Story: Ranginui – the sky

The solar system

The solar system

This image of the solar system is a composite of photographs taken from spacecraft. From top to bottom: Mercury, Venus, Earth with the moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. There are a number of Māori names for the planets. Mercury is Whiro. Venus is Kōpū, but Tāwera as the morning star and Meremere-tū-ahiahi as the evening star. Earth is Te Ao, and the moon is Marama. Mars is Matawhero, Jupiter is Hine-i-tīweka or Pareārau, also a name for Saturn. Because Uranus is barely visible to the naked eye, and Neptune and Pluto were only discovered once telescopes became available, they do not have traditional Māori names.

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Ranginui – the sky - Other members of the family of light', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 August 2022)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 12 Jun 2006