This celestial object is in dire need of a proper moniker.
In 2007, a small minor planet, even smaller than Pluto at about 1250 km in diameter, was discovered orbiting the Kuiper belt. Nicknamed the 2007 OR10, the dwarf planet is only one of the 3000 KBOs (Kuiper Belt Objects) documented as of today. Although it’s quite small by planetary standards, its size still managed to earn a spot in the list of the ten largest KBOs. For the 12 years since its discovery, it has been nameless beyond its codename. Until now.
Astronomers at NASA are hoping to give the 2007 OR10 a new, catchier name, based on the official International Astronomical Union (IAU) guidelines. According to the guidelines, all minor planets found in the same orbit within the Kuiper belt should be given names related to mythological characters. For 2007 OR10, astronomers are torn between three names. “Gonggong,” a Chinese water god who can tilt the Earth, “Holle,” a Germanic goddess of rebirth and fertility, and “Vili,” a Norse god who created the universe alongside is brothers Odin and Vé.
Astronomers are asking the public for their opinion in the form of voting poll. The website says, “We think there’s a good chance that the naming suggestion with the most votes will become the official name for 2007 OR10. If the top choice is not accepted, we will submit the second most popular choice to the IAU for consideration.”
If you want to cast your vote as well, you have until May 10 to do so on their website right here.