Help Name Pluto’s Moons

By tony_crawshaw

15 February 2013

1 minute read

Pluto as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit NASA, ESA and M.Buie (Southwest Research Institute)

Pluto as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit NASA, ESA and M.Buie (Southwest Research Institute)

The fourth and fifth moons of Pluto are set to be named, with the moons discoverers asking for public input on what those names should be. The moons, currently known as P4 and P5 were discovered in 2011 and 2012 and measure approximately 20-30km across.

At an online poll setup by the moons discoverers (at the Pluto Rocks! web site) you can vote on a number of proposed names for the new moons or even suggest other options.

Names for Pluto’s moons traditionally come from Greek and Roman mythology and early voting on the site appears to be favouring Vulcan and Cerberus with Eurydice an outside chance.

Don’t expect the vote to be binding though. The votes and suggestions will be taken into consideration but it will be the International Astronomical Union (IAU) which will have final authority over the naming process.

Controversially, Pluto lost its planet status in 2006 when it was reclassified as a dwarf planet (a newly created category at that time). More information on this IAU decision can be found here.

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