New Horizons wants the public to help pick a nickname for its next target


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The New Horizons science team is asking the public to submit suggestions for a good nickname for 2014 MU69, the Kuiper Belt object that the spacecraft will fly past on January 1, 2019.

The naming campaign is hosted by the SETI Institute of Mountain View, California, and led by Mark Showalter, an institute fellow and member of the New Horizons science team. The website includes names currently under consideration; site visitors can vote for their favorites or nominate names they think should be added to the ballot. “The campaign is open to everyone,” Showalter said. “We are hoping that somebody out there proposes the perfect, inspiring name for MU69.”

The campaign will close at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST on Dec. 1. NASA and the New Horizons team will review the top vote-getters and announce their selection in early January.

The press release says that a more formal name for the object will be submitted to the IAU after the fly-by.

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6 comments

  • LocalFluff

    I’m kind of conservative, so I would suggest the name “MU70”. Of it isn’t already taken. It’s hard to find good url-google words these days.

    “Doctor Alan’s Star” (Alans Sterne in German, his full name) is otherwise a name I would bet on. We all know who the guy who WILL name it is on a press conference any day now. He wouldn’t bother the confused IAU with it, and they should be grateful and stay in the archives beyond media attention. There are Kuiper Belt objects names Humhum-something after some imagined ghost. So why not having an icy little Alan out there?

  • Nick

    Muie mc mu face is my bet…

  • Michael Dean Miller

    .

    Kuiper McKuiper Face

    .

  • Mark

    IHopeItsMadeOfDiamondsAndGoldAndReallyReallyGoodRootbeer ?

  • Cotour

    I voted twice today, once in the New York City election and then again I submitted my suggestion to name this Kuiper Belt object: “CHERRYSTONE40”

    I’m feeling good about my chances.

  • Cotour:

    I assume you are not registered Democrat, or you would have several opportunities to vote in a given election.

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