"Help Us Name the Moons of Pluto!"
Pluto may have lost is designation as a full-fledged-planet in 2006 (after 'dwarf planet' Eris
was discovered that is larger than it), but it still gets plenty of attention by astronomers. In the last two years, the Hubble Space Telescope discovered two more moons of Pluto, which have not yet been named. So Mark Showalter
of the SETI Institute is doing an online survey.
Because Pluto was named after the Greek God of the Underworld (the Disney Dog
was named a few months later), the names up for voting are all Greek Mythology (and mostly Underworld) related. They are:
, the "river of pain", a real-life river in Greece that was claimed to lead directly to Hell (not popular for riverboat cruises).
, one of The Furies and "daughter of Gaea fertilized by the blood spilled from Uranus when Kronos castrated him". Ew. Also a character in the Aeneid.
, a mythical three-headed dog whose capture was the 12th Labor of Hercules (more on him later). It's now the name of a "Capital Managment Group"
that recently sold off a gunmaker and bought a chain of supermarkets. NOT to be confused with a comic-book aardvark named Cerebus
, the personification of darkness, considered in some mythologies one of the first five beings to come into existence from Chaos. Now the name of a 4-Story Haunted House tourist attraction in Pontiac, Michigan
, devoted wife/lover of Orpheus (more on him later, romantics should vote for both of these names for the two moons)
Hercules. Yeah, Hercules. Totally Hercules. Hercules, Hercules.
, "the personification of sleep" and origin of the word 'hypnosis' and current manufacturer of "official beds of Britain's Royal Family"
, another one of the five rivers of Hades (considering the current image of Hell, it used to be pretty well irrigated) and goddess of forgetfulness and oblivion (apparently the inventor of "brain farts" and "senior moments").
, "the term for the coin placed in or on the mouth of a dead person before burial... as a payment or bribe for Charon, the ferryman who conveyed souls... to the world of the dead." Cheron already has a Pluto moon named for him. Obol is now the brand name of "the original crispy bowl"
, a legendary musician - and by legendary, I mean he had multiple legends written about him, including voyaging with Jason and the Argonauts and trying to bring his beloved wife Eurydice back from Hades.
, daughter of Zeus and queen of the Underworld, due to being abducted by Hades, who may or may not be Pluto, because while Greek mythology did not disapprove of child abduction and forced marriage, they could be kinda coy about identifying the perpetrator.
. (This post brought to you by "Too Much Time on My Hands"
Current vote tally with 14 days left:
Styx and Cerberus in the lead, Hercules looking weak.