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ganymede jupiter

IAU provides opportunity to common people for naming Jupiter’s moons

The largest planet of our solar system, Jupiter has five moons with new name suggestions which are Pandia, Ersa, Eirene, Philophrosyne and Eupheme.

The names were suggested by children who participated in the contest run by Carnegie Institution for Science approved by the International Astronomical Union. Previously the IAU assigned a temporary name to newly found objects before assigning a permanent name but however recently the public has been given a chance to come up with few names for alien stars, planets and craters on Mercury.

The participants at the Jovian contest had to come up with names that were within the character limit and also matched the direction of the moon’s orbit, affecting the final letter of the name.

Carnegie astronomer Scott Sheppard said in a statement that there are many rules for naming moons. Sheppard led the discovery of the 12 moons of Jupiter of which naming of 5 was included in the contest. Jovian naming conventions requires moons to be named after characters from Greek and Roman mythologies who were descendants or consorts of Zeus or Jupiter.

Pandia (previously S/2017 J4) is named after the daughter of Zeus and the moon goddess Selene. Out of many applications, the name got the most attention was from Emma Hugo, representing astronomy club of the Lanivet School in Cornwall, U.K. The institute tweeted a photo of astronomy club with the Pandia sign and school mascot, panda in honor to the role village played in supplying bamboo to London Zoo.

Ersa (previously S/2018 J1) is named after the sister of Pandia, who was another daughter of Zeus and Selene. More than 20 tweets suggested this name but the contribution was credited to Aaron Quah, space news aggregator who sent the suggestion first and Walter, a 4-year-old who sang a song on Ersa.

Eirene (previously S/2003 J5) is recognized as the goddess of peace and is the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Around 16 tweets suggested this name, however, the first tweet came from a user named Quadrupoltensor and a 10-year-old guy who enjoys Greek and Roman Mythology.

Philophrosyne (previously S/2003 J15) is named after the spirit of welcome and kindness, who is the granddaughter of Zeus. Several participants were highlighted including a space fan Lunartic who posted a YouTube video about his suggestions and also suggested a new name for S/2003 J3, Eupheme. It recognizes the spirit of praise and good omen who was the granddaughter of Zeus and sister of Philophrosyne.