Descriptions of the Nominees

Here is the complete list of names we voted on, including the dates during which they appeared on the ballot.

Note that we removed names occasionally to make room for new names. The dates during which each name appeared on the ballot are listed here. See our Vote Tally pages for a ranking of the most popular names.

Abenoa

Abeona was the Roman Goddess of outward journeys and protector of travelers. She was also thought to watch over a child’s first steps and to protect children when the first go out to explore the world around them. The name is apt as the destination of New Horizons as it journeys deep into the Kuiper Belt.

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”.

A’Tuin

A’Tuin is a giant turtle who carries  Discworld  on his or her back in a series of humorous fantasy novels by  Terry Pratchett. A’Tuin’s journey through the cosmos is a central part of the Discworld creation myth and a topic of endless speculation for the inhabitants of this world.

Camalor

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 names of Mt. Everest in Tibet and Nepal. Like MU69, Everest is a cold, distant place and a challenge to reach. Chomolungma is translated as “Mother of the World”, echoing our hopes that MU69 will help us to understand the origins of our solar s.ystem.

Denali

Located in Alaska, Denali is the tallest mountain peak in North America. Its name means “Great One” in the language of the native  Koyukon  people.

Far-point

In ophthalmology, the far-point is the most distant point at which the eye sees clearly. For MU69, it describes humanity’s most distant planetary encounter and also the clear view and new knowledge that we will obtain.

Huginn & Muninn

In Norse mythology, these two ravens explore the world and bring information to  Odin. As gatherers and preservers of knowledge, they are an apt metaphor for New Horizons gathering information and for MU69 preserving knowledge about solar system formation.

Kibo, Mawenzi, Shira

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.

Lewis & Clark

In 1803, President Jefferson commissioned  Meriwether Lewis  and  William Clark  to  explore the US west. With the cooperation of the native peoples, the company returned in 1806 with a wealth of new knowledge about a region previously unknown to westerners.

Mawu-Lisa

Mawu-Lisa is the name of an androgenous creator god in some African and Afro-Caribbean traditions. Sometimes the name is split into  Mawu  and Lisa, separate female and male spirits, who worked together to create the world. This name is ideal for MU69, where the we could use Mawu-Lisa for one body or Mawu and Lisa for a two. As names from a creation myth, these could potentially be approved as formal names for MU69 by the  IAU.

Megalith

Many societies have constructed structures out of large stones, called megaliths. Megalithic structures are found in all parts of the world dating back to prehistory, and stand today as monuments to human ingenuity.

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

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