Choosing a baby name can be overwhelming—with so many options to choose from, it seems like the sky's the limit. From buzzy names from pop culture to names that take after inanimate objects (see: Gwyneth Paltrow and her daughter, Apple) to seasonal-related names, you can get as traditional or as innovative as you'd like. In this case, we're taking to the literal skies to bring you 20 baby names rooted in the cosmos, and inspired by a bit of magic, to add to your (ever-growing) shortlist.
Meet the Expert
Jennifer Moss is CEO of baby names database BabyNames.com, co-host of The Baby Names Podcast, and a leading expert on baby names trends and the baby naming process. Her expertise has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, as well as onscreen for CNN, Today Show, and Good Morning America.
How to Choose a Baby Name
Narrowing down baby names options will take some time, and in addition to considering how each potential name rings appealing or not in your ears, one baby names trends expert advises to consider each name from the child's perspective, too. Jennifer Moss, CEO of BabyNames.com, and co-host of The Baby Names Podcast, says, "Remember, you're not just naming a baby, you're also naming an adult."
"Go to the coffee shop and 'try on' the name as if it's your own," Moss suggests. "Does the barista laugh at it? Spell it correctly? Say the name aloud and see how it sounds. Is it clunky or musical?"
Hopefully, your decision to select a particular name will grow with your new family member. And while you can certainly honor tradition, like naming your new family member after your Grandmother, Moss says leaning on mystical legend or space-inspired names comes with its own meanings, for better or worse.
"The stories behind the myths and legends might not be so great," explains Moss, who sites Pandora as an example. So, do your research on its origin story, and ultimately, determine whether the name resonates.
Names Inspired By the Cosmos, Magic, and Fantasy
Inspired by astrology, Astra comes from the Latin word, meaning, "star." Similarly, Astra roughly translates to "divine strength," or "as beautiful as god," in the Old Norse language. It has been most commonly used as a girl's name, and reached peak popularly between 1944 and the 1970s.
This bold name comes from the Greek word meaning "destroyer." In biblical context, Apollos is mentioned in the New Testament and characterized as an early follower of burgeoning Christianity.
In Irish mythology, Aine is a goddess of summer and abundance. Pronounced "on-yah," this typically female Celtic name, is unique. The Bump reports there were approximately 3,600 babies per 1 million births named Aine at the height of its modern popularity in the early 2000s (compared to more popular names during that time, like Emily, and Madison).
A Latin word, Asteria's origin comes from the word asterios, or "starry." In Greek mythology, Asteria was a goddess of the stars.
This name is deeply rooted in Arthurian folklore, and means "island of apples" in Greek. It has traditionally been a female name.
Popularized by author C.S. Lewis's fantasy series, "The Chronicles of Narnia," Prince Caspian is a fictional character who would eventually become the King of Narnia. In reality, Caspian refers to the Caspian sea, located in central Asia. Its etymology can be traced to the Latin word caspius (or kaspios in Greek), which refers to the native people who lived along its sea.
Inspired by the cosmos, or the universe. The word cosmos is Greek (kosmos), meaning "order," or "world."
This name is rooted in Old English, and alludes to "magical power," as well as references a location. Ancestry.com breaks it down: "East," meaning east, and "tun," or 'enclosure' or 'settlement.'
Leo comes with a few cosmos-related associations. It is the name of a cluster of galaxies called the Leo Cluster, and in astrology, Leo is one of 12 zodiac signs, which is represented by a lion. According to The Bump, the name has Latin origins, and was popular during Roman times, where many religious, and ruling figures were named Leo.
Meaning "moon," in Latin, Greek and Roman religions also considered the moon a goddess. Famous Lunas in pop culture include the daughter of singer John Legend and TV personality and cook book author, Chrissy Teigen. Actress Penelope Cruz and actor Javier Bardem also named their daughter Luna.
Ophelia is yet another one of planet Uranus's moons. It also comes from the Greek word, ophelos, meaning "help."
This name also comes from Greek mythology. As the son of Poseidon, Orion was also known as The Hunter. In astronomy, Orion is one of the most recognizable constellations.
Consider whether you think your child's name will grow with them as they reach adulthood. A name that sounds cute now may not translate as well into your child's later years.
Meaning "gift," in Greek, Pandora was also considered the first mortal woman in Greek mythology. In astronomy, Pandora is the name of one of Saturn's moons.
Phoebe shows up various times throughout ancient and astronomical history. She is one of the Titans in Greek mythology (meaning "bright, radiant" in Greek), and Phoebe is also the name of one of Saturn's moons.
As the name of a small constellation in the southern sky, it was named after the mythical bird that sets itself on fire, only to regenerate into a new Phoenix from its own ashes. In Greek, Phoenix translates to "dark red."
Historically, Portia (Latin for, "an offering") was a prominent figure during the time of Julius Caesar. The name also belongs to one of Uranus's moons.
Latin for "gateway," Janus is also the name of one of Saturn's moons. It got its name from the Roman god responsible for beginnings, openings, and doorways.
Two things probably come to mind with this name: The second planet from the sun, and Venus Williams, professional tennis player extraordinaire.
The Greek God of the west wind. This name surged in popularity in the mid-1990s, and seemed to reach its peak by 2018.