ann19001 — Announcement

(486958) 2014 MU69, Nicknamed Ultima Thule
8 January 2019
Naming of (486958) 2014 MU69, Nicknamed Ultima Thule

The IAU would like to congratulate the New Horizons team on the probe’s successful fly-by of (486958) 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule. This first exploration of a cold classical Kuiper belt object by a spacecraft is an exciting development in the ongoing exploration of this region of the Solar System. To assign a permanent name to (486958) 2014 MU69 and names of its features, the IAU is open to suggestions from the discovery team.

As with all small bodies, the discoverer of the object is granted the privilege of proposing a name. Suggestions can be submitted for approval to the IAU's Working Group for Small Body Nomenclature. Proposed names must follow IAU guidelines, which state that trans-Neptunian objects are required to have mythological names. Until a permanent name is approved by the IAU, the official designation for this object remains (486958) 2014 MU69.

The features of (486958) 2014 MU69 are to be named by the IAU’s Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature, which is also looking forward to collaborating with the New Horizons team.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 13 500 professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.


Jana Tichá
Chair, Working Group for Small Body Nomenclature
Phone: +420 380 711 242

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



(486958) 2014 MU69, Nicknamed Ultima Thule