Want a shot at a little immortality? Here’s a chance to propose a nickname for KBO MU69, an object in the Kuiper Belt, of significance because it’s the target for a NASA New Horizons deep space exploratory probe flyby on Jan. 1, 2019 (www.frontierworlds.org/nominations). The illustration shown is courtesy of NASA New Horizons.
Actually, since MU69 may be binary, it’s probably best to come up with two names that go together. “We are particularly interested in nicknames that are appropriate for the first exploration of a cold, distant, ancient world at the outer frontier of the solar system,” the website says.
Nicknames that are chosen by New Horizons will go on a ballot where everyone can vote (www.frontierworlds.org/vote), and the winning nickname(s) will be proposed to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), who will make the final decision. So far, the Ear’s favorite names on the ballot are Peanut, Almond, and Cashew. Submit your suggestion and, as the saying goes: “Vote early and vote often.”