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That Asteroid Has a Name: Bennu!

We have a winner! The asteroid's new name is: Bennu.

The winning entry came from Mike Puzio, a nine-year-old from North Carolina. Mike argued that the Touch-and-Go Sample Mechanism (TAGSAM) arm and solar panels on OSIRIS-REx look like the neck and wings in drawings of Bennu, which Egyptians usually depicted as a gray heron.

Read the press release for more information. Here is more about Mike Puzio, including his contest entry, and a list of all the finalists and semifinalists.

Join us today at 2:30 pm PDT / 5:30 pm EDT / 19:30 UTC for a Google+ Hangout on Air with Mike Puzio and OSIRIS-REx principal investigator Dante Lauretta!

Planetary Society Hangout: Naming Bennu, with Mike Puzio and Dante Lauretta

In this week's Hangout, Emily Lakdawalla hosted Mike Puzio and Dante Lauretta in a discussion about the naming of OSIRIS-REx' asteroid target.

Asteroid Naming Guidelines

Asteroids can't be named just anything; the International Astronomical Union has rules.

Contest Rules and Eligibility

Rules, eligibility guidelines, entry guidelines, and prizes: all the fine print.

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The Planetary Fund

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.


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