Skip to comments.Venetia Phair Dies at 90; as a girl, She Named Pluto
Posted on 05/13/2009 4:10:19 PM PDT by nickcarraway
At age 11, the keen student of mythology suggested naming the newly discovered planet after the Roman god of the underworld.
Venetia Phair, who was 11 years old when she suggested Pluto as the name of the newly discovered planet, has died in England. She was 90.
She died at home in Epsom, south of London, on April 30, her family said. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Phair suggested the name to her grandfather at breakfast in 1930.
"My grandfather, as usual, opened the paper, The Times, and in it he read that a new planet had been discovered. He wondered what it should be called. We all wondered," she recalled in a short film, "Naming Pluto," released earlier this year.
"And then I said, 'Why not call it Pluto?' And the whole thing stemmed from that."
Her grandfather was Falconer Madan, the retired librarian of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. He relayed the suggestion to his friend Herbert Hall Turner, professor of astronomy at Oxford, who on that day was at a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society, where possible names for the planet were being discussed.
Turner then passed on the suggestion to Clyde W. Tombaugh, who made the discovery at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona.
When the name was publicly announced May 1, 1930, Phair said her grandfather rewarded her with a five-pound note.
"This was unheard of then. As a grandfather, he liked to have an excuse for generosity," she told the BBC in 2006.
She was fascinated by astronomy, and recalled playing a game at school using clay lumps to mark out the relative positions of the planets. She was also a keen student of mythology and knew about Pluto, the Roman name for the Greek god of the underworld, Hades.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Gus: So, you heard about Pluto?...thats messed up right?
Of course, when they demoted a planet, they would do it the one named by a woman.
How about the person who named Uranus?
The person who named the planet before Pluto was really upset at the scientist and said they ought to name the new planet after that scientists back side...and the name stuck. Uranus.
That’s gay. ;)
Lesser known was that the popular magazine was named after her twin sister, Vanitia Phair...
Now that she is dead, I suggest we change the name in honor of our president: Zero.
I reckon she might of died from being 90!
That person probably died in a trailer park somewhere.
Mickey’s a mouse...Pluto’s a dog...
What the hell is Goofy?
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Careful pronunciation may be necessary to avoid embarrassment; say “YOOR a nus” , not “your anus” or “urine us”.
Uranus is the ancient Greek deity of the Heavens, the earliest supreme god. Uranus was the son and mate of Gaia the father of Cronus (Saturn) and of the Cyclopes and Titans (predecessors of the Olympian gods).
Uranus, the first planet discovered in modern times, was discovered by William Herschel while systematically searching the sky with his telescope on March 13, 1781. It had actually been seen many times before but ignored as simply another star (the earliest recorded sighting was in 1690 when John Flamsteed cataloged it as 34 Tauri). Herschel named it “the Georgium Sidus” (the Georgian Planet) in honor of his patron, the infamous (to Americans) King George III of England; others called it “Herschel”. The name “Uranus” was first proposed by Bode in conformity with the other planetary names from classical mythology but didn’t come into common use until 1850.
Ha! Goes to show what I know, all these years I thought it was Mickey.........
Not sure. But Mickey split up with Minnie when he found out she was f’n goofy.