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Dwarf Planet Needs Help With a Name, Astronomers Ask Public For Suggestions

The planet is assumed to be the largest unnamed body in the solar system and it has a diameter of roughly 775 miles, which makes it approximately half the size of Pluto, another dwarf planet in our solar system.

Jashodhara Mukherjee | News18.com

Updated:April 14, 2019, 5:24 PM IST
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Dwarf Planet Needs Help With a Name, Astronomers Ask Public For Suggestions
The planet is assumed to be the largest unnamed body in the solar system and it has a diameter of roughly 775 miles, which makes it approximately half the size of Pluto, another dwarf planet in our solar system.

A minor planet in the solar system had been discovered in 2007, and ever since, it has been known by the name (225088) 2007 OR10. Whenever planets are discovered, they're usually named using a combination of alphabets and numbers.

But this time, the astronomers want a cooler name for this dwarf planet that was found orbiting Neptune.

The astronomers have shortlisted three names - Gonggong, Holle and Vili, where each name has a significance of its own. The public has been welcomed to send in their recommendations and the winning name would be put forth to the International Astronomical Union.

Vili is the name of a Nordic deity who took down the frost giant Ymir and used it to create the universe. Gonggong, on the other hand, is a Chinese goddess with red hair and a tail like a serpent. The third name is rather unique, given that Holle is the goddess of fertility, women and rebirth.

These are quite interesting names, given the fact that they're for a planet. The astronomers wanted a name with connections to the colour red, and something that signifies the 12 year delay in naming it.

The planet is assumed to be the largest unnamed body in the solar system and it has a diameter of roughly 775 miles, which makes it approximately half the size of Pluto, another dwarf planet in our solar system.

For those eager to vote for the name, voting lines will remain open till May 10th!

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