February 20, 2020

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…

Astro-Event of the Week: July 22nd-28th 2008:Spot Pluto!

Now, for the telescopic challenge of a lifetime; a chance to spot the elusive and controversial Pluto. Even experienced amateur astronomers have yet to accomplish this feat, and I’ve only done it once with the 14″ Schmitt-Cassegrain at the Flandreau Observatory.

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Are you a Planet? A humble proposal.

Here’s a fun proposal. Next time you find yoursef bored, go into the science department of your local university and just casually pose the question “gee, maybe Pluto should/shouldn’t be a planet.” Then stand back and watch the slide rules fly (yes real science geeks still pack slide rules, for when the apocalyspe comes!)

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