Pluto moons get mythical new names


Pluto’s fourth and fifth moons, discovered in 2011 and 2012, have been named Kerberos and Styx, the International Astronomical Union announced Tuesday.

Formerly known as P4 and P5, the names were submitted by the astronomers who discovered them, with input from the general public in an open contest, the Paris-based IAU said.

Kerberos is the Greek spelling for Cerberus — a many-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the underworld in Greek and Roman mythology. Styx was the name of the goddess who ruled over an underworld river of the same name.

The moons were identified by the Hubble Space Telescope.

“Kerberos lies between the orbits of Nix and Hydra, two bigger moons discovered by Hubble in 2005, and Styx lies between Charon, the innermost and biggest moon, and Nix,” said the IAU.