Voter's Guide

On this page you can learn more about the nicknames that we are currently considering.  After reviewing the choices, visit the ballot page to vote. If you have a new nickname to suggest, visit the nominations page and submit it for consideration.

Scroll down, or follow one of these links, to find out more about each choice on the ballot:

  • Abeona (Roman goddess of outward journeys, first steps)
  • A'Tuin (giant turtle who travels the galaxy, Discworld novels)
  • Chomolungma, Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest in Tibet and Nepal)
  • Huginn & Muninn (ravens/gatherers of knowledge for Odin)
  • Mawu-Lisa (Afro-Caribbean female & male creator spirits)
  • Niflheim (Norse realm of primordial darkness and cold)
  • Nubbin ("small lump or residual part")
  • Pangu (from Chinese mythology, emerged from yin and yang)
  • Petra (meaning "rock", name of a famous archeological site)
  • Pharos (lighthouse of ancient Alexandria and its library)
  • Shahrazad (legendary storyteller and survivor)
  • Tiamat & Abzu (Babylonian water gods who created the cosmos)
  • Trantor (planetary home of Asimov's Galactic Library)
  • Uluru (Ayers Rock, largest rock on Earth, an "island mountain")
  • Ultima Thule ("beyond the borders of the known world")
  • Wynken, Blynken, & Nod (sailed across a sea of stars)

You can review our ballot change history here.

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

Current Ballot Entries

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.