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#924322 - 11/11/17 12:43 AM (486958) 2014 MU69 needs a nickname - any ideas?
Mona - Astronomy Online   content
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6258
Loc: United Kingdom
In the summer of 2015 New Horizons flew by Pluto and its moons, the amazing highpoint following planning that went back a quarter of a century. But that's not the end of the story for New Horizons. It's on its way to Kuiper Belt object (486958) 2014 MU69, known to its friends as MU69.

New Horizons and NASA realize that (486958) 2014 MU69 - aka MU69 - is a pretty meh name. So they're looking for a nickname for it.

The SETI Institute in Mountain View, California is hosting the naming campaign .

Mark Showalter, a member of the New Horizons science team, says "The campaign is open to everyone. We are hoping that somebody out there proposes the perfect, inspiring name for MU69."

If you go to the website, you can see names under consideration and vote for favorites or propose a name you'd like to see added to the ballot.

The campaign closes at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST on December 1, 2017. NASA and the New Horizons team will review the top vote-getters and announce their selection in early January, 2018.
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#924341 - 11/11/17 10:04 PM Re: (486958) 2014 MU69 needs a nickname - any ideas? [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Online   content
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6258
Loc: United Kingdom
Someone asked me why New Horizons is asking for a nickname instead of a name.

That's because it's the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that makes the decisions about naming objects beyond Earth. There are guidelines on naming objects. For example, tells you how asteroids are named. Kuiper Belt Objects get names from world creation myths.

So the New Horizons team, with the help of the public, can nickname MU 69. And the team will be able to propose a final name for it, which the IAU will probably accept.
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#924372 - 11/13/17 06:21 AM Re: (486958) 2014 MU69 needs a nickname - any ideas? [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Online   content
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6258
Loc: United Kingdom
Here are the names that people are currently voting on. There's a short explanation to tell you what each one means. Some of them are suitable for a final name, since they refer to creation deities. But that isn't a requirement for a nickname.

For example, dwarf planet Makemake is a Kuiper Belt object and named for a fertility god and the creator of humanity in the mythology of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island. But before finally confirming the discovery and announcing it, the discovery team called it Easterbunny justbecause it was discovered around Easter.
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#924381 - 11/13/17 07:38 PM Re: (486958) 2014 MU69 needs a nickname - any ideas? [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Lestie4containergardens Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 02/06/11
Posts: 856
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
Hello there,

I chose TRANTOR and as I am a-stick-with-it kind of gal I will not be thinking of new names but every now and then will return to this site to vote again and again for Trantor ... I hope Asimov gets it!

Cheers
Being off and on the Internet is crazy-making!
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#924382 - 11/13/17 10:11 PM Re: (486958) 2014 MU69 needs a nickname - any ideas? [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Online   content
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6258
Loc: United Kingdom
Lestie, I've been a big Asimov fan for many decades. A great combination of imagination, thoughtfulness and humanity in rattling good yarns.

I always thought it amusing that his characters zipped around the Galaxy, but he himself refused to get around planet Earth by air.


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (11/13/17 10:28 PM)
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#924408 - 11/15/17 04:45 AM Re: (486958) 2014 MU69 needs a nickname - any ideas? [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Online   content
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6258
Loc: United Kingdom
The analysis of the popular vote is here, updated daily. There's also a chart of "retired" names. They say
Quote:
We retire names once we determine that a community consensus has been reached. This allows us to continue adding new nominees to the ballot.

I can't say that I quite get what a "community consensus" looks like. I guess that means either they're very popular and will definitely be considered or that that they're hopeless rubbish that's taking up space on the ballot paper. But maybe not.
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