Voter's Guide

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.

Abeona (Roman goddess of outward journeys, first steps) Nov 17-Dec 6
Año Nuevo ("New Year" in Spanish) Nov 6-17
A'Tuin (giant turtle who travels the galaxy, Discworld novels) Nov 17-Dec 6
Camalor (fictional city in the Kuiper Belt) Nov 6-17
Chomolungma, Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest in Tibet and Nepal) Nov 7-Dec 6
Denali (tallest mountain in North America) Nov 21-Dec 6
Far-point (the most distant point at which the eye sees
clearly)
Nov 28-Dec 6
Huginn & Muninn (ravens/gatherers of knowledge for Odin) Nov 8-Dec 6
Kibo, Mawenzi, Shira (peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro) Nov 6-14
Lewis & Clark (explorers of the New World) Nov 28-Dec 6
Mawu-Lisa (Afro-Caribbean female & male creator spirits) Nov 14-28
Megalith (a large stone forming a prehistoric monument) Nov 21-Dec 6
Mjölnir (Thor's hammer) Nov 6-11
Monolith (massive rock; marker of human progress in film
2001)
Nov 25-Dec 6
Niflheim (Norse realm of primordial darkness and cold) Nov 17-21
Nubbin ("small lump or residual part") Nov 17-Dec 6
Olaf (Norse name meaning relic, ancestral heritage) Nov 9-15
Olympus (Mountain realm of gods and muses) Nov 28-Dec 6
Pangu (from Chinese mythology, emerged from yin and yang) Nov 7-Dec 6
Patagonia (site of MU69 occultation; a cold, remote destination) Nov 10-17
Peanut, Almond, Cashew (shapes for small bodies) Nov 6-9
Petra (meaning "rock", name of a famous archeological site) Nov 15-Dec 6
Pharos (lighthouse of ancient Alexandria and its library) Nov 11-Dec 6
Pinnacle ("the culmination; a high, pointed rock") Nov 21-Dec 6
Pluck & Persistence (traits of New Horizons) Nov 6-10
Rubicon (a line whose crossing changes the future irrevocably) Nov 21-Dec 6
Sagittarius (constellation behind MU69/mythical centaur) Nov 6-10
Sharazad (legendary storyteller and survivor) Nov 14-Dec 6
Tangotango & Tawhaki (Maori creation goddess and her
husband)
Nov 8-14
Terra Nova ("New Earth") Nov 28-Dec 6
Tiamat & Abzu (Babylonian water gods who created the
cosmos)
Nov 8-Dec 6
Tiramisu (the frozen dessert after our main course, Pluto) Nov 28-Dec 6
Trantor (planetary home of Asimov's Galactic Library) Nov 11-Dec 6
Ultima Thule ("beyond the borders of the known world") Nov 10-Dec 6
Uluru (Ayers Rock, largest rock on Earth, an "island mountain") Nov 7-Dec 6
Wynken, Blynken, & Nod (sailed across a sea of stars) Nov 14-Dec 6
Z'ha'dum (fictional planet at the edge of the galaxy) Nov 6-11

Descriptions of the Nominees

    Abeona

    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.

    Chomolungma, Sagarmatha

    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 system.

    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 seems appropriate for a cold world.

    Monolith

    Monolith has a variety of meanings. In geology, it is a feature composed of a single massive rock. In other contexts, it refers to a large rock serving as a pillar or monument. In the 1968 film and novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, the monoliths were mysterious objects that marked major breakthroughs in the progress of the human species.

    Niflheim

    Niflheim, was one of the two primordial realms in Norse mythology. It was imagined to be cold and dark, much like MU69. Its counterpart is Muspelheim, the realm of fire, in much the same way that MU69 is a distant companion of the Sun.

    Nubbin

    Nubbin is an English word meaning "small lump or residual part". This is appropriate for a tiny, distant world left behind when the solar system formed.

    Olaf

    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.

    Olympus

    Mount Olympus is the highest point in Greece and a World Biosphere Reserve. In mythology, it was the dwelling place of Zeus and the major Greek gods. It was also the home of the muses, inspirational goddesses of literature, science and the arts.

    Pangu

    Pangu is the first living being in some Chinese mythologies. As a character in an origin mythology, the name could potentially be approved by the IAU as a permanent name for MU69. Pangu arose from the opposing principles of Yin and Yang, two nicknames that would work well if MU69 is found to be a binary.

    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.

    Petra

    Petra is derived from the Greek word "petros", meaning "rock". It is also the name of a UNESCO World Heritage archeological site in modern-day Jordan, most famous for its rock-cut architecture dating back to c. 300 BCE. The site was known as a place where Eastern and Western cultures crossed paths. The name seems apropos for a distant "rock" that will teach us about our planetary pre-history.

    Pharos

    Pharos of Alexandria was the name of a lighthouse considered to be one of the wonders of the ancient world. It led travelers to the city, which housed a library containing much of the knowledge of the ancient world. Similarly, MU69 is leading us to knowledge of the ancient past.

    Pinnacle

    "Pinnacle" has two meanings related to the New Horizons mission. It means "a high, pointed rock", an appropriate description of MU69. It also means "culmination, a point of greatest achievement or success", which describes the long journey of the New Horizons spacecraft to this destination.

    Pluck & Persistence

    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.

    Rubicon

    Idiomatically, "crossing the Rubicon" is to take an irrevocable step outward, often one which will strongly influence future events. The phrase originates from Julius Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon, a river in northern Italy, in 49 BCE.

    Sagittarius

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

    Sharazad

    Sharazad (Scheherazade) is a legendary storyteller who, through years of gathering knowledge of the world, achieved longevity for herself and the others around her. MU69 has also survived unscathed as an orbiting time capsule, and it will soon tell us stories about our past.

    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.

    Terra Nova

    Terra Nova literally means "new land" or "new Earth", making it an apt nickname for MU69. Among its many usages, the 1910 Terra Nova Expedition was one of the first journeys across Antarctica to the South Pole.

    Tiamat & Abzu

    In Babylonian mythology, Tiamat and Abzu are the primordial gods of the salt sea and fresh water. Their marriage creates the cosmos. The story echoes our modern understanding that water plays a critical role in the origin of life on Earth. Their names are perfect for a binary object. The connection to a creation myth makes them eligible as the permanent name(s) for MU69.

    Tiramisu

    A cold Italian dessert to enjoy following a main course. Similarly, MU69 is our small, frozen treat following the feast that was the Pluto encounter. Note that the brown color of Tiramisu might be a good match for the dark, reddish tint of MU69.

    Trantor

    Capital planet in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series of science fiction novels. The Library of Trantor indexed the entirety of human knowledge.

    Ultima Thule

    A distant, unknown land; the extreme limit of travel or discovery. Thule (pronounced thoo-lee) was a mythical, far-northern island in medieval literature and cartography. Ultima Thule means "beyond Thule", i.e., beyond the borders of the known world. MU69 is humanity's next ultima Thule.

    Uluru

    Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is the largest individual rock on planet Earth, an inselberg or "island mountain." It is about one tenth the size of MU69. Uluru is featured prominently in the origin myths of Australia's native peoples, and so is appropriate as the destination for our mission to understand the origins of our solar system.

    Wynken, Blynken, & Nod

    Three children who boarded a wooden shoe at night and went sailing and fishing across a sea of stars, from a popular 1889 children's poem by Eugene Field. An evocative image for New Horizons sailing toward MU69.

    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.