Help astronomers name the largest unnamed world in the Solar System

13 Avril, 2019, 00:25 | Auteur: Therese Cote

Three astronomers who discovered the celestial body 10 years ago have launched a campaign to find a moniker for the largest unnamed planet in our solar system.

An online poll is now being held to determine the name of minor planet 2007 OR10, which was discovered by three astronomers at the Palomar Observatory in California on July 17, 2007, and a Chinese name has made the ballot.

According to the site, the names "have been pre-selected to meet the requirements of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)".

Gonggong: A Chinese water god with red hair and a serpent-like tail.

This isn't the first time the public's been asked to help name something. He is seen as destructive, and is blamed for cosmic catastrophes including floods and the tilting of Earth.

Holle: A European winter goddess of fertility, rebirth, and women. She is connected to the spirit world through the magic of spinning and weaving, and is linked to the Yuletide season.

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The planetoid's orbit-discovered in July 2007 as part of the Palomar Distant Solar System Survey-places it among 3,000-plus known Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). Together with his brothers Odin and Vé, he defeated frost giant Ymir and used Ymir's body to create the universe.

Beyond Neptune, there's a minor red planet that rotates around the sun - and it is in need of a name.

All of the options are associated with mythological creatures and figures that reflect the physical properties of 2007 OR10.

You can vote on one of three names listed on the scientists' website: Gonggong, Holle and Vili.

Voting ends on May 10th.



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