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Help name Pluto's two newest moons
February 11, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
Want to help name Pluto's newest moons?
The SETI Institute and Dr. Mark Showalter are conducting a poll at (www.plutorocks.com) on behalf of the discovery team.
The names up for consideration all have something to do with Greek and Roman mythology of the underworld, as befits Pluto, the planetary body that was named after the god of the underworld. His Greek name was Hades.
The names being voted on include Acheron, a river in the underworld that symbolized pain; Alecto, who punished humans for the crime of anger; Cerberus, Pluto's three-headed dog who guarded the gates to the underworld; Erebus, the personification of darkness; Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus whom he tried and failed to rescue from the underworld after she died; Heracles, a demi-god who completed heroic feats; Hypnos, the personification of sleep; Lethe, a river in the underworld that symbolized oblivion; Obol, the coin paid by the dead to cross the river Styx to reach the underworld; Orpheus, a handsome musician who tried and failed to rescue his dead wife from the underworld. However, he was the only person to return from the underworld alive; Persephone, the wife of Hades and queen of the underworld; Styx, a river that separates Earth and the underworld.
So far the top vote-getters are Cerberus and Styx. People can vote once a day. The poll runs until noon on Feb. 25. The poll isn't binding, but the poll organizers will take the winning votes into account in suggesting names for the moons.
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