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(101955) 1999 RQ36 Needs Your Help

September 20, 2012

Eva Gusnowski

How many times have you thought, “I could do better than that. Why would they choose that name?” Well this time you’ve got the chance. If you’re under 18 years old, anyways.

NASA has opened a competition to anyone under 18 years to rename (101955) 1999 RQ36, an asteroid that was discovered in 1999. This asteroid is pretty close to Earth as far as ateroids go, and NASA is planning a mission to collect samples from (101955) 1999 RQ36. Even typing that out twice (and let’s be honest here, copying and pasting it twice), I can see why the name needs to change.

 



Aside from all of the wonderful information that NASA will discover by taking samples from this asteroid in the future (such as whether it contains organic molecules, the likes of which may have helped to start life on Earth), getting kids to be interested in science and space and getting them to use their innate curiosity is a fantastic idea.

So if you know anyone under 18, get them to go to www.planetary.org/name and throw something out there. As a stepping stone to get your creative juices going, here’s my top 5 list of suggestions:

5. Eva
4. Eva II
3. Voldemort
2. Lou Ferrigno

And finally…

1. Inigo Montoya

Happy naming!

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