Vote to help name the largest unnamed body in the solar system | Human world

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A round crescent world and its moon, with a distant sun.

2007 OR10 Artist Concept – the largest object of the unnamed solar system ever discovered – and its moon. Both are in the Kuiper Belt, far from the sun in our solar system. Image via Alex H. Parker / The Planetary Society.

Astronomers Meg Schwamb, Mike Brown and David Rabinowitz held a vote on the official name of the largest unnamed body in our solar system. They helped discover this Kuiper Belt object more than 10 years ago. Labeled (225088) 2007 OR10, the object has one of the most red surfaces ever encountered in the Kuiper Belt. Although various names have been proposed, 2007 OR10 still does not have an official name. The current astronomer campaign – announced in an article in The Planetary Society on April 9, 2019 – invites you to vote on three possible names. The winner will be submitted to the International Astronomical Union for official recognition. Vote here. The deadline for voting is May 10th at 11:59 pm PDT (May 11th at 6:59 UTC, convert UTC time in a timely manner).

Meg Schwamb wrote:

It's time to give a name to 2007 OR10. We are seeking your help in choosing an appropriate name for 2007 OR10 to submit to the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The IAU officially assigns permanent names to the minor planets of the solar system, but the discoverers are about 10 years after the body has put itself into a definite orbit to suggest a name to be taken into account by the IAU. . We have three suggested names that match the IAU's name rules, which are associated with mythological creatures and figures that reflect aspects of the OR10's 2007 physical properties. The option with the most votes will be the one we formally submit to the IAU for review. Go to and vote for your favorite naming suggestion. Voting ends May 10 [May 11 UTC].

The naming suggestions have been pre-selected to meet the requirements of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Gonggong is a Chinese god of water with red hair and tail shaped snake. He is known for creating chaos, causing floods and rocking the Earth.

A European goddess of fertility, rebirth and women in winter. Holle is making snow by shaking his bed. She is a patroness of housekeeping, especially spinning. It is related to the Christmas season (winter solstice) associated with mistletoe and holly – an evergreen plant bearing red berries.

As part of Sir, Vili is a Nordic diety. Vili, along with his brothers Odin and Ve, defeated cold giant Ymir and used Ymir's body to create the universe. Ymir's flesh and bones were forged on Earth, Ymir's blood becoming rivers and oceans.

As mentioned above, 2007 OR10 is reddish in color. What do we know about this? Schwamb, Brown and Rabinowitz were all part of the team that had discovered it on July 17, 2007, as part of the Palomar Remote Solar System Inquiry, in search of distant bodies in the Kuiper belt and beyond. With an orbit placing it in the Kuiper belt, we know this object in orbit beyond Neptune. Schwamb wrote:

Near-infrared spectroscopy has revealed the presence of large amounts of pure water ice and possibly traces of methane ice on the surface of the OR10 2007 … It is estimated that this is 1,250 kilometers. [777 miles] in diameter, which makes it smaller than Pluto and Eris, similar in size to Pluto Charon's moon. 2007 OR10 is probably big enough for gravity to make it round, making it a likely dwarf planet.

2007 OR10 was originally dubbed Snow White by Mike Brown, one of his discoverers. About the time the team discovered her, she assumed her color was white, believing she should be very tall or very bright to be detected by their investigation. However, when 2007 OR10 turned out to be one of the most red objects in the Kuiper belt, the nickname was removed.

There have also been petitions to name this object, including one for the name Gebeleizis. But until now, no name has been blocked.

In the end: The deadline to vote is 10:59 (Paris time) May 10, 2019 (11:59 May 11, convert UTC time in your time). To vote, go to Help Name 2007 OR10 website.

Via the global society

Deborah Byrd

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