Join Donate

Susan LendrothMay 14, 2009

Woman who named Pluto dies at 90

by Susan Lendroth

Very few people have the chance to name a planet, even one that is later downgraded to dwarf planet status. Venetia Phair, who suggested the name for Pluto, recently died in England. Venetia was just 11 years old when she chatted at the breakfast table with her grandfather about the newly discovered world. Her idea to name the planet after the Roman god of the underworld might have been swept away with the toast crumbs if not for the fact that her grandfather passed on the suggestion to an Oxford professor of astronomy, who in turn passed it on to Pluto's discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh. Read more in her LA Times obituary about how Venetia Phair came to name a world.

Read more:

You are here:
Comments & Sharing
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

The Planetary Fund

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.


"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

Sign Up for Email Updates