Naming lumps of rock

Apr 17, 2020
21
2
35
We read of ever more newly found asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, and so on. Do you think all of these (or too many of them) actually deserve names? Perhaps we could make a limit at those large enough to attain a spherical (approximately) shape by gravity. This seems a convenient practical division and would limit numbers qualifying for names. Saves running out of names too!
The only problem I see is quite exceptional. They are Deimos and Phobos, the tiny satellites of Mars. It seems accepted that these are captured asteroids. Being the only two lumps of rock orbiting Mars I would not grudge them names. However, if they find a third, say 20 metres across I would not be too happy giving it a name. Mars 3 would suffice for me.

Cat
 
Apr 17, 2020
21
2
35
To give you some idea of the numbers involved I have selected the following:
To be fair I have selected convenient ‘runs’ of small sized satellites. Source Wiki.

For Jupiter, I took satellites 16 to 27 (12 inc) with an average diameter (or closest variable) of 2.25 km
Nine of the 12 have names.

For Saturn, I took satellites 74 to 82 (9 inc) with an average diameter (or closest variable) of 3.89 km
Two of the 9 have names.

It may not matter that much at present but wait until you have 5,000 exoplanets' satellites to name

Cat :)

For comparison Deimos and Phobos have diameters of 12.6 km and 22.2 km.

1587214098344.png
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY