"The object in question is a billion miles past Pluto and is now called "(486958) 2014 MU69", or "MU69" for short.

You have until 8pm on December 1 to get your nomination or vote in.

More than two years after NASA's New Horizons probe whisked by Pluto, the robotic spacecraft continues to zip toward the furthest edges of the solar system in pursuit of history's farthest planetary encounter.

NASA announced earlier this week they'll be looking to the public for suggestions on what to name the distant world - or possibly set of worlds (it's so far and so tiny astronomers aren't super sure if it's just one object or possibly more). NASA and New Horizons team appeal to the public for help in providing "MU69" nicknames.

Remember NASA's New Horizons spacecraft and its wonderful pictures of Pluto back in 2015? They can also submit and vote for a name of their choice. "Until then, we're excited to bring people into the mission and share in what will be an awesome flyby on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, 2019!" The U.S. space agency says that its main goal was to answer questions surrounding Pluto, its moons and other Kuiper Belt objects. The observations revealed that the object probably consists of two smaller bodies that are closely orbiting or stuck together.

The US space agency is planning to fly past the space rock system nestled in the Kuiper Belt on New Year's Day in 2019. The campaign is open for voting by everyone, the report added. "We are pleased to draw the attention of the public to this exciting mission of discovery". "We are hoping that somebody out there proposes the flawless, inspiring name for MU69", Showalter said. Many Kuiper Belt Objects have had informal names at first, before a formal name was proposed.

When the team encounters MU69, it would check another milestone for the New Horizon mission.

"After the flyby, once we know a lot more about this frontier world, we will work with the International Astronomical Union to assign a formal name to MU69", Showalter added.

"New Horizons has always been about pure exploration, shedding light on new worlds like we've never seen before", said Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado.

It is hoping space fans will come up with a name that "captures the excitement of the flyby and awe and inspiration of exploring this new and record-distant body in space".


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