This gas giant was discovered be a planet, and not a star as some have observed in the past, on September 23, 1846. It was discovered by mathematician Urbain Le Verrier, who proposed its existence by calculating the perturbations on Uranus' orbit, and astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle, who actually observed the thing.

There were several proposed names for this planet early on: Galle proposed Janus, James Challis proposed Oceanus, and Le Verrier proposed both his own name, and the name Neptune, which is today widely accepted. Neptune is the god of the sea (and horses) from Roman myth, brother of Jupiter and Pluto, whose Greek counterpart is Poseidon.

The symbol for this planet is a stylized trident, an implement common in depictions of the god of the sea. It is represented in Unicode as U+2646, with the symbol ♆. There is a very uncommon symbol, which is a monogram of the letters "L" and "V" over a small circle, the form of which I re-use in the symbol for 1997 Leverrier.

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As of July 2018, there are 14 known moons of Uranus, 13 of which are named. Each of the moons are named after water-related deities and figures from Greek and Roman myth. Each of these symbols will incorporate a three-pronged trident shape. The 13 named moons are presented here in increasing order of orbital radius:

Name Description of referent Description of symbol Symbol
Naiad A class of beings from Greek myth, which personify and inhabit springs, streams, and other small freshwater features. A spring with a trident rising from the center. naiad.png
Thalassa The primordial goddess of the sea from Greek myth, precursor to such figures as Tethys and Amphitrite. Daughter of Aether and Hemera. A trident head over a starbust; compare Hemera and Nyx. thalassa.png
Despina Despoina, daughter of Poseidon and Demeter and brother of Arion from Greek myth. Her name just means "mistress," and she was the goddess of a mysterious cult. A horse's head rising from a head of a trident, representing her association with horses and animals, and indirectly life, death, and rebirth. despina.png
Galatea A possible referent of 74 Galatea; specifically the nymph, daughter of Nereus and Doris, who was beloved by Acis and desired by the cyclops Polyphemus. A wave crossing a trident head over a capital Greek letter Gamma. galatea.png
Larissa The referent of the referent of 1162 Larissa; a nymph from Greek myth who had some children with Poseidon. A jug with a trident coming from the bottom of it. larissa.png
Proteus A god of seas and rivers from Greek myth who was known for his ability to shapeshift and tell the future. His name perhaps denotes that he was first-born of Poseidon. In the Odyssey, Menelaus wrestled him for divine information. Trient head, with a single tail that loops to the left and ends in a downward arrow angled 45 degrees. proteus.png
Triton Favorite son of Poseidon, his herald, and messenger of the sea. Had the form of a merman, and wielded a twisted conch shell Trident head, ending in a tail that is split into two curved ends, representing his fish-like tail. triton.png
Nereid A class of sea nymphs from Greek mythology, the fifty (or more) daughters of Nereus and Doris. Among them: Thetis, Amphitrite, Galatea. A large trident head, with a wave crossing it. nereid.png
Halimede One of the nereids. A wave crossing a trident head over a capital Greek letter Alpha. halimede.png
Sao One of the nereids, associated with sailing, referred to as "the rescuer" or "safety" A wave crossing a trident head over a capital Greek letter Sigma. sao.png
Laomedeia One of the nereids. A wave crossing a trident head over a capital Greek letter Lambda. laomedeia.png
Psamanthe "Sand of the sea-shore," nereid, wife of Proteus. A wave crossing a trident, which itself resembles a Greek capital letter Psi. psamanthe.png
Neso One of the nereids. A wave crossing a trident head over a capital Greek letter Nu. neso.png
The set of all Roman and Greek sea deities sounds pretty restricted, but there are more than one might guess. Here are some possible names for more moons of Neptune should they be discovered:
Proposed Name Description of referent Description of symbol Symbol
Pontus Primordial sea god in Greek myth, son of Gaia alone, or perhaps Gaia and Aether. Personification of the Mediterranean.
Eurybia Primordial sea goddess in Greek myth, daughter of Pontus and Gaia. Stern goddess of mastery over the forceful seas, and of the beauty that surrounds them.
Bolbe Lake goddess or nymph from Greek myth, said to dwell in present-day Lake Volvi.
Brizo "Slumberer," a Greek goddess of the sea, dreams, and prophecy, worshiped at Delos. Said to protect seafarers.
Perse An Oceanid from Greek myth, wife of Helios.
Limnad A class of naiads from Greek myth that lived in freshwater lakes. They are all descended from the Potamoi.
Potamoi A class of river deities from Greek myth, the Children of Oceanus and Tethys. They are the male counterparts of the Oceanids, and they personify and protect streams and rivers.
Achelous A river god of the modern-day Achelous River from Greek myth. Once lost a wrestling match to Heracles.
Alpheus A river god of the modern-day Alfeios River from Greek myth. Fell in love with the nereid Arethusa.
Inachus A river god of the modern-day Panitsa River from Greek myth. The first king of Argos.
Venilia A nymph from Roman myth. She was the personification of the wind that drives the waves to shore, and often accompanies Neptune and his wife Salacia in various depictions.
Thaumas A Greek sea god, son of Pontus. Associated with the wonder of the seas. Father of Iris and the Harpies with the Oceanid Electra.
Glaucus A Greek god of the sea and prophecy. Protector of mortal seafarers. Was once mortal, but acidentally attained immortality and fishiness from eating a magic herb. An interesting figure. Appears in many stories: sometimes as a love interest of Scylla, Circe, Ariadne, or Nereus.

I could go on, but there are many interesting sea deities, and I could give myself a headache trying to think about all of them.

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