Let’s Name That New Planet Libera

mytwocentsThere’s been a lot of buzz lately about the possibility of another giant planet on the outskirts of our solar system, one that could both explain the orbits of several odd trans-Neptunian objects and provide the hypothetical fifth giant planet necessary for certain theories about the current orbits of the known planets.

I might also note that, with a proposed perihelion of 200 AU (~30 teras) and aphelion of 1200 AU (~180 teras), this new planet is significantly further away than the Voyager I spacecraft at ~134 AU (20 teras) and therefore the bombast a few years ago about Voyager I “leaving the solar system” was utter tripe.

I’m convinced of the likelihood of this new giant planet (its explanatory power is strong) and propose we name it Libera, after the Roman goddess of freedom who shared a temple on Aventine Hill with Ceres (and her own male counterpart, Liber) ~500 BCE.

Previously, I have suggested renaming our third giant planet Minerva, to finally liberate it from an obnoxious name that both violates the Roman standard of planet naming and forces us to utter a homophone obscenity. Since our newest planet may have been freed from the inner solar system through interaction with a “Jumping Jupiter,” a Liberating name is appropriate for it as well.


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