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Help Name the Largest Unnamed World in the Solar System

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A staff of planetary astronomers is asking the general public to assist identify a minor planet designated 2007 OR10, which is the largest unnamed world in the solar system.

The general public has one month to decide on between three semifinalists: Gonggong (a Chinese language water god), Holle (a European winter goddess related to fertility, rebirth and girls) and Vili (a Nordic deity who helped defeat the frost large Ymir). 

You possibly can cast your vote till Might 10 at eight:59 p.m. EDT (0359 GMT Might 11). 

The article’s orbital location requires its official identify be impressed by a creation deity, based on the nomenclature pointers developed by the International Astronomical Union, which oversees all names in planetary science. The staff additionally needed to pick out names that might accommodate associated names for 2007 OR10’s moon, ought to a proper identify for that object grow to be mandatory. 

All three contenders for 2007 OR10 are references to deities by some means related to the colour crimson, the staff wrote on the web site accompanying the general public vote. The deities chosen additionally relate to both ice and snow or to the inside of one thing changing into the outside, two themes related to what scientists know up to now in regards to the object’s historical past.

The world is roughly 775 miles (1250 kilometers) throughout, making it smaller than Pluto, and orbits within the Kuiper Belt — a area of small, icy objects past the orbit of Neptune. It was found in July 2007. Since then, scientists have confirmed it has a reddish floor, recommended it could sport long-dormant ice volcanoes and discovered its moon.

The present identify, 2007 OR10, is a designation from the Minor Planet Middle, an entity that catalogs all photo voltaic system discoveries, which added the article to its information in November 2009.  As a result of discoverers have 10 years from the time a world is numbered to submit a reputation, the staff determined to behave earlier than the deadline in November 2019.

As soon as the article receives a proper identify, it can be part of the corporate of different well-known minor planets, like Haumea, Makemake, Eris and Sedna

Observe Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.  

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