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Planetary Society asteroid hunter snags picture of interstellar visitor ╩╗Oumuamua

Jason Davis • November 07, 2017

Asteroid hunters named the first-known interstellar asteroid ╩╗Oumuamua as a nod to its scout-like traits.

New Hills, Old Secrets

Bill Dunford • February 10, 2014

Exploring a set of newly named hills on Mars reveals tantalizing clues to the planet's story.

Asteroid Minerva finds its magical weapons in the sky

Franck Marchis • December 26, 2013

The International Astronomical Union has chosen the names Aegis and Gorgoneion for the two moons of the asteroid (93) Minerva. We decided to crowd-source the names, catching the attention of the public. Over the following year, I received a lot of emails with suggestions

Martian Maps: the North Pole

Bill Dunford • November 20, 2013

The polar plains, charted in unprecedented detail.

A Map of the Evening Star

Bill Dunford • August 20, 2013

Beautiful maps of a mysterious place.

New names for Pluto's little moons Kerberos and Styx; and a new moon for Neptune

Emily Lakdawalla • July 15, 2013

Pluto's moons, formerly known as "P4" and "P5," are now named Kerberos and Styx; I thought I'd help place them into context with a little help from Cassini. Also, Neptune now has a 14th known moon.

The Shores of the Kraken Sea: Great Place Names in the Solar System

Bill Dunford • May 28, 2013

Nothing reflects the romance of deep space exploration more than the evocative names of places on the planets and moons.

Saving the Planet can be Exciting!

Mat Kaplan • May 07, 2013

Planetary Radio for the week of May 6 visits the Planetary Defense Conference one last time to join a "tabletop" simulation of a killer asteroid threat.

We have a winner! The OSIRIS-REx asteroid's name is: Bennu!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2013

We received more than 8000 entries from all over the world in the Name That Asteroid contest, and we can finally announce the winner. The asteroid formerly known as 1999 RQ36 is now formally named (101955) Bennu, for a heron associated with the Egyptian god Osiris.

Place names on Lutetia

Emily Lakdawalla • April 26, 2011

Whenever we explore someplace new -- a new island, a new continent, a new cave, a new world -- there's a necessary activity that explorers must perform before they can sensibly tell the world about their discoveries: name things.

Naming X: A contest for kids to name small bodies

Emily Lakdawalla • April 29, 2010

A contest has just been announced that appears to create a pathway for schoolchildren to suggest names to the International Astronomical Union for minor planets -- all those small things in the solar system that don't orbit the eight big ones.

New names for Rhea

Emily Lakdawalla • April 27, 2010

I learned today from Jason Perry that 42 new crater names have been approved by the International Astronomical Union for Rhea, the second largest of Saturn's moons.

New Mercury Atlas

Emily Lakdawalla • January 06, 2010

The United States Geological Survey has just released a new atlas of Mercury, the first to be based upon the three flybys worth of image data gathered by the MESSENGER mission.

Two new names in the solar system: Herse and Weywot

Emily Lakdawalla • November 12, 2009

Via the USGS I learned that Jupiter has passed a milestone of sorts, and now has fifty named satellites.

The Martian Craters Asimov and Danielson

Ken Edgett • May 27, 2009

The Martian Craters Asimov and Danielson

New names for Enceladus' features

Emily Lakdawalla • November 15, 2006

The IAU has just approved new names for 35 craters, dorsa, fossae, and sulci on the surface of Enceladus, based upon Cassini's high-resolution mapping of the little moon. What are dorsa, fossae, and sulci, you might ask?

Suggestions for names of Pluto's moons

Emily Lakdawalla • February 21, 2006

I received quite a number of emails containing suggested names for Pluto's moons -- thanks! I just sent all the suggestions to Alan Stern; here they are for everybody's enjoyment.

Speaking of Pluto...

Emily Lakdawalla • February 20, 2006

I just posted today's installment of Planetary Radio, in which Mat Kaplan gets an update on New Horizons from Principal Investigator Alan Stern-- check it out!

astronaut on Phobos
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