Several chemical elements took their names directly from astronomical bodies. The first, element number 92, was named after the newly (re)named
planet Uranus in 1789. 151 years later, when elements 93 and 94 were discovered, 20th century scientist continued the trend with Neptune and Pluto as their inspiration. This sequence gives us uranium, neptunium, and plutonium. Shortly after their discovery, the first two “asteroids”, Ceres and Pallas, lent their names to two new elements in the form of cerium and palladium. Earth and Moon are also discreetly represented on the periodic table as tellurium and selenium, two elements often found together that share similar properties. The names are derived from the Latin “tellus” (earth) and the Greek “selene” (Moon). Other elements, like mercury, helium
, and titanium, share a common derivation with certain astronomical bodies, but were not named for them directly.