Public asked to help name minor planet discovered in 2007

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(225088) 2007 OR10Image source, Help Name 2007 OR10
Image caption,
The dwarf planet is currently known as (225088) 2007 OR10

Astronomers have asked the public to help name a minor planet in our Solar System discovered in 2007.

The dwarf planet, which orbits the sun beyond Neptune, has since been referred to as (225088) 2007 OR10.

Now the scientists who discovered it are asking the public to help pick a catchier name. The options are Gonggong, Holle and Vili.

The winning name will be formally suggested to the International Astronomical Union.

Gonggong is a Chinese water god with red hair and a serpent-like tail. He is known for creating chaos, causing flooding, and tilting the Earth.

Holle is a European winter goddess of fertility, rebirth, and women, while Vili is a Nordic deity who defeated frost giant Ymir and used the body to create the universe.

The scientists selected deities with links to the colour red and put the 12-year wait to name the planet down to wanting to understand it better.

2007 OR10, our Solar System's largest unnamed body, orbits in the Kuiper Belt and is estimated to have a diameter of 775 miles (1,247km), about half the size of Pluto, another dwarf planet.

Voting ends on May 10 and you can vote here.

Those who feel particularly passionate about one of the names can vote more than once.