Renaming Pluto’s Moons

In 2011, the Hubble Space Telescope spotted a tiny object next to the dwarf planet Pluto. It turned out to be a moon! It was named P4, and about a year later, P5 was discovered as well. Both moons have an estimated diameter of 15 to 20 miles.

Moons are typically associated with the mythological god that their planets are named after. Mars is a perfect example. Mars is the God of War, and Ares is his Roman counterpart. The moons of Mars are named after the sons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. Pluto is the God of the Underworld, and his Greek name is Hades. Pluto’s other three moons, Charon, Nix, and Hydra, are affiliated with the Underworld just like Pluto.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute wants to rename the moons. The moons have to be assigned names derived from Greek or Roman mythology. Vote on the new names at the PlutoRocks website by Monday, February 25. You can vote on existing possibilities or write in your own suggestions. The final names will be announced after they are formally approved by the International Astronomical Union.


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