Home / Science / Here's your chance to name 5 Jupiter Moons! (No Moony McMoonfaces, Please)

Here's your chance to name 5 Jupiter Moons! (No Moony McMoonfaces, Please)



Last summer, researchers announced that they had discovered a dozen new moons revolving around Jupiter . But now comes the difficult part: name them.

The researchers announced that they want some help with that task, and ask astronomy buffers to submit their name suggestions to five of the new discoveries. If you are looking for the challenge here is what is involved.

First, be aware that it is not a free-for-all. The names must meet certain limitations in order to be approved by International Astronomical Union which monitors all names of objects in space and functions on their surfaces.

Jupiter moons are all named for characters from Greek and Roman mythology, either descended from or lovers of the Pantheon's highest god, Zeus / Jupiter. It is not necessarily particularly restrictive. In both sets of mythologies, the special god is famous for his aggressive sexual activity.

But the moon name in the jovian system is also structured based on the direction in which they orbit the gas giant. Two of the new moon's orbit in the same direction as the planet rotates which requires a name ending in -a; the other three travel in the opposite direction and will get names ending in -e.

There are other rules : For example, names may not be equal to those already used for moons or asteroids, and they may not be offensive to any culture.

Once you have decided on the names you want to nominate, it is time to take Twitter to explain your choice in a single tweet to [1

9659008] @JupiterLunacy tagged #NameJupitersMoons . The deadline for submission is 15 April.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels . Follow us on Twitter @ Spacedotcom and on Facebook .


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