Changing Planet

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 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 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 .

Systems specialist at NG Library.
  • Jeffrey Gibson

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

  • Willy

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

  • Leandro

    Just call it moon just like ours. 🙂

  • Woz

    How about Allecto, and Lucifera or Eurydice adn Alcestis!

  • Fra nk

    How about Toto

  • Fred

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

  • Amado Nuncio

    Name them Amado’s Lunas, which means beloved moons

  • shahzad azam

    name them

  • Mickey Mouse

    Pluto is a dwarf planet! duh

  • David Ridge

    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!

  • David Ridge

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

  • Michelle Koeppe

    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.

  • Sabina

    They could be Ceres and Vesta or Achilles and Erebus.

  • Tony Crider

    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.

  • Lauren Dunlap

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

  • Pyramidhead

    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.

  • eliseo

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

  • Don Pippin

    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?

  • jack

    sherry. my mom

  • Sabrina derosa

    We should name one of the moons patonnium

  • landonpowell

    erebus- the realm of hades.

  • Sabrina Derosa

    Or we should name it plazelta

  • Mia

    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?

  • Manny

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

  • Ella

    Demeter and Hestia?

  • mlevariojr

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

  • Andrew Hanssen

    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)

  • Andrew Hanssen

    Gimli!! (the most awesome dwarf)

  • Dave Bales


  • Mathew Joshy

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

  • Jeykrishnan J

    We can go with Achilles and Cupid

  • Eugenia Flores de la Hoya

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

  • Raúl Cifuentes

    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

  • Shelly Elliston

    Elbe and Haxtax

  • Mehmet Ucler

    Why not Gog and Magog

  • Luna


  • Andy

    Two great names:

  • Adam Piotuch

    how about “Ice Cream Sandwich” and “Fudgesicle”

  • Noemi

    hope, Troy, archille

  • Abhishek Kumar Singh


  • Scientific P

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

  • Sarah Bauer

    Dumbledore and Hermione

  • Ken M

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

  • Mary Lou Glines

    Cerberus and Persephone.

  • Kate

    Amor and Eros

  • George Korganashvili

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

  • Yoshith Weerakoone

    Why not:

    1) Zoid
    2) Berg


  • Angelica

    Name it Aziatix.

  • Marlon Senosin

    Tartarus and Styx

  • Miguel

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

  • Cristian

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

  • João Ribeiro

    Thunder and Lightening. 🙂

  • Jennifer

    How about Hakuna Matata? it means no worries….

  • Julian Moreno

    Persephone or Cerberus

  • Rick Ramos


  • lisa kempt

    Suleya and Retro

  • Vincent Strohmaier

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

  • PJ

    Faunus & Gratiae

  • Natia

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

  • jim

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

  • Steven Reimel

    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.

  • Amit Sharma


  • Purvesh Soni

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

  • wheeeeeee


  • David Eckels

    Vulcan, Spock or Nimoy.

  • jim

    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!

  • LUZ


  • Joe Sax

    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.

  • Arne Sørensen

    Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

  • CrniZec

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

  • Anthie Televantou

    Anthea is a nice name for a moon 🙂

  • Solaris


  • Ian Ison

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

  • fasya

    ziza? afra? claize?

  • Jakob grafe


  • Arno

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

  • Gab

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

  • helal

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

  • Ricardo

    The name of the moon Will be Kris

  • Brechtje Carpentier

    Micky and Donald should be with Pluto…

  • Percival Valerio

    NOY or NONOY

  • Elizabeth Tanner

    Dharra & Dahmeena.

  • Rohan Agrawal

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

  • Xavier Llauger

    I think it would be appropriate names erebus and styx

  • Márcia Gomes Martins

    P4 – Philos;

    P5 – Sophia

  • johnny

    Something greek for sure

  • tommy

    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..

  • Isaac Madigan


  • Planet

    Tartaros and Cerberus – Greek Underworld

  • solara


  • Sydney


  • Klemen Muhic

    Flop and Plop?

  • Crystal Gardner

    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).

  • sandrillon

    Cybelle et proserpine (mere et epouse de pluton)

  • Anadil

    how about mock!

  • Chudamani Akavaram

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

  • Arianna

    How bout Osiris and Siris or ba and ka ? 🙂

  • Dale Perkins

    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’.

  • Katarina Matošić

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

  • Jayda Alfred

    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…



  • McKay Olsen

    you shoold name them alexia and freemond.

  • Shane

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

  • thea musolino

    how about pandora plutos moon was originaly pandora anyways

  • thea musolino

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

  • Molly

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

  • athira

    why not ethnics and thyx

  • athira

    not necessary to be greek or roman

  • Natalie Durghalli

    How about Kah and Ko.

  • Natalie Durghalli

    How about Kah and Ko. 🙂

  • Natalie Durghalli

    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

  • Leeban Mohamed

    Nice name!!!!!

  • Tate Fowler

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

  • Logan VanderWal

    I think Pluto’s moons should be named Cerberus

  • Hannah VanderWal

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

  • Logan VanderWal

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

  • heath

    it should be named zues

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