Mars is a small planet covered in dusty red deserts. Liquid water once flowed here, but now there is only seasonal polar ice, at best. Mars features heavily in our science fiction and space exploration imaginings today, but older cultures saw the striking red appearance of Mars from Earth and usually imagined a god of war.

The symbol of this minor planet as designed by the Romans is a circle with an arrow to the upper right, representing a shield and spear. It is represented in Unicode as U+2646, by the symbol ♂.

This is also a common symbol for maleness, and the alchemical symbol for iron. The arrow in this symbol is a common recurring element in the symbols throughout this catalog, representing a diversity of concepts, including maleness, soldiers, opposition, movement, highness or lowness, and spears.


Mars has two small moons: Phobos, the Greek god of fear and horror, and Deimos, the Greek god of doom and terror, both sons of the Ares. These two moon are likely bodies that were captured from the asteroid belt. Of the two, Phobos is larger, whereas Deimos is smaller and in a more unstable orbit. Eventually, Deimos will crash to the Martian surface.

The symbols for these two moons were originally devised by Denis Moskowitz [1]. Phobos is represented by a Greek capital Phi, and Deimos by a Greek lowercase delta, and each bears the Martian arrow at the top. These symbols set a precedent for the other named satellites in our solar system, that their symbols should be visually indicative of the symbol of the parent body.

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[1] "Astronomical/Astrological symbols for other planets' moons," Dennis Moskowitz, June 12, 2018, retrieved July 16, 2018,


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