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NASA Has A Spectacularly Bad Plan To Let The Internet Name A Planet

The Verge

It's not everyday that we can change the world - at least, our world. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently announced that an icy and seemingly barren world of MU69 will be the focus of their New Horizons spacecraft in the years to come.

The interplanetary probe, which was launched in 2006, has been taking pictures of our solar system on it's way to Pluto, which it officially reached in July of 2015.

The images it released have been crucial to researchers looking to understand more about the dwarf planet and it's moon, Charon.

But Pluto isn't the end of the journey for this intrepid explorer, the scientists at NASA will be sending it on to the outer reaches of space.

That's where we come in. The space agency is looking for something to call the target that is easier to pronounce than MU69.

Let's see what the top suggestions are so far!

While many naming contests have been taken over by pranksters in recent years, people have actually come up with some pretty rad monikers.

The top suggestions so far are Mjolnir, Z'ha'dum, and Peanut (or other nut names).

Mjolnir is the mighty hammer that Thor, the Norse god of Thunder, wields to defeat ice giants. So we're very okay with naming a whole ice world after it!

The name Z'ha'dum comes from a popular TV show from the 90s called Babylon 5. In the show, Z'ha'dum is a fictional planet at the edge of the galaxy.

Other potions that NASA typically relies on are Peanut, Almond, or Cashew. The legume-based naming practice is an easy way for astronomers to distinguish characteristics about the bodies they discover!

New Horizons will not even be reaching MU69 until January 2019, so we have plenty of time to figure out just what we're going to call it!

What would you call this strange world? Tell us in the comments!