Ballot Change History

As planned, we are updating the ballot as new and interesting names are proposed. Here we summarize the history of our additions and subtractions. 

We retire names from the ballot when we believe we have received a clear indication of their popularity. This creates space for us to add new nominations to the ballot.

Note: The names MjölnirOlafPeanut, and Z'ha'dum have already demonstrated a level of popularity that assures they will be considered by NASA.

Names initially on the ballot November 6

Added November 7 
  • Chomolungma, Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest in Tibet and Nepal)
  • Pangu (from Chinese mythology, emerged from yin and yang)
  • Uluru (Ayers Rock, largest rock on Earth, an "island mountain")
Added November 8
Added November 9
  • Olaf (Norse name meaning relic, ancestral heritage)
Retired November 9
Added November 10
  • Patagonia (site of MU69 occultation; a cold, remote destination)
  • Ultima Thule (beyond the borders of the known world)
    Retired November 10
      Added November 11
        • Pharos (lighthouse of ancient Alexandria and its library)
        • Trantor (planetary home of Asimov's Galactic Library)
        Retired November 11
        • Mjölnir (Thor's hammer)
        • Z'ha'dum (fictional planet at the edge of the galaxy)
        Retired November 14
        Added November 14
        Removed November 15
        • Olaf (Norse name meaning relic, ancestral heritage)
          Added November 15
          • Petra (meaning "rock", name of a famous archeological site)
          Retired November 17
          • Año Nuevo ("New Year" in Spanish)
          • Camalor (fictional city in the Kuiper Belt)
          • Patagonia (site of MU69 occultation; a cold, remote destination)
          Added November 17
          • Abeona (Roman goddess of outward journeys, first steps)
          • A'Tuin (giant turtle who travels the galaxy, Discworld novels)
          • Niflheim (Norse realm of primordial darkness and cold)
          • Nubbin ("small lump or residual part")
          Retired Ballot Entries

          Año Nuevo

          This is "New Year" in Spanish. It recognizes that the MU69 flyby is on New Year's Day, 2019. It is a forward-looking name for space exploration. If MU69 turns out to be two bodies, we can call them "Año" and "Nuevo".

          Camalor is the fictional city of an alien species living on a small, cold world in the Kuiper Belt. It appeared in the 1993 novel Camelot 30K, by Robert L. Forward.

          These are the three peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. The journey of New Horizons to MU69 brings to mind climbers reaching for high, cold mountain summits.

          Mjölnir

          This is the name of Thor's hammer in Norse mythology. A contact binary could have a shape resembling a hammer. The mythology of a northern culture seems appropriate for a cold world.

          Olaf is a common name from Norse tradition. It means "relic" or "ancestral heritage". Norse names are particularly appropriate for a cold, icy body like MU69. MU69 is a "relic" from the time when our solar system formed.

          Patagonia

          The region of Argentina and Chile where the New Horizons Occultation Team obtained crucial advance observations of MU69, which suggest it to be a binary. This name honors the international spirit of planetary exploration and the generous help provided by the Patagonian people. Patagonia includes Cape Horn, the cold remote end of the South American continent, and a landmark in the history of exploration.

          Peanut, Almond, Cashew

          A contact binary is often shaped like a peanut. If other bodies are found, we can name them after the type of nut they most closely resemble.

          These are two remarkable attributes of the New Horizons spacecraft after traveling 4 billion miles to Jupiter, Pluto and its five moons, and soon MU69.

          We are viewing MU69 in front of the constellation Sagittarius. Sagittarius is a centaur, half man and half horse, from Greco-Roman mythology.

          Tangotango & Tawhaki

          In Maori legend, Tawhaki is a great hero who climbs into the heavens for his wife, the celestial goddess Tangotango. In some tales, Tangotango is a creation goddess, mother of the sun and moon. Tawhaki's climb to the heavens parallels the outward journey of New Horizons, and Tangotango's story parallels MU69's role as a witness to the formation of the solar system.

          Z'ha'dum

          Z'ha'dum is a fictional planet from the TV series Babylon 5 (1994–1997). Like MU69, it is a very distant world, although Z'ha'dum is located at the edge of the galaxy, rather than at the edge of our solar system.