Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Venetia Phair RIP

In 1930, Venetia Phair named the planet Pluto. The Telegraph reports:

"On the morning of March 14 1930 she was having breakfast at the house in Oxford in which she lived with her grandfather, Falconer Madan, the retired Librarian at the Bodleian, when he drew her attention to an article in The Times which noted that the newly found frozen planet had yet to be named. Being keen on Greek and Roman myths, young Venetia suggested that Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld who could render himself invisible, would make a good name for the dark and remote world. The idea so impressed her grandfather that he immediately promised to put it to his friend Herbert Hall Turner, Professor of Astronomy at Oxford University."

here is the rest of the story.

The ravaj is actually related to a comet, for her cousin Steve found one and got to name it. It is Comet Kilston 1966b.

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