Discovered 1862 Aug. 29 by E. W. Tempel at Marseilles.
Two possible interpretations of the name are published. Galatea probably refers to the name given by the Cypriot sculptor Pygmalion to his marble statue of which he had become enamored. The other possibility is that the planet was named after the Nereid loved by Acis who was destroyed by the jealous Cyclops Polyphemus. (H 11)
Named by K. von Littrow (AN 58, 255 (1862)) at the request of the discoverer (AN 58, 207 (1862)).
The name Galatea has also been given to the satellite Neptune VI.