Astronomers want you to name the fifth-largest dwarf planet

By Vignesh Giridharan | Published on Apr 15 2019
Astronomers want you to name the fifth-largest dwarf planet

Discoverers of 2007 OR10 want you to name their trans-Neptunian object.

Your options are “Vili”, “Gonggong”, and “Holle”.

Make your home smarter than the average home

Make your life smarter, simpler, and more convenient with IoT enabled TVs, speakers, fans, bulbs, locks and more.

Click here to know more

Let’s be honest. When left to the imagination and choice of astronomers, the names of newly discovered planets get really weird and technical. Try these for examples: CoRoT-7b, an exoplanet in the Monoceros constellation; HD 189733 b, an extrasolar planet in the Vulpecula constellation; Gliese 1214 b, an exoplanet in the Ophiuchus constellation. Luckily for all of us, the discoverers of trans-Neptunian object (225088) 2007 OR10 have decided to hand the job of naming their discovery to you.

As reported by BGR, astronomers Meg Schwamb, Mike Brown, and David Rabinowitz discovered 2007 OR10 back in 2007 but just couldn’t come up with an appropriate nickname. It was initially named “Snow White” because of its presumed whiteness but the name was dropped after the astronomers realised 2007 OR10 was actually one of the reddest objects in the Kuiper belt. And so, 2007 OR10 remains the only known object (and the largest) in the Solar System to exist without an official name—yet.

To help name 2007 OR10 head over to this site and select Vote. You’ll then be taken to a page with three proposed naming options: “Vili”, “Gonggong”, and “Holle”. All three names trickle down from ancient mythology. Select any one and hit Submit. The last date for the poll is May 10. According to the site, the option that receives the most votes will be submitted to the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as a formal suggestion for 2007 OR10’s new official name. 

2007 OR10 is considered to be the fifth-largest dwarf planet, after Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake. Home to red methane frost that’s irradiated by sunlight and cosmic rays, it’s supposed to be one of the reddest objects known to humans. The surface, which is known to be predominantly rocky, is said to contain water ice. 2007 OR10 has only one known moon, which is known to be less than 100 kilometres in diameter. If you ask us, we’d call it Gonggong, the Chinese water god with red hair and dragon-like tail.


Indias very own space shuttle will launch in the next 2 3 months
Vignesh Giridharan

Progressively identifies more with the term ‘legacy device’ as time marches on.

Digit caters to the largest community of tech buyers, users and enthusiasts in India. The all new Digit in continues the legacy of as one of the largest portals in India committed to technology users and buyers. Digit is also one of the most trusted names when it comes to technology reviews and buying advice and is home to the Digit Test Lab, India's most proficient center for testing and reviewing technology products.

We are about leadership-the 9.9 kind! Building a leading media company out of India.And,grooming new leaders for this promising industry.