FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Pluto was named after the Roman god of the Underworld, the realm of darkness. In keeping with this long-standing tradition, we are also using names related to the Underworld in all the cultures of the world. The themes are:
Throughout human history, stories have been told about mysterious underworlds and the brave people who have entered them and (rarely) left them. For this reason, many of our stories about the Underworld are also stories of exploration.
And how did this body get named Pluto? The name was suggested to Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer, by an 11-year old girl named Venetia Burney. Tombaugh liked the name in part because it begins with "PL", the initials of Percival Lowell. Years earlier, Lowell had started the search for the ninth planet, but he died 14 years before Tombaugh's discovery.