Ceres is an asteroid located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Discovered on January 1, 1801 by Giuseppi Piazzi, Ceres was the first asteroid ever discovered. With a diameter of 1025 kilometers (637 miles), Ceres is also the largest known asteroid.
Ceres is also the Roman name for the Greek goddess Demeter, the elder sister of Zeus and daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Demeter was the goddess of grain and helped the crops grow. One day her daughter, Persephone, was abducted by Hades. While Demeter searched for her missing daughter, no crops grew and people starved. Persephone was eventually found, but Hades refused to let her leave the underworld. As a compromise, Persephone is allowed to spend two-thirds of the year with her mother. During this time, Demeter is happy and the crops grow. Persephone spends the remaining third of the year below ground with Hades. Demeter grieves during this time and the crops don't grow.