There’s still time for you to help name landmarks on Pluto

NASA is giving people extra time to name geographical landmarks on Plutoextending the deadline of its “Our Pluto” campaign after unexpectedly strong public attention.

The campaign is collecting names for features on the dwarf planet and its orbiting satellites that will be discovered when the New Horizons mission enters the solar neighborhood in July.

“Due to increasing interest and the number of submissions we’re getting, it was clear we needed to extend this public outreach activity,” Jim Green, the head of NASA’s planetary-science division, said in a statement.

The campaign was set to end April 7 but will now run through April 24.

“This campaign not only reveals the public’s excitement about the mission, but helps the team, which will not have time to come up with names during the flyby, to have a ready-made library of names in advance to officially submit to the IAU,” Green said.

NASA caption: Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft as it passes Pluto and Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, in July 2015.

NASA caption: Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft as it passes Pluto and Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, in July 2015.

Image Credit: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI/Steve Gribben

The guidelines and accepted themes for submissions come from the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which regulates and catalogs all astronomical bodies and their geographical features.

Once the campaign ends, the New Horizons team will sort through the submissions and send their recommendations to the IAU, which will decide if and how certain names can be used.

Anyone can suggest a name and vote for other suggestions on the “Our Pluto” website.

H/T Space.com | Photo via NASA/JHU APL/SwRI/Steve Gribben (PD)

Lisa Granshaw

Lisa Granshaw

Lisa Granshaw reports on pop culture and geek fashion and is the founder of GeekFold. You can find her work on Syfy, Boing Boing, and Geek and Sundry.