NASA is letting you title an object within the Kuiper Belt


Because letting the general public title issues has all the time gone nicely previously.

NASA is letting the general public vote for the nickname for an object within the Kuiper Belt, simply previous the planet Neptune on the fringe of our photo voltaic system. The Kuiper Belt is stuffed with house objects just like the Asteroid Belt, however with icier formations of methane, ammonia, and water.

The object in query is a billion miles previous Pluto and is at present referred to as “(486958) 2014 MU69”, or “MU69” for brief. Instead of what NASA calls the thing’s “license plate number,” they need the general public to offer the formation a nickname till they fly by the thing on Jan. 1, 2019.

When the New Horizons spacecraft flies previous the thing, NASA will formally title it one thing that can be offered to the International Astronomical Union, however till then it’s as much as you, science lover, to call the far-out object.

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This illustration supplied by NASA exhibits the New Horizons spacecraft. The house probe badped previous Pluto in 2015 and is headed to 2014 MU69 for an tried 2019 flyby of the tiny, icy world on the sting of the photo voltaic system.


“We’re excited for the public to help us pick a nickname for our target that captures the excitement of the flyby and awe and inspiration of exploring this new and record-distant body in space,” Alan Stern, New Horizons’ principal investigator mentioned on the NASA web site.

NASA has an inventory of a number of the names recommended to date, and a rating for the votes, together with Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer, at present within the lead), Z’ha’dum (a fictional planet from the TV sequence “Babylon 5”), and Peanut/Almond/Cashew. No Spacey McSpaceFace in sight.

An artist's rendering of an object, called Quaoar, found in the Kuiper Belt 4 billion miles from the Sun.

An artist’s rendering of an object, referred to as Quaoar, discovered within the Kuiper Belt four billion miles from the Sun.

(NASA and G. Bacon/Getty Images)

The marketing campaign will shut at three P.M. EST on December 1 and the house company will reveal the choice in January, a yr earlier than the meant journey.

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