September 22, 2014

Your Chance to Name a Moon!

This is a quick call to arms: astronomer Mike Brown is asking for your help in naming s/1 90482 (2005), a moon of the Kuiper Belt Object Orcus, infamously touted as “the anti-Pluto…”  Mike will be entertaining entries until Sunday, April 5th, 2009…there is already quite a lively banter on his blog linked above!

Our two cents? My top pick would be Vanth, the Etruscan goddess of the dead. This has the advantage of sticking to the underworld mythos as set by Pluto, as well as the Etruscan pedigree set by Orcus…plus Vanth is original and just sounds cool! Another pick could be Lilith, the Mesopotamian demi-goddess, which was once proposed to be a second, hypothetical “anti-moon” of Earth. One down side of Lilith is that a minor planet already shares this name. A final thought would be “Nox”, the Roman counterpart to Nix, one of Pluto’s newly discovered moons…reading through the other comments, there seems to be enough momentum for Vanth to consider it a movement…

When You Wish Upon a Star: the Truth About Star Naming.

    We have a pet peeve here at Astroguyz. Every great once in a while, most astronomers get asked by a well meaning member of the public to locate a particular star. This is not a problem, even without the benefit of a “Goto” mount; right ascension, declination, and maybe a crude star map is all that is required. [Read more...]