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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

New Contest: Name the Moons of Pluto!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

11-02-2013 11:41 CST

Topics: trans-neptunian objects, Pluto, fun, events and announcements, Contests, dwarf planets beyond Neptune, Pluto's small moons

Mark Showalter, representing the team of astronomers that discovered Pluto's fourth and fifth moons, is inviting the public to weigh in on what their formal names should be in a contest called "Pluto Rocks!" You have until February 25 to vote on your favorites. They also invite people to write in alternative suggestions. It doesn't look as though the final name selection will simply be a popularity contest; the website says that "We will take your votes and suggestions into consideration when we propose the names for P4 and P5 to the international astronomical community." Right now, the candidate names are: Acheron; Alecto; Cerberus; Erebus; Eurydice; Hercules; Hypnos; Lethe; Obol; Orpheus; Persephone; and Styx. These new names will be joining a system that already contains Pluto, Charon, Nix, and Hydra.

There's a Google+ Hangout scheduled for 11:00 PST / 19:00 UTC today where you can learn more!

A fifth moon for Pluto

NASA, ESA, M. Showalter (SETI Institute) and L. Frattare (STScI)

A fifth moon for Pluto
An image taken on July 7, 2012 by the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope shows the recently discovered fifth moon of Pluto. Moons P4 and P5 are now known as Kerberos and Styx, respectively.
See other posts from February 2013


Or read more blog entries about: trans-neptunian objects, Pluto, fun, events and announcements, Contests, dwarf planets beyond Neptune, Pluto's small moons


Jenn Dunne: 02/11/2013 01:25 CST

Leonidas and gorgo Spartan king and queen

Juan Astudillo: 02/11/2013 03:04 CST

Astudillo :)

John O'Neal: 02/11/2013 05:18 CST

I really enjoyed the program from the Seti Institute. I'm excited about letting the public help name the moons. I've been following the New Horizons mission on NASA's web site for a couple of years. I'm hoping we can get more public interest in astronomy and the space program. To that end, I will be voting for Mickey and Minnie as names for the moons.

Socalsue: 02/11/2013 08:37 CST

How about Bilbo and Frodo?

PhysicsNH: 02/12/2013 07:34 CST

Nidavellir and Niflheim

Fairfield4: 02/12/2013 07:50 CST

Atuk and Cody

jmsul2: 02/12/2013 10:05 CST

kirk and spock

max: 02/12/2013 11:31 CST

Suggestions: Erinyes Minos Manes/Lares(good) or Larvae(Lemures) bad

Andrew R Brown: 02/12/2013 01:37 CST

I say they should be: P4: Cerberus. Three headed dog at the gate of Hades. P5: Chione. Greek Goddess of the Snow.

Jim Collier: 02/12/2013 02:50 CST

Is Huey, Dewey or Louie still available?

max: 02/13/2013 12:17 CST

Lastly- 2 of Pluto's girlfriends: Minthe - (nymph of the Cocythus) Leuce- (daughter of Oceanus) My favorite though -Minos - the Hades Judge.

Johny: 02/13/2013 01:02 CST


les: 02/15/2013 06:54 CST

Kiptyn and Bodie

germier: 02/17/2013 02:10 CST

Pandore et sisyphe

megzy: 03/18/2013 04:12 CDT

the name can be micros, because its a "tiny" moon and for fifth moon it can be "mirus" (Latin).

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