Sunday, September 03, 2006

How Was "Pluto" Named?

Pluto is a dwarf planet in the solar system, orbiting 29 - 49 AU from the Sun. The name Pluto was first suggested by Venetia Phair (née Burney), at the time an eleven-year-old girl from Oxford, England. Venetia, who was interested in Classical mythology as well as astronomy, suggested the name, the Roman equivalent of Hades, in a conversation to her grandfather Falconer Madan, a former librarian of Oxford University's Bodleian Library. Madan passed the suggestion to Professor Herbert Hall Turner, Turner then cabled the suggestion to colleagues in America. After favourable consideration which was almost unanimous, the name Pluto was officially adopted and an announcement made by Slipher on March 5, 1930.

The name retained for the object is that of the Roman god Pluto, and it is also intended to evoke the initials of the astronomer Percival Lowell. (Wikipedia)

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posted by Staff @ 12:49 PM