The New Horizons probe, which flew past Pluto two years ago to much fanfare, heads toward another, even more distant world named (486958) 2014 MU69.
Before it arrives, that name needs an overhaul.
NASA announced a search for suggestions on what to nickname the distant world, or possibly an entire set of worlds. (486958) 2014 MU69, or MU69 for short, sits so distant from Earth, over 4 billion miles away, and appears so tiny that astronomers don’t have a clear picture yet.
On January 1, 2019, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly past a small, distant, and cold world at the outer frontier of our solar system.”
— NASA New Horizons (@NASANewHorizons) November 7, 2017
“The spacecraft is about to set the record for visiting the most remote world ever explored by humankind,” according to the project website. “We would like to use a more memorable nickname when we talk about our target body.”
(W)e are asking you—the public—to suggest your ideas for the nickname to assign to MU69, and to vote for your favorites.”
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