Competition for kids to name KBOs

By Phil Plait | May 3, 2010 10:00 am

This is very cool: a competition has been set up to allow school kids to suggest names for the small solar system bodies that orbit beyond Neptune!

The competition has been OKed by the International Astronomical Union, which has a subcommittee that names such objects. The ages groups for submissions are divided up into ages 1-11, 12+, and school groups.

Emily at The Planetary Society Blog has more details as well. If you’re a teacher or student, then you definitely should jump in; this will make a great school project. But hurry: the competition closes on May 30, so get naming!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff

Comments (17)

  1. Shoeshine Boy

    Colbert? :)

    In all seriousness, I think this is a very good idea.

  2. Here are some naming suggestions:

    Planet X
    The KBO formerly known as Prince

  3. Hello!

    This competition is a one nice opportunity to involve kids and students. We at “Astronomers Without Borders” are encouraging kids from schools around the Globe to participate. :)

    Thanks for posting.

  4. Oh, I have to send this on to my daughter’s teachers!

  5. Farnsworth

    Hey, now’s the time for all Futurama fans to get “Urrectum” officially on the books! :)

  6. Reynold

    Of course the creationists have to muck that up.

    One notes that they never ever seem to do any research of their own (and no, “bioinformatics” does not count); they just read up on other’s work and write “articles” from those. Maybe some of their rich evangelist friends could help.

  7. Cindy

    Hmm, maybe I’ll pose this one for my Astro class. Though with a bunch of spring term high school seniors, it might not be that impressive.

  8. zandperl

    Thanks for this info, I teach community college astronomy, and a lot of my students have their own children who can enter!

  9. anonymous astronomer

    I just sent mine in. I chose a contraction of two Greek words meaning far and sun. The name is Makrilios

  10. #7 Reynold:
    A “creationist astrophysicist”????!!!!! Now that’s the oxymoron to end them all!

  11. SionH

    Just so long as we don’t end up with planet Spongebob!

    Tatooine, on the other hand….

  12. I passed this along to my kids’ teachers. One e-mailed me back saying that she thought it was a great idea. Now, let’s see if they do anything with it at the school…


    Just so long as we don’t end up with planet Spongebob!

    Only if it’s square and yellow. (There are already some porous candidates. I don’t know how to test absorbency, though.)

  13. In response to #7. Interesting how the author doesn’t name the school he’s attending, simply uses “an accredited school in the USA.” Sounds like a lesson learned through the school of hard knocks. Of course, given some of the oversights in the article, I hope he didn’t go to my school.

    Nope! UC Boulder. Google robert newton creationist to get his whole story…it’s interesting.

  14. Jeff

    Yes, an excellent idea. Kids will name them as good or better than the IAU people.

  15. You have a very nice website layout, I like it! Please post more content, because I am excited to see what you post next. I favorited you blog. Thanks!


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