Want to help name Pluto’s moons? The SETI Institute is crowdsourcing ideas for the once-planet’s orbiting bodies, and you can help decide what to call the celestrial rocks currently known as P4 and P5.
The Seti Institute’s “Pluto Rocks” page is all set up for voting, and the site explains that they’re seeking some input:
“Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011 and 2012 revealed two previously unknown moons of Pluto. So far, we have been calling them ‘P4’ and ‘P5,’ but the time has come to give them permanent names. If it were up to you, what would you choose?”
The post continues:
“By tradition, the names of Pluto’s moons come from Greek and Roman mythology, and are related to the ancient tales about Hades and the Underworld. Please pick your favorites on the ballot below.”
Over on Facebook, the Name Pluto’s Moons vote was announced on the SETI page, and users discussed the ballot — and grumbled still about Pluto’s recent demotion by the International Astronomical Union (IAU.) Still others took the opportunity to mock Pluto’s rapid fanbase, joking:
“Silly science, moons are for planets.”
In a blog posting on the Name Pluto’s Moons initiative, planetary authority Mark Showalter notes that while tradition is the use of Greek and Roman names, there’s also a spot to propose another name for the ex-planet’s moons:
“Starting today, we are trying something new. We are asking the public to help us name the moons. Visit plutorocks.seti.org and tell us what you think. We have seeded the ballot with a few names, or you can propose your own. The names will still have to be approved by the International Astronomical Union, but we will use your votes to help us decide the names we propose.”
Here’s a list of the Name Pluto’s Moons choices — will you select one, or propose your own?