Meet Pandia, Eirene and Extra! 5 Jupiter Moons Get New Names

The mighty planet Jupiter has 5 moons with new names recommended by the general public: Pandia, Ersa, Eirene, Philophrosyne and Eupheme.

The names, which have been largely recommended by youngsters, got here by means of a contest run by the Carnegie Establishment for Science with the approval of the Worldwide Astronomical Union, the official arbitrar of astronomical names. 

Historically, the IAU assigns a brief identify to newly discovered objects (akin to planets and moons) earlier than developing with a course of to assign a everlasting identify. In newer years, the general public has had an opportunity to provide you with names in a number of contests, for alien stars and planets in addition to Mercury craters, amongst different objects.

Associated: The Best Mysteries of Jupiter’s Moons

Contributors within the Jovian contest earlier this 12 months needed to cope with technical necessities dictated by the IAU. These mandates included staying inside character limits and matching the course of the moon’s orbit, which impacts the ultimate letter of the identify. And that was solely a begin.

“There are various guidelines in terms of how we identify moons,” Carnegie astronomer Scott Sheppard stated in an announcement; in 2018, Sheppard led the invention of 12 moons orbiting Jupiter, 5 of which have been included within the contest. “Most notably,” he stated, “Jovian naming conventions require its many moons to be named after characters from Greek and Roman mythology who have been both descendants or consorts of Zeus, or Jupiter.” (Jupiter is the Roman identify for the Greek god Zeus.)

Pandia (previously S/2017 J4) is called for the daughter of Zeus and the moon goddess Selene. Many individuals submitted entries suggesting this identify, however the one that basically caught Carnegie’s consideration got here from Emma Hugo, who represented the astronomy membership of the Lanivet College in Cornwall, U.Ok., the establishment stated. “[Emma] tweeted an image of the astro membership with a Pandia signal and the varsity’s panda mascot, which is in honor of the village’s former position as bamboo provider to the London Zoo,” Carnegie stated.

Ersa (previously S/2018 J1) takes its identify from the sister of Pandia, one other daughter of Zeus and Selene. Carnegie stated greater than 20 tweets recommended this identify, however the establishment highlighted the contributions of house information aggregator Aaron Quah (who despatched the suggestion first) and a 4-year-old named Walter who sang a track about Ersa.

The selection of Eirene (previously S/2003 J5) acknowledges the goddess of peace, a daughter of Zeus and Themis. Carnegie acquired about 16 tweets with this suggestion. The primary was from Twitter person Quadrupoltensor, and one other submission that caught the judges’ eyes got here from a 10-year-old who enjoys Greek and Roman mythology.

Philophrosyne (previously S/2003 J15) is called for the spirit of welcome and kindness, who’s additionally the granddaughter of Zeus. Carnegie highlighted a number of individuals who recommended this identify, together with house fan Lunartic, who posted a YouTube video about this identify suggestion. The identical video additionally recommended the brand new identify for S/2003 J3, Eupheme, a selection that acknowledges the spirit of reward and good omen, who was the granddaughter of Zeus and the sister of Philophrosyne.

Comply with Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb

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