The Old Farmer’s Almanac sponsored a fun contest to name that elusive Planet Nine. For your enjoyment, we share the winning name—and the winners of a new set of Celestron binoculars!
Planet Nine’s Proposed Name
We received over 800 entries and appreciated each and every one; much thought was evidenced by the great suggestions submitted. The Almanac editors decided to focus on the mythological names, akin to the other planets in our solar system. And our winner is …
as it is lucky indeed if we detect it!
The other planets are named after Roman gods and goddesses. In Roman mythology, Fortuna, the daughter of Jupiter, is the goddess of fate who spins the Wheel of Fortune to dole out the favors in life. Given that Planet Nine’s identity is still to be confirmed, this would seem fitting!
Mnemonics to Remember Planets
As a child, do you recall the mnemonic you learned to remember the planets’ names? Perhaps it was, “My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.”
Since Pluto’s been classified as a “dwarf planet,” what happens if a new planet is discovered at the edges of the solar system? A new mnemonic may be needed to recall this planetary scenario: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Fortuna.
After steady thought, we agreed on: “Mindlessly vigorous earthworms may jump skyward until next fall.”
Share your best planetary mnemonic below.
More Proposed Planet Names
There were so many wonderful suggestions that we can’t share them all here. But, here are some samples.
Figures from Mythology were a big draw, including Janus (the god of beginnings and endings, doorways, and transitions), Juno (“because it’s about being big”), and Vulcan (“of course, what else could it be?“). Also suggested was Pomona (Roman Agricultural Goddess) because it begins with “P” (same as Pluto) and because agriculture is closely related to Almanac. One kind admirer, to whom we will be forever grateful, even suggested naming the planet “Almanac.”
Words and Their Meanings was another large and interesting category; some (not fact-checked) are below:
Dedications: Several contestants wished to dedicate the planet to musicians and politicians, while others named:
And Here Are Some Really Fun Ideas:
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is adding one more set of Celestron G2 Upclose 8x40 Binoculars to the promised five since six people submitted the winning entry.
Now, should Fortuna actually appear, our winners, like the Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, will have reason to chortle, “The better to see you with, my dear” as they peer through this fine instrument to discern her secrets.
Thanks again to everyone who entered and made this such a fun contest! And kudos to these folks who submitted the winning entry (Fortuna):
What do you think of these names? Thanks again to everyone in our Almanac community who used their imagination. Now, we’ll have to see if this imaginary planet ever appears!