Proposals From Finalists of the OSIRIS-REx Contest

In 2013, the Planetary Society held a contest in which youths from a number of different countries submitted potential names for the near-Earth asteroid 101955 1999 RQ36, which would be visited by the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample and return mission. 39 semifinalists were chosen from over 8000 submissions.

Only one was chosen for the name of this asteroid, and a number of these submissions are already minor planet names, but otherwise I think all of these names are good and worthy names for any asteroid, not just 101955. Therefore I have devised symbols for each of them as appropriate, in the same vein as other proposed asteroid names.


Adroa

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Kendall Oliver proposed the creator god from Lugbara myth. He had dual good and evil aspects in separate bodies, and appeared to those who were about to die.


Aether

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Logan Grutchfield and Lana Nguyen separately proposed the Greek personification of the upper air. It is sometimes conceptualized as a fifth element of sorts, a divine nonphysical matter.


Aethon

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Michael Darok proposed the name of one of the four horses that pulled Helios' chariot. It is a not uncommon name for horses throughout Greek myth, and means "burning" or "tawny-red."


Alviss

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Carson Decker proposed the dwarf from Norse myth who possessed great wisdom and fashioned weapons for the gods.


Antioch

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Tunahan Topuz proposed the name of the ancient city of Antioch, the ruins of which can today be found in Turkey. It is a historically important site, especially in regards to Christian and Jewish religion.


Apis

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Shachar Gottlieb proposed the name of a sacred bull from Egyptian myth.


Arion

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Tenkill Middle School TEP 6C (a group which includes Sean Costa, Caroline Chang, Timothy Park, Susie Fleming, Maiya Mao, Joseph Argenziano, Lily Siegel, and Georges Micera) proposed the name of a wild stallion from Greek myth, who was a child of Poseidon and could talk.


Asterion

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Jaden Selin proposed the name of the Minotaur from Greek myth, and literally means "ruler of the stars."


Bennu

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Michael Puzio proposed the name of the great heron from Egyptian myth that accompanied Osiris. This is the name that was officially chosen for the asteroid now known as 101955 Bennu.


Chronos

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Dhaamin Siddeeq proposed the name of the Greek Titan who personified time itself. This deity is not to be confused with the similarly named Cronus, father of the Roman gods and counterpart to Saturn, although they are often identified with each other.


Dagda

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The Estes Parl Middle School Galaxy Gazers Astronomy Club, consisting at least of Sebastian Mohr, Azwlan Amundson, Sophie Greenway, Camdyn Arnold, Anna Greenway, and Jayson Scott, jointly proposed the Celtic god of the Earth.


Erebus

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Matthew Bartlett proposed the Greek god of darkness and shadows, one of the primordials that existed long before the gods of Olympus.


Geb

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Sofia Laycock proposed the Egyptian god of the earth, father of Osiris.


Haldor

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Jared Freed proposed the name of an object supposedly from Norse myth known as "Thor's rock."


Huitzilopochtli

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Michael Burke proposed the Aztec god of war and the sun.


Inyan

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Billie Weddell proposed Íŋyaŋ, the creator god or spirit from Lakota mythology.


Kal-El

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MaryAnn Bulawa proposed the Kryptonian birth name of Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman. Kal-El is the last son of Krypton, and in the Superman origin stories, narrowly escaped the destruction of his home planet as a baby.

The symbol for a minor planet of this name is the El family crest, the Kryptonian symbol for hope, which Superman wears on his chest. I think this is an incredibly good name for a minor planet.


Kali

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Daniel Fischer proposed the Hindu god of time, change, and death.


Kauket

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Andrew Silverstein proposed the Egyptian goddess of darkness, female counterpart of Kek.


Keku

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Arianna Hull proposed the Egyptian god of the night Kek, male counterpart of Kauket.


Khepri

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Claire Going and Nick Rosas separately proposed the name of the Egyptian god of death, creation, and rebirth.


Mondfee

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Carys Evans proposed the name of a fairy from German legend who was identified with the moon.


Muninn

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Felipe Marques Couto proposed one of the ravens that served Odin in Norse mythology, named after the word for "memory." With Huginn, Muninn served as a messenger of the gods and an observer of the world.


Nabu

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Nicholas Hobbs proposed the Mesopotamian god of wisdom.


Nataraj

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Sweta Sheth proposed the name of the dancing form of Shiva from Hinduism. He symbolizes both creation and destruction.


Narada

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Renuka M. proposed a Vedic sage from Hindu myth, who had the ability to travel widely and shared wisdom with others..


Nefertem

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Brynn Metcalf proposed the Egyptian god of sunlight. He was often represented by the lotus flower and was a symbol of good luck.

The symbol for this proposed name is an open lotus flower, resting on a lily pad.


Nirrti

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Anshul Anand proposed the Hindu goddess of death and destruction.


Polymatheia

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Gavin Wills proposed the Greek muse of learning and wide knowledge. This muse does not appear so often on lists of Greek muses because she wasn't enumerated by Hesiod, yet nonetheless she is a muse. She is also associated with the concept of accumulating and preserving knowledge.

In light of this, the symbol for this proposed name is a rectangle vertically divided into four segments, representing a series of books, with a star above.


Ragnarok

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Shreya Venkatesh proposed the name of the Norse end-of-the-world scenario in which the universe is destroyed and born anew. Definitely a pretty metal name for a near-Earth asteroid.


Rama

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Sarah Weiss proposed the name Rama as a dual reference - both to the deity from Hinduism, and to the Arthur C. Clarke science fiction novel Rendevous with Rama.


Sacagawea

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Bailey Strenn proposed the name of the Lakota woman who participated in the Lewis and Clark expedition as a translator and ambassador.

There is already a minor planet with almost exactly this name: 2822 Sacajawea.


Sucellos

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Claire Bonneville proposed a Celtic god, the "true striker" who can give and take life with a strike of his mallet.


Tefnut

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Antongiulio Chiarella proposed the Egyptian goddess of water and moisture, who separated the sky (Nut) and the earth (Geb).


Thoth

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Brianna Robertson proposed the Egyptian messenger god and god of wisdom.


Voldemort

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Pandora Lowe proposed the name of the antagonist from the Harry Potter series of young adult novels. This evil wizard was nearly killed by an infant Potter, and schemed to return to full power and exact his revenge.

This is simply a fantastic name for a minor planet. The symbol for this proposed name is the symbol for the Deathly Hallows - a triangle with a circle inscribed in it, all bisected by a vertical line - which is a symbol defined in-universe that has become something of a symbol for the Harry Potter series as a whole. It represents three powerful artifacts that were symbolically key to Voldemort's defeat at the hands of Harry Potter.


Xipe Totec

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Anna Wilson proposed the Aztec god of the life-death-rebirth cycle and agriculture.

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