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We keep our star talk down to earth! Beginning stargazers, professional astronomers, armchair astronauts and the cosmologically curious are all invited to join us. Galaxies Astronomy Club was founded in 1994.
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Scientists are about to decide where to send NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft next. http://t.co/lcqvHBtNq8 pic.twitter.com/hKtgYFQEFN— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) August 12, 2015
A simulation of the Pluto flyby.
Pluto, we have a problem: Some geographical names may not fly on @IAU_org's maps: http://t.co/RVKsAAwZM3 pic.twitter.com/O720R2Vgz1— Alan Boyle (@b0yle) August 26, 2015
Spock, Kirk and Vader Crater also could be controversial, even though those science-fiction icons fit nicely within the IAU’s categories for features on Charon. During a series of interviews over the past month, Schulz voiced concern that some names may not be enduring enough to merit recognition. “We must be sure that a few generations after us, no one asks, ‘How could they name it for somebody no one knows?'” the Berliner Morgenpost quoted her as saying last week.
The IAU also wants to make sure the names on Pluto and its moons reflect a wide variety of the planet’s cultures, and not just Hollywood icons.
Does it matter what the IAU thinks? New Horizons’ principal investigator, Alan Stern, doesn’t think so. He has lambasted the organization for the way it treated Pluto, and got under the IAU’s skin by setting up informal naming systems for extrasolar planets and Martian craters. By some accounts, those dust-ups have added to the friction over New Horizons’ nicknames.
Uh, sorry, but you ask the average 20, 30, 40 or 50 year old who Styx, Charon, Nix & Kerberos were. I'll bet they can't tell you. But they can tell you who Spock, Kirk & Vader were.
Exactly. I didn't understand the roots of the month names until I read about them. I didn't start reading mythology until much later.
Modern myths vs. ancient ones. :)
Despite putting New Horizons on a course to explore a new world in the Kuiper Belt, the extended mission is not yet approved.— Alex Parker (@Alex_Parker) August 28, 2015
We have a healthy spaceship and a brand-new ancient ice-world to fly it to. Who wants to see this New Horizons extended mission happen?— Alex Parker (@Alex_Parker) August 28, 2015
Data downlink handover from one 70m (Madrid) to the 70m (Goldstone) for @NASANewHorizons http://t.co/hOP8ZKXUH6 pic.twitter.com/b9M9cRfdKq— Kimberly EnnicoSmith (@kennicosmith) August 29, 2015
New Horizons has a new destination! The spacecraft, as you might remember, whizzed by the former planet known as Pluto earlier this summer. NASA has now picked its next stop: a small, cold Kuiper Belt object called 2014 MU69 that is billions of miles beyond Pluto.Read more from WIRED