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Space & Astronomy

Scientists seek help naming Pluto's moons

By T.K. Randall
February 12, 2013 · Comment icon 36 comments



Image Credit: NASA
Astronomers have discovered two new moons around the distant dwarf planet within the last two years.
The discoveries were made during observations designed to check that the way was clear for the New Horizons probe which is scheduled to reach Pluto in 2015. Currently nicknamed "P4" and "P5", the two new moons might not be very large ( 15 to 20 miles across ) but they do need new names. The astronomical teams behind their discovery has decided to let the public help pick what to call them.

12 potential names have been suggested, all of which based around Greek or Roman mythological figures connected to the underworld. The options available on the "Pluto Rocks" project website are Acheron, Alecto, Cerberus, Erebus, Eurydice, Heracles, Hypnos, Lethe, Obol, Orpheus, Persephone and Styx.[!gad]The discoveries were made during observations designed to check that the way was clear for the New Horizons probe which is scheduled to reach Pluto in 2015. Currently nicknamed "P4" and "P5", the two new moons might not be very large ( 15 to 20 miles across ) but they do need new names. The astronomical teams behind their discovery has decided to let the public help pick what to call them.

12 potential names have been suggested, all of which based around Greek or Roman mythological figures connected to the underworld. The options available on the "Pluto Rocks" project website are Acheron, Alecto, Cerberus, Erebus, Eurydice, Heracles, Hypnos, Lethe, Obol, Orpheus, Persephone and Styx.
The discoverers of Pluto's fourth and fifth moons are letting Internet users have a say in what they should be named, by throwing the question open for a non-binding advisory vote.


Source: NBC News | Comments (36)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #27 Posted by King Cobra 1408 10 years ago
what about Poseidon the Greek god of the sea and ocean and Hermes messenger of the gods?anyway that's awsome that two new moons were discovered for Pluto:)Pluto is a planet guys just because it's small and does not have a atmosphere like earth or mars and etc does not mean it's not a planet or just because its cold and far away.in my opinion Pluto will always be a planet and should be as well.as for the names what about King Reaper 408 and King Cobra 1408 after all they are just names lol
Comment icon #28 Posted by Hazzard 10 years ago
Greek or Roman mythological figures! I dont remember Laurel and Hardy type names being among them?
Comment icon #29 Posted by -M7 10 years ago
Name game.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Lava_Lady 10 years ago
Cesar & Monty
Comment icon #31 Posted by bloodworld 10 years ago
what about Bill and Ted ( movie ) lol ! XD!
Comment icon #32 Posted by skookum 10 years ago
Zig and Zag. R2D2 and C3PO
Comment icon #33 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 10 years ago
'Vulcan' leads Pluto moon name vote Star Trek fans have something to rejoice in: "Vulcan" is the leading contender in a vote to name two of Pluto's recently discovered moons.In the TV series and films, it is also the name of Spock's home planet. Vulcan has taken more than 100,000 of some 325,000 votes cast in the online poll. A new 20-30km wide moon of Pluto currently known as P4, was discovered in 2011; another of similar size - P5 - was spotted last year. Read more...
Comment icon #34 Posted by Taun 10 years ago
Vulcan is also the name of the Roman God (Hephaestus to the Greeks)... So that would be in keeping with the Greco-Roman name pattern that most of the bodies in our system have... (still like Sneezy and Grumpy better)
Comment icon #35 Posted by Lord Vetinari 10 years ago
So will Vulcan be P4 or P5? I'd like to see one called Gallifrey, if we're going to go with this theme. Or even better,how about Skaro.
Comment icon #36 Posted by seeder 10 years ago
And VULCAN is the winner!! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2284638/Plutos-newest-moon-set-named-Vulcan-Star-Trek-fans-win-online-naming-contest-backed-William-Shatner-Leonard-Nimoy.html


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