Venetia Phair, the woman named Pluto, has died

Bad Astronomy
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May 8 2009 11:00 AM

Venetia Phair, the woman named Pluto, has died

The Telegraph has an article/obituary for Venetia Phair who, when she was 11 years old, suggested the name for Pluto. I suppose at this point we can say she was the first person to name an intact Kuiper Belt Object (as opposed to ones that may be moons of planets now).

Ms. Phair was 90 years old, and lived to see the name "Pluto" picked up by the astronomical community (and Disney as well). And whether or not Pluto ever becomes a planet again, I was pleased to see in the article that an asteroid was named after her. So no matter what, her name -- and her naming -- will live on.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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