Let’s Name a Moon!

By Lisa Herrmann

Let’s name a moon of Saturn!

I’m hoping that our South Mountain community of astronomy lovers will synergize all of our creativity to be able to submit a winning name for at least one of the newly discovered moons of Saturn! Carnegie Science’s Scott Sheppard has just announced the discovery of 20 new moons orbiting Saturn, bringing its total to 82 and moving it ahead of Jupiter, which has 79.

All hail the new king of moons!

They have announced a contest to name all 20 Saturnian moons! Wouldn’t it be great to have South Mountain Astronomy Club as one of the winning submitters? You can certainly enter on your own, too…

Here’s how:

Tweet your suggested moon name to @SaturnLunacy and tell us why you picked it. Photos, artwork and videos are strongly encouraged. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #NameSaturnsMoons.

Contest End Date: December 6, 2019

The General Rules: We hope you know a lot about giants, because that’s the key to playing the name game for Saturnian moons.

  • Two of the newly discovered prograde moons fit into a group of outer moons with inclinations of about 46 degrees called the Inuit group. All name submissions for this group must be giants from Inuit mythology.
  • Seventeen of the newly discovered moons are retrograde moons in the Norse group. All name submissions for this group must be giants from Norse mythology.
  • One of the newly discovered moons orbits in the prograde direction and has an inclination near 36 degrees, which is similar to those in the Gallic group, although it is much farther away from Saturn than any other prograde moons. It must be named after a giant from Gallic mythology.

Learn More: Further details about how the International Astronomical Union names astronomical objects can be found here

Make Sure Your Proposed Name Is Not Already in Use: Current names can be checked at the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center here or here.

At our South Mountain Astronomy Club meeting on December 7, I’d love to confirm and submit at least one name from our ACNC Twitter. The meeting is from 5 – 6 p.m.

Please join us and bring your research, thoughts and ideas!