Your Help Wanted to Name Pluto’s Newest Moons

Posted at 7:43 AM, Feb 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-12 07:43:44-05

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — If you have ever wanted a chance to make a name for yourself in astronomy, you now have an opportunity.

Astronomers who were part of NASA’s New Horizons mission have discovered two new moons of Pluto, and now they need help to come up with names. As of now, the moons go by the names P4 and P5.

They were spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011 and 2012. They are both very small, with diameters of only 15 to 20 miles.

Pluto has three other moons, Charon, Nix and Hydra, all named after Greek mythological characters associated with the underworld.

Pluto was a planet until 2006, until the International Astronomical Union redefined “planet” and it was demoted to “dwarf planet.”

You can vote to name the moons by visiting the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence’s website until Feb. 25 at noon.

(Photo courtesy of NASA)