Martian, Pallas–Palladian and Ceres–Cererian;[note 1] occasionally an -n has been lost historically from the nominative form, and reappears in the oblique and therefor in the English adjective, as in Pluto–Plutonian and Atlas–Atlantean.

Many of the more recent or more obscure names are only attested in mythological or literary contexts, rather than in specifically astronomical contexts. Forms ending in -ish or -ine, such as "Puckish", are not included below if a derivation in -an is also attested. Rare forms, or forms only attested with spellings not in keeping with the IAU-approved spelling (such as c for k), are shown in italics.

Note on pronunciation

The suffix -ian is always unstressed: that is, /iən/. The related ending -ean, from an e in the root plus a suffix -an, has traditionally been stressed (that is, /ˈən/) if the e is long ē in Latin (or is from ⟨η⟩ ē in Greek); but if the e is short in Latin, the suffix is pronounced the same as -ian. In practice forms ending in -ean may be pronounced as if they were spelled -ian even if the e is long in Latin. This dichotomy should be familiar from the dual pronunciations of Caribbean as /ˌkærɪˈbən/ KARR-ə-BEE-ən and /kəˈrɪbiən/ kəsf-RIB-i-ən.

Generic bodies[]

Name Adjective Demonym
asteroid asteroidal, asteroidic Asterite
comet cometary
cosmos, universe cosmic, cosmian, universal
ecliptic ecliptical, zodiacal
galaxy galactic, galactian
meteoroid meteoroidal
nebula nebular
planet planetary, planetic
planetoid planetoidal
quasar quasaric, quasarian
sky celestial
star astral, sidereal, siderean, stellar
supernova supernovan


Derivative forms of constellations are used primarily for meteor showers. The genitive forms of the constellations are used to name stars. (See List of constellations.) Other adjectival forms are less common.

Name Adjective Derivative
Andromeda Andromedan Andromedid
Aquarius Aquarian Aquariid
Aries Arian Arietid
Auriga Auˈrigal Aurigid
Bootes Bootid
Cancer Canˈcerian Cancrid
Carina Caˈrinal Carinid
Capricorn Capricornian Capricornid
Centaurus Centaurean, Centaurian Centaurid
Cetus Cetid
Coma Berenices Comal Coma Berenicid
Corona Austrina Coronal Corona Austrinid
Crux Crucial Crucid
Cygnus Cygnean Cygnid
Dorado Doradid
Draco Draconic Draconid
Eridanus Eridanid
Gemini Geminian Geminid
Hydra, Hydrus Hydrid
Leo Leonic, Leonian, Leonean Leonid
Leo Minor Leo Minorid
Libra Libran Librid
Lyra Lyrid
Monoceros Monocerotid
Norma Normid
Ophiuchus Ophiuchid
Orion Orionid
Pavo Pavonid
Pegasus Pegasean, Pegasarian Pegasid
Perseus Perseid
Phoenix Phoenicean Phoenicid
Pisces Piscean, Piscian Piscid
Piscis Austrinus Piscis Austrinid
Puppis Puppid
Sagittarius Sagittarian Sagittariid
Scorpius Scorpian, Scorpionic Scorpiid
Taurus Taurean, Taurian Taurid
Ursa Major, Ursa Minor Ursal Ursid
Vela Velar, Velic Velid
Virgo Virginal, Virginian Virginid
zodiac zodiacal


Name Adjective Demonym
Sun, Sol, Helios Solar, Heliacal, Phoebean, Phebean Solarian


Planets and planetoids
Name Adjective Demonym
Ceres Cererian,[1] Cererean[2] Cererian
Earth, Terra, Tellus, Gaia, Gaea earthly, Terran, Terrestrial, Terrene, Tellurian,[3] Telluric, Gaian, Gaean Earthling, Terran, Terrestrial, Tellurian, Earthian, Earther, Earthican
Eris Eridian[4]
Haumea Haumean[5]
Jupiter Jovian, Jupiterian, Zeusian Jovian
Makemake Makemakean[6]
Mars Martian, Martial, Arean[7] Martian
Hermes (in the evening),
Apollo (in the morning)
Mercurian, Mercurial, Hermean/Hermeian, Cyllenian,[8] Cyllenean Mercurian, Hermean
Neptune Neptunian, Neptunial, Poseidean[9] Neptunian
Orcus Orcean,[10] Orcan
Pallas Palladian[11]
Pluto Plutonic, Plutonian Plutonian[11]
Saturn Saturnian, Saturnine, Cronian,[9] Kronian,[12] Saturnial[13] Saturnian
Sedna Sednian[14]
Uranus Uranian, Caelian Uranian
Vesta Vestian,[15][16] Vestan,[17][18] Vestalian Vestan, Vestian
Hesperus, Vesper (in the evening),
Eosphorus, Phosphorus, Phosphor (in the morning),
Lucifer (in the day)
Venerian, Venusian, Cytherean,[19] Cytherian,[20] Hesperian,[21] Luciferian,[22] Phosphorian,[23] Aphroditan[24] Venusian, Cytherean


Earth and Mars
Name Adjective Demonym
Moon (Luna, Selene) Lunar, Selenian, Cynthian Lunarian, Selenite
Deimos Deimian[25]
Phobos Phobian[26]
Name Adjective, demonym
Callisto Callistoan,[27] Callistonian[28]
Europa Europan[29]
Ganymede Ganymedean,[30] Ganymedian
Io Ionian[31]
Name Adjective, demonym
Dione Dionean[32][33]
Enceladus Enceladean,[34][35] Enceladan[36][37]
Hyperion Hyperionian[38]
Iapetus Iapetian,[39] Japetian[11]
Mimas Mimantean,[35] Mimantian,[40]
Rhea Rhean[41][42]
Tethys Tethyan[11][43][44]
Titan Titanian /tˈtniən/,[45][46] Titanean[47]
Name Adjective, demonym
Ariel Arielian[48]
Miranda Mirandan,[49] Mirandian[50]
Oberon Oberonian[51]
Titania Titanian /tɪˈtɑːniən/[52]
Umbriel Umbrielian[52]
Neptune, Pluto and Eris
Name Adjective, demonym
Triton Tritonian[53]
Charon Charonian[54]
Dysnomia Dysnomian


Name Adjective
Milky Way Galaxy Galactic,[55] Lacteal[56]
Andromeda Galaxy Andromedan
Magellanic Clouds Magellanic

See also[]


  1. ^ This is reflected in Russian Паллада Pallada 'Pallas' and Церера Tserera 'Ceres', as well as in Italian Pallade 'Pallas' and Cerere 'Ceres', as in these (and several other) languages the nominal forms of the names often also reflect the oblique. This is not always the case, however – for Mars, Italian Marte parallels the English adjective but Russian Марс Mars parallels the English noun.


  1. ^ Rüpke (2007) A companion to Roman religion
  2. ^ Booth (1923) Flowers of Roman poesy
  3. ^ Announcement of the discovery of Astraea in The Eclectic magazine of foreign literature, science, and art, v. 8, p. 279 (1846)
  4. ^ David Morrison (2008) Ask an Astrobiologist Archived 2009-04-25 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ E.g. Giovanni Vulpetti (2013) Fast Solar Sailing, p. 333.
  6. ^ Parker, A. H.; Buie, M. W.; Grundy, W. M.; Noll, K. S. (2016-04-25). "Discovery of a Makemakean Moon". The Astrophysical Journal. 825 (1): L9. arXiv:1604.07461. Bibcode:2016ApJ...825L...9P. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/825/1/L9. S2CID 119270442.
  7. ^ "Schiaparelli on Mars" (1895 [1894]) Nature, v. 51
  8. ^ Lewis (1888) A Latin dictionary for schools
  9. ^ a b "Enabling Exploration with Small Radioisotope Power Systems" (PDF). NASA. September 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  10. ^ Angley (1847) De Clifford, the philosopher
  11. ^ a b c d Listed in any reasonably complete dictionary
  12. ^ Müller et al. (2010) Azimuthal plasma flow in the Kronian magnetosphere, J. Geophys. Res. 115, A08203
  13. ^ Pennsylvania school journal, v. 29 (1880)
  14. ^ E. N. Slyuta; M. A. Kreslavsky (1990). Intermediate (20-100 KM ) Sized Volcanic Edifices on Venus (PDF). Lunar and planetary science XXI. Lunar and Planetary Institute. p. 1174(for Sedna Planitia){{cite conference}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  15. ^ Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2010) Dawn Journal, March 28
  16. ^ Tsiolkovsky (1960) The call of the cosmos
  17. ^ Meteoritics & planetary science, Volume 42, Issues 6–8, 2007
  18. ^ Origin and evolution of Earth, National Research Council et al., 2008
  19. ^ Raitala (1993) "Crustal tectonic zone on Venus", Earth, Moon, and Planets, v. 64, no. 2
  20. ^ "A theoretical study of the martian and cytherian ionospheres", NASA Technical Reports Server, JPL-TR-32-398
  21. ^ Goodsell Observatory (1909) Popular astronomy, v. 17
  22. ^ Duffy (2009) The Constitution of Shelley's Poetry
  23. ^ Boardman (2001) The poems of Francis Thompson
  24. ^ Patricia Brace (2011) The Broadview Anthology of Sixteenth-Century Poetry and Prose, p. 607
  25. ^ Harry Shipman (2013) Humans in Space: 21st Century Frontiers, p. 317
  26. ^ The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia (1911)
  27. ^ Harland (2000) Jupiter odyssey: the story of NASA's Galileo mission
  28. ^ Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v.71, 1911
  29. ^ Greenberg (2005) Europa: the ocean moon
  30. ^ Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 95 (1990)
  31. ^ "Electron Beams and Ion Composition Measured at Io and in Its Torus", Science, 1996 October 18
  32. ^ Anthon (1849) The Aeneïd of Virgil
  33. ^ "JPL (2007) Cassini Equinox Mission: Dionean Linea". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  34. ^ JBIS: journal of the British Interplanetary Society, v. 36 (1983)
  35. ^ a b "JPL (ca. 2009) Cassini Equinox Mission: Mimas". Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  36. ^ Lebowitz (1970) Progress into silence: a study of Melville's heroes
  37. ^ "JPL (2010) Cassini Equinox Mission: Enceladan Tectonics". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  38. ^ JPL (ca. 2008) Cassini Equinox Mission: Hyperion
  39. ^ "JPL (ca. 2008) Cassini Equinox Mission: Iapetus". Archived from the original on 2015-03-26. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  40. ^ Harrison (1908) Prolegomena to the study of Greek religion, ed. 2
  41. ^ The Westminster review, v. 140 (1893)
  42. ^ "JPL (ca. 2008) Cassini Equinox Mission: Rhea". Archived from the original on 2016-04-12. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  43. ^ Şengör & Atayman (2009) The Permian extinction and the Tethys
  44. ^ "Cassini Solstice Mission: Tethys". Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  45. ^ Anton et al. (1859) A Latin-English and English-Latin dictionary
  46. ^ JPL (ca. 2008) Cassini Equinox Mission: Huygens Landed with a Splat"Cassini Equinox Mission: Huygens Landed with a Splat". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  47. ^ Milton, Hughes (2003) Complete poems and major prose
  48. ^ DeKoven (1991) Rich and strange: gender, history, modernism
  49. ^ Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 93 (1988)
  50. ^ Robertson (1929) The life of Miranda
  51. ^ Normand (1970) Nathaniel Hawthorne
  52. ^ a b James Hall III (2015) Moons of the Solar System, p. 150
  53. ^ Bunbury (1883) A history of ancient geography
  54. ^ Kathryn Bosher (2012) Theater outside Athens: Drama in Greek Sicily and South Italy, pp 100, 104–105
  55. ^ When capitalized, "Galactic" refers specifically to the Milky Way galaxy.
  56. ^ The Independent, v. 55, p. 964 (1903)

External links[]