ann06007 — Announcement

Two new Pluto moons named by the IAU

26 June 2006

The two small Pluto moons with temporary designations S/2005 P 1 and S/2005 P 2, discovered in mid-May 2005 with the Hubble Space Telescope (Weaver et. al.), have now been named respectively Hydra and Nix by the IAU.

In Greek mythology Nyx was the goddess of darkness and the night, a very appropriate name for a moon orbiting Pluto - the god of the underworld. To avoid confusion with the asteroid (3908) Nyx, the Egyptian spelling Nix was chosen. Hydra is the serpent with nine heads that guarded the underworld.

Kaare Aksnes
Chairman of the Division III Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature

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