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Help Astronomers Name Pluto’s Moons


The official balloting is over. The unofficial results — the winners are Vulcan and Cerberus. For all the results check out plutorocks.com. Thanks for voting!

P4 and P5? Surely you can come up with better names for Pluto’s newly-discovered moons. Astronomers at the SETI Institute are asking for your help. You can cast your ballot at plutorocks.com until noon EST (1700 GMT) on February 25th.

Traditionally, the names of Pluto’s moons come from Greek and Roman mythology and are related to stories about Hades and the Underworld.  (Pluto moons that were discovered earlier bear the names Charon, Hydra and Nix.)   But if Orpheus, Persephone or Vulcan don’t float your boat, you can offer up your own suggestion by filling out a write-in ballot.

For all the latest science news, check out the National Geographic’s twice-weekly news rundown, EarthCurrent .


  1. heath
    sioux falls
    October 29, 2013, 2:49 pm

    it should be named zues

  2. Logan VanderWal
    September 28, 2013, 6:50 pm

    I think Pluto’s moons should be named Cerberus and Hades

  3. Hannah VanderWal
    September 28, 2013, 6:39 pm

    I think the moons should have greek names like Cerberus**** and pandora

  4. Logan VanderWal
    September 28, 2013, 6:34 pm

    I think Pluto’s moons should be named Cerberus

  5. Tate Fowler
    April 16, 2013, 4:43 pm

    You should call them either Styks as in the River of styks, Perspherone, Pom as in pomegranite seeds, and Cerberus

  6. Leeban Mohamed
    March 11, 2013, 9:55 pm

    Nice name!!!!!

  7. Natalie Durghalli
    March 11, 2013, 6:35 pm

    How about Kah and Ko. 🙂

    Or maybe they could name them both New moon for now. 🙂
    And then maybe next month they could name them one of these names

  8. Natalie Durghalli
    March 11, 2013, 6:29 pm

    How about Kah and Ko. 🙂

  9. Natalie Durghalli
    March 11, 2013, 6:27 pm

    How about Kah and Ko.

  10. athira
    March 11, 2013, 2:00 am

    not necessary to be greek or roman

  11. athira
    March 11, 2013, 1:58 am

    why not ethnics and thyx

  12. Molly
    March 3, 2013, 1:31 pm

    Erinyes. the servevents of Persephone and Hades in the Underworld also known as the Furies.

  13. thea musolino
    February 28, 2013, 7:41 am

    why not pandora, plutos moon was origanilly pandora? or thea the word for goddess

  14. thea musolino
    February 28, 2013, 7:40 am

    how about pandora plutos moon was originaly pandora anyways

  15. Shane
    February 27, 2013, 10:36 am

    How about Darwin the guy who studied the galapigos islands or Rubie like the gem.

  16. McKay Olsen
    Fuitland Idaho
    February 26, 2013, 12:24 pm

    you shoold name them alexia and freemond.

    February 25, 2013, 10:30 am


  18. Jayda Alfred
    United States
    February 24, 2013, 11:10 am

    That is totally AWESOME that we are taking part in something so magical! YA 3x What about Zeus or Perseus or Aphrodite or Athena or…

  19. Katarina Matošić
    Split, Croatia
    February 19, 2013, 1:40 pm

    Name of the new Pluto’s moon could be ZEUS!!!!I just love it!!
    Don’t you think so?????

  20. Dale Perkins
    California, USA
    February 18, 2013, 6:41 pm

    How about En’drwaf’in, you know, instead of endorphin, because finding new moons or planets, or anything else in the unknown universe is so exciting. And of course having ‘dwarf’ in there kind of fits since Pluto is a ‘dwarf’ planet:)

    The second new moon could be called ‘hullabaloo’, which is a synonim for exciting. Or it could be simply called ‘Poe’ for Edgar Allen Poe. You could nickname it ‘moon poe’, instead of ‘moon pie’.

  21. Arianna
    February 17, 2013, 8:30 am

    How bout Osiris and Siris or ba and ka ? 🙂

  22. Chudamani Akavaram
    February 16, 2013, 6:23 am

    1. Plutorette.(Smaller Pluto) 2.plutoskid (The kid of Pluto ) 3 Pluty .( Pluto favourite)

  23. Anadil
    February 15, 2013, 7:12 am

    how about mock!

  24. sandrillon
    nantes, france
    February 15, 2013, 5:25 am

    Cybelle et proserpine (mere et epouse de pluton)

  25. Crystal Gardner
    February 14, 2013, 8:13 pm

    One of the new moons could be named Cerberus after the three-headed guard dog of Hades. And the other new moon could be named Etna after the volcano that Pluto came riding out of on four black horses to abduct Proserpina (Queen of the Underworld).

  26. Klemen Muhic
    February 14, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Flop and Plop?

  27. Sydney
    February 14, 2013, 5:44 pm


  28. solara
    February 14, 2013, 5:08 pm


  29. Planet
    February 14, 2013, 4:50 pm

    Tartaros and Cerberus – Greek Underworld

  30. Isaac Madigan
    February 14, 2013, 4:12 pm


  31. tommy
    Chicago illinois
    February 14, 2013, 2:56 pm

    I think Mickey would be a good name it would help all the kids in school remember it. come on who could forget Mickey Mouse and Pluto..

  32. johnny
    February 14, 2013, 1:28 pm

    Something greek for sure

  33. Márcia Gomes Martins
    February 14, 2013, 12:51 pm

    P4 – Philos;

    P5 – Sophia

  34. Xavier Llauger
    February 14, 2013, 12:08 pm

    I think it would be appropriate names erebus and styx

  35. Rohan Agrawal
    February 14, 2013, 9:55 am

    How about plutob and plutos(brother and sister)!!!!

  36. Elizabeth Tanner
    Beacon, New York
    February 14, 2013, 9:02 am

    Dharra & Dahmeena.

  37. Percival Valerio
    February 14, 2013, 7:37 am

    NOY or NONOY

  38. Brechtje Carpentier
    Torhout, Belgium
    February 14, 2013, 6:46 am

    Micky and Donald should be with Pluto…

  39. Ricardo
    February 14, 2013, 6:29 am

    The name of the moon Will be Kris

  40. helal
    February 14, 2013, 6:28 am

    we could call it Pluten its like a smaller version of Pluto

  41. Gab
    Curitiba, Brazil
    February 14, 2013, 5:52 am

    I think it would be nicer if were chosen names that aren’t greek or roman, like ‘gloomy’, ‘mist’ and such… 🙂

  42. Arno
    February 14, 2013, 4:54 am

    I agree with Manny. Persophone, also make the othher one Orpheus. Forget Vulcan, though. That’s too reminiscent of heat and light.

  43. Jakob grafe
    February 14, 2013, 4:49 am


  44. fasya
    February 14, 2013, 4:28 am

    ziza? afra? claize?

  45. Ian Ison
    February 14, 2013, 3:54 am

    The Oneiroi were said to dwell in a cavern on the borders of Hades. Three bear the names Morpheus, Icelos, Phantasos.

  46. Solaris
    February 14, 2013, 2:47 am


  47. Anthie Televantou
    February 14, 2013, 2:22 am

    Anthea is a nice name for a moon 🙂

  48. CrniZec
    February 14, 2013, 2:04 am

    Well, they forget about Calisto. It’s also greek myth name. So I stick to Calisto. 😉

  49. Arne Sørensen
    February 14, 2013, 2:00 am

    Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

  50. Joe Sax
    Punta Arenas, Chile
    February 14, 2013, 12:54 am

    My vote goes for Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus descended to Hades looking for her and failed in the end, condemning himself to an eternity in the Underworld.

    He’s also the God of music ! So why not.

  51. LUZ
    February 14, 2013, 12:44 am


  52. jim
    February 14, 2013, 12:34 am

    Or Hypnos, son of Nyx, and his wife Pasithea. The god of sleep and the goddess of rest and relaxation make a great pair.
    And hey, it’s Valentine’s day!

  53. David Eckels
    Southern California
    February 13, 2013, 11:46 pm

    Vulcan, Spock or Nimoy.

  54. wheeeeeee
    February 13, 2013, 11:43 pm


  55. Purvesh Soni
    Bombay, India
    February 13, 2013, 10:50 pm

    (I have checked, there are no other planets of this name)

  56. Amit Sharma
    February 13, 2013, 10:49 pm


  57. Steven Reimel
    February 13, 2013, 10:48 pm

    I like Persephone for one of the moons since Pluto was also called Hades, God of the Underworld and Persephone, daughter of Demeter, was his bride for 6 months out of the year. Guess you could say her life revoved around him, involuntary as it was.

  58. jim
    February 13, 2013, 10:41 pm

    the twin brothers Hypnos and Thanatos, personifications of sleep and death, and sons of Nyx (goddess of the night)

  59. Natia
    February 13, 2013, 10:37 pm

    LAZI and IBERI !!!!!!! These names are from the places of very ancient and mysterious country ! Plus it’s easy to remember and pronounce!

  60. PJ
    February 13, 2013, 10:26 pm

    Faunus & Gratiae

  61. Vincent Strohmaier
    February 13, 2013, 10:22 pm

    Millo and Gustav for the composer that wrote the piece of music “the planets”

  62. lisa kempt
    middle lake sk can
    February 13, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Suleya and Retro

  63. Rick Ramos
    southlake tx
    February 13, 2013, 10:14 pm


  64. Julian Moreno
    Monterrey, NL
    February 13, 2013, 10:08 pm

    Persephone or Cerberus

  65. Jennifer
    February 13, 2013, 10:04 pm

    How about Hakuna Matata? it means no worries….

  66. João Ribeiro
    February 13, 2013, 10:01 pm

    Thunder and Lightening. 🙂

  67. Cristian
    Santiago de Chile
    February 13, 2013, 9:56 pm

    Aymara, in honor of one of ours natives people… In representation of south America c:

  68. Miguel
    February 13, 2013, 9:56 pm

    Mikey, Minnie or Goofy or…Frodo Or Sam (becaus pluto it was an dwarf planet)

  69. Marlon Senosin
    February 13, 2013, 9:52 pm

    Tartarus and Styx

  70. Angelica
    New York
    February 13, 2013, 9:50 pm

    Name it Aziatix.

  71. Yoshith Weerakoone
    Launceston, TAS, Australia
    February 13, 2013, 9:49 pm

    Why not:

    1) Zoid
    2) Berg


  72. George Korganashvili
    Georgia, Tbilisi
    February 13, 2013, 9:49 pm

    How about F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F.?

  73. Kate
    February 13, 2013, 9:46 pm

    Amor and Eros

  74. Mary Lou Glines
    Lake Forest, Ca
    February 13, 2013, 9:44 pm

    Cerberus and Persephone.

  75. Ken M
    February 13, 2013, 9:41 pm

    we should rename Pluto PLANET because it is the quintessential planet. We would be here today without Pluto

  76. Sarah Bauer
    Florida USA
    February 13, 2013, 9:40 pm

    Dumbledore and Hermione

  77. Scientific P
    February 13, 2013, 9:40 pm

    name Plutinium for one of them, is like a small pluto

  78. Abhishek Kumar Singh
    February 13, 2013, 9:39 pm


  79. Noemi
    New York
    February 13, 2013, 9:39 pm

    hope, Troy, archille

  80. Adam Piotuch
    February 13, 2013, 9:37 pm

    how about “Ice Cream Sandwich” and “Fudgesicle”

  81. Andy
    HHI, SC
    February 13, 2013, 9:34 pm

    Two great names:

  82. Luna
    February 13, 2013, 9:29 pm


  83. Mehmet Ucler
    February 13, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Why not Gog and Magog

  84. Shelly Elliston
    February 13, 2013, 9:24 pm

    Elbe and Haxtax

  85. Raúl Cifuentes
    Guatemala, Guatemala
    February 13, 2013, 8:44 pm

    have you ever think that lot of things have the name of the one who discovered it.
    why don’t put the name of who gives it his name! so Raul will be the name for one of the moons

  86. Eugenia Flores de la Hoya
    February 13, 2013, 8:20 pm

    Hades, que es el inframundo o infierno.
    Cancerbero, el perro que custodia las puertas del inframundo.

  87. Jeykrishnan J
    Chennai, India
    February 13, 2013, 8:07 pm

    We can go with Achilles and Cupid

  88. Mathew Joshy
    Queens, NY
    February 13, 2013, 7:35 pm

    I think the moon should be named Cerberus like the 3 headed dog from the underworld.

  89. Dave Bales
    Los Angeles
    February 13, 2013, 7:34 pm


  90. Andrew Hanssen
    United States
    February 13, 2013, 7:31 pm

    Gimli!! (the most awesome dwarf)

  91. Andrew Hanssen
    United States
    February 13, 2013, 7:29 pm

    I think Mickey would be fun…
    Other names could be:
    Scrupulus (small stone)
    Petra (rock)
    Cupid (continued mythology)
    Serapis (Egyptian Equal to Pluto)
    Orpheus (continued mythology)
    Lowell (Helped in discovery of Pluto)

  92. mlevariojr
    San Antonio TX
    February 13, 2013, 7:06 pm

    We have Pluto, names for moons Pluta ! and Plutu ! Good names for the moons . Let do it Pluto, Pluta and Pluti …:)

  93. Ella
    February 13, 2013, 6:57 pm

    Demeter and Hestia?

  94. Manny
    Queens, NY
    February 13, 2013, 5:46 pm

    I would say Persephone because you know she is Pluto’s wife.

  95. Mia
    February 13, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Why not Bill Gates? All these planets and moons are named after mythology or people of the past, why not name one after a billionaire?

  96. Sabrina Derosa
    Brooklyn ny
    February 12, 2013, 11:55 pm

    Or we should name it plazelta

  97. landonpowell
    February 12, 2013, 11:53 pm

    erebus- the realm of hades.

  98. Sabrina derosa
    Brooklyn ny
    February 12, 2013, 11:51 pm

    We should name one of the moons patonnium

  99. jack
    prescott az 86301
    February 12, 2013, 10:13 pm

    sherry. my mom

  100. Don Pippin
    Akron Ohio
    February 12, 2013, 9:42 pm

    1) Why
    2) Not
    3) Rock
    4) Roll
    5) Pete
    6) Repete
    I hope this helps. Now can we get down to something more useful?

  101. eliseo
    new braunfels, tx
    February 12, 2013, 9:12 pm

    Why bother, its not even considered a planet anymore:(

  102. Pyramidhead
    Vallejo, CA
    February 12, 2013, 8:59 pm

    Why not Zoidberg? I tried getting an asteroid named Zoidberg with the reason “Why not Zoidberg?” And now I tried ot again with Pluto’s moons.

  103. Lauren Dunlap
    February 12, 2013, 8:51 pm

    i vote Cerberus or Alecto after some guardians in the Underworld.

  104. Tony Crider
    Elon, NC
    February 12, 2013, 8:36 pm

    I voted for Erebus and wrote-in Thanatos. Why? Thanatos was the son of Erebus and Nyx (one of the other moons of Pluto). More importantly, the initials for the new moons would be “E.T.” in honor of the SETI Institute just as the previous two moons, Nix and Hydra (N.H.), were a nod to the New Horizons mission en route to Pluto.

  105. Sabina
    San Francisco, CA
    February 12, 2013, 8:34 pm

    They could be Ceres and Vesta or Achilles and Erebus.

  106. Michelle Koeppe
    Portland, OR
    February 12, 2013, 8:30 pm

    Cerberus & Hermes (since Charon is already used for Pluto’s satellite) or Proserpina & Ceres.

    For those who think of Pluto as the name of a pop-fiction dog– Romulus & Remus.

  107. David Ridge
    February 12, 2013, 8:28 pm

    OOppss, Because planets have a moon or moons around them.

  108. David Ridge
    February 12, 2013, 8:27 pm

    I’m 66 so to me Pluto will always be a planet but to be fair to the dear old ball restore it to planetary status and I might just help you all out!

  109. Mickey Mouse
    February 12, 2013, 8:26 pm

    Pluto is a dwarf planet! duh

  110. shahzad azam
    karachi paksitan
    February 12, 2013, 8:13 pm

    name them

  111. Amado Nuncio
    Indpls, IN
    February 12, 2013, 7:51 pm

    Name them Amado’s Lunas, which means beloved moons

  112. Fred
    February 12, 2013, 7:10 pm

    Oden? Thor’s Hammer? Loki? What about after Steve Jobs? Heaven’s Pillars.

  113. Fra nk
    February 12, 2013, 7:06 pm

    How about Toto

  114. Woz
    3rd Rock
    February 12, 2013, 6:53 pm

    How about Allecto, and Lucifera or Eurydice adn Alcestis!

  115. Leandro
    February 12, 2013, 6:30 pm

    Just call it moon just like ours. 🙂

  116. Willy
    February 12, 2013, 6:01 pm

    Why don´t we name our own moon????

  117. Jeffrey Gibson
    February 12, 2013, 5:11 pm

    How about naming them after the Rivers of the Underworld? Lethe and Cocytus? Or maybe Styx?