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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!

Naming Bennu

Michael Puzio, age 9

With his suggestion of the name "Bennu," Michael Puzio was the winner of the Name That Asteroid! Contest.

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OSIRIS-REx Finalists and Semifinalists

Semifinalists ranged in age from 5 to 17 and came from the USA, Brazil, France, India, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.

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Nine-Year-Old Names Asteroid Target of NASA Mission in Competition Run By The Planetary Society

Asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36 now has the much friendlier name "Bennu," thanks to a 3rd-grade student from North Carolina.

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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.

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Asteroid Naming Guidelines

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

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Contest Rules and Eligibility

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

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Fly to an Asteroid!

Travel to Bennu on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft!

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