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Initial Proposal Submitted to the IAU

posted Jul 7, 2015, 6:41 AM by Mark Showalter   [ updated Jul 7, 2015, 6:43 AM ]
Pluto from New Horizons, July 3
Today we are pleased to announce our initial slate of names to be proposed to the IAU. We received so many great suggestions that winnowing down the list was a real challenge. Nevertheless, we limited our proposal to about ten names in each theme so as not to overwork the IAU nomenclature working group too heavily. There will be many more features to name, so rest assured that the names that didn't make the initial list will be used eventually. If your favorite name is not on these lists, please be patient!

We were particularly delighted by the diversity of the names that reached the top in the voting. I never would have guessed that The Epic of Gilgamesh would rank ahead of several popular TV shows. The list of historic explorers is particularly striking for its diversity. We think it is very important for the feature names on Pluto and its moons to reflect all the people on Planet Earth. Luckily for us, the nominations and votes we received made this easy.

Meanwhile, Pluto is getting closer every day. I can hardly wait.