View Full Version : Pluto's New Moons are Named Nix and Hydra

2006-Jun-22, 11:41 PM
The International Astronomical Union approved new names for Pluto's recently discovered tiny moons. Previously designated S/2005 P 1 and 2, the moons will now bear the names Hydra and Nix. In mythology, Nix is the goddess of darkness and night, while the hydra is a monster with the body of a serpent and nine heads. Although they're faint dots right now, NASA's New Horizons probe will fly pas them in 2015, and map them in much more detail.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/06/22/plutos-new-moons-are-named-nix-and-hydra/)

2006-Jun-23, 12:39 AM
As names go, they are easy to pronounce and, thus, memorable.

2006-Jun-23, 01:07 PM
It is unfortunate that they chose the name of an existing constellation as the name of one of Pluto's moons. It's also rather confusing: the region of space called Hydra is now orbiting Pluto! I knew the Universe was strange, but not that weird!

2006-Jun-23, 02:19 PM
Cool, I like them.

2006-Jun-23, 03:29 PM
There is a special asteroid namd Chiron beyond Saturn's orbit. It was easy to confuse this with the name of Pluto's largest moon Charon. We can just think of Pluto as the object with the confusing names for its satellites.

Hydra and Nix are fine with me. I'll never be confused about whether the constellation Hydra is orbiting Pluto.

Dr Nothing
2006-Jun-23, 10:34 PM
So, with this moon name announcement, it seems that we've been 'flashed' the IAU's "hold card" about the coming announcement regarding the future status of Pluto... With all the thought they put into the names (initials as honoring people and such) I can't imagine they'd use the 9 headed serpent Hydra's name, if we're about to have only 8 planets. Even with 10+, Pluto is still #9... with 8, the new moon name is inaccurate. OOPS!