CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Heads up, armchair travelers.
NASA is seeking a nickname for a tiny, icy world on the edge of the solar system that’s the next destination for New Horizons, the spacecraft that surveyed Pluto.
New Horizons whipped past Pluto two years ago. Now it’s headed for 2014 MU69 — gobbledygook to even the most die-hard scientists.
To lighten the mood as New Horizons aims for a 2019 flyby, the research team is holding a naming contest. The deadline is Dec. 1.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- 'Tase me, and you'll see what happens,' an American Airlines flier said. Police did — 10 times.
- The gaping hole in Sean Hannity's story about being Michael Cohen's client | Analysis
- Deputy: Man threw exercise weight, fatally striking girl, 2
- He froze to death inside a multimillion-dollar town house — and now the state is investigating
- Waffle House slaying suspect arrested after massive manhunt VIEW
MU69 is 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) away and may actually be two objects, either stuck together or orbiting one another. If so, two nicknames would be needed. The nicknames will be temporary. NASA said Monday that a formal name will come after the flyby.