Contest seeks names for 2 Pluto moons

2013-02-12 07:27
A plan to build an optical telescope much bigger than Salt has cleared an important hurdle. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A plan to build an optical telescope much bigger than Salt has cleared an important hurdle. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Canaveral - Want to name Pluto's two tiniest moons? Then you'll need to dig deep into mythology.

Astronomers announced a contest on Monday to name the two small moons of Pluto discovered over the past two years.

Three Pluto moons already have names associated with Hades and the underworld: They are Charon, the ferryman of Hades; Nix for the night goddess; and the multi-headed monster Hydra.

The two unnamed moons need similar references. Right now, they go by the bland titles of P4 and P5. They're no more than 32km across.

Online voting will last two weeks. Twelve choices are available at the website plutorocks. Choices include the hero who slew Hydra, Hercules; and Styx, the river to the underworld. Write-in suggestions are welcomed.

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