Nickname the next target for New Horizons

New Horizons at 2014 MU69
An artist’s conception shows the New Horizons spacecraft flying past 2014 MU69, which scientists say could be a binary orbiting pair of bodies with diameters in the range of 11 to 12 miles. (NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI Illustration)

2014 MU69 just won’t cut it, so NASA and the folks behind the New Horizons mission want you to help pick out a cooler nickname for the icy object that’s in their sights for New Year’s Day in 2019.

The contest is the latest suggest-a-name campaign from New Horizons’ scientists, who provided a similar suggestion box for the moons that were discovered during the run-up to the mission’s momentous Pluto flyby in 2015.

That earlier contest eventually led to the naming of the Plutonian moons Styx and Kerberos (but alas, not Vulcan, the people’s choice).

Now the piano-sized New Horizons spacecraft is gearing up for that 2019 encounter with 2014 MU69, an icy world (or pair of worlds) that lies a billion miles beyond Pluto in the solar system’s Kuiper Belt.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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