The Sciences

Pluto's Crowd-Sourced Moons

Contest entrants christened Pluto's newly discovered moons Kerberos and Styx.

By Bill AndrewsJan 30, 2014 1:00 PM
Pluto's five moons, including recently discovered Kerberos and Styx, all have names relating to the underworld from classical mythology. | NASA, ESA and M. Showalter (SETI Institute)

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) gave Pluto two more underworld companions in 2013. The ex-planet’s moons P4 and P5, discovered in 2011 and 2012 and both less than 25 miles wide, are now officially known as Kerberos, after the mythological multiheaded “hellhound” that guards the gates of Hades, and Styx, after the goddess who watches over the underworld river of the same name. The IAU, perhaps seeking to improve its reputation after demoting Pluto to a dwarf planet, chose the names based on a 2013 Internet poll.

[This article originally appeared in print as "Pluto's Crowd-Sourced Moons."]

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.