February 12, 2013
By Jim Moore
An artist’s concept shows Pluto as seen from one of its moons. Image credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon.
An 11-year-old girl gave Pluto its name, so it’s only fitting that the SETI Institute is calling on the public at large to suggest names for the dwarf planet’s newly discovered moons.
Pluto (then deemed a full-fledged planet) was itself a recent discovery back in 1930, when Venitia Burney’s grandfather read a newspaper account of the ninth planet from the sun. Burney suggested Pluto. The Disney character would be introduced to the world that same year, but the youngster was thinking Roman mythology, the god of the underworld able to make himself invisible. The suggestion was relayed to astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered “Planet X,” and Pluto has been Pluto ever since, even though it is no longer considered a planet, but a dwarf planet.
“I like to think that we are doing honor to Tombaugh's legacy by now opening up the naming of Pluto's two tiniest known moons to everyone,” wrote Mark Showalter, on behalf of the SETI Institute team that discovered P4 and P5 in a blog post.
The team has suggested a dozen names drawn from Greek and Roman mythology, though write-in votes are also allowed. Voting will continue online through Feb. 25.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
A bill to expand aircraft eligibility for a lower property tax rate is making its way before lawmake...
AOPA and eight other industry groups sent a letter urging the FAA to "work swiftly to implement" Par...
A Washington, D.C, area student has created his own computerized refueling system to handle paperwor...
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>