Who came up with the name mars?



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    Mars was the God of war in Roman mythology.  The Greeks originally named the planet Ares after their own God of war and the Romans followed suit due to the planet’s red color.  Other civilizations also associated the planet’s name with the color red; Egyptians called it “Her Dersher” or “the red one” while in ancient China it was known as “the fire star”.

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    The name Mars comes the Romans whose god of war was named Mars. The planet possesses a large concentration of iron dioxide on its surface which lends it its blood red appearance and subsequent name. 

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    One thing to add: since Mars is visible without the use of the telescope, modern and past astronomers simply continued using the names that had historically been in use — for Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, the process was much different.

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    Here is a previous GreenAnswers question whose answer describes, in very detailed fashion, how the names of the planets and other celestial bodies came about: http://greenanswers.com/q/143259/science-technology/space-science/astronomy/how-do-astronomers-decide-what-call-celestial-ob

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