Talk:Nix (moon)

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Requested move[edit]

S/2005 P 2 → Nix (moon) – The moon is due to receive the official name of "Nix" tomorrow, in an announcement by the International Astronomical Association. This would normally be an uncontroversial move, but a slightly hasty user created a new page for Nix (moon) separate from S/2005 P 2 which blocks the move of the page together with talk.


Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Support It's the official name of the moon, so that ought to be reflected. It should have been an uncontroversial move. --DavidK93 18:22, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support per nom and David. --GW_Simulations|User Page | Talk | Contribs | E-mail 18:53, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support In my mind, this one's a clear one. Tuvas 18:59, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Now that the Moons have names the articles should now reflect that Aeon 21:48, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly support, and the new names are good, too. Tom Temprotran 22:46, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly support, and the new names are good, too. 00:57, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly support, per nom and DavidK93. Chaos syndrome 10:17, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong supportReasons given above Berek 10:24, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong support IAUC 8723. Why do we even bother discussing this? Urhixidur 14:26, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


Add any additional comments

Done. Ian¹³/t 18:54, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I have fixed any double redirects, but links to the wrong page in articles and templates and the like still need to be updated (preferably by someone who knows these articles well). Ian¹³/t 19:04, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
As mentioned on Talk:Hydra (moon), I've taken care of these links. DenisMoskowitz 19:53, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


The claim's been made that the name of the dog Orthrus, Cerberus' two-headed brother, has been proposed for Pluto II. No refs, but just in case, it's pronounced or'-thrus, Greek Όρθρος. kwami 01:28, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

I like these names. I made a table of the satellites named. Check this out. — Hurricane Devon (Talk) 13:31, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

This article contradicts itself. In the first paragraph, it says that P2 was discovered in June 2005, but in the accompanying table it gives the discovery date as May 2005. Which is it? 06:13, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Corrected. The images were taken in May, but the moons in them were not discovered until June. kwami 06:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)


Diagram of the Plutonian system, showing orbits around its barycenter

Man, how the hell do 2 more moons orbit Pluto when Pluto and Charon basically orbit each other? O.o

Those two moons actually orbit the barycenter of the Pluto-Charon system, rather than Pluto itself. But Pluto being the largest body in the system and orbiting by far the closest from said barycenter, they are considered its moons. — Poulpy 09:36, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Convention. We could also say that Jupiter isn't a planet, for the same reason. (Jove & Sol orbit each other as well.) Since Pluto is considered to be the "planet" and Charon the "moon", everything is colloquially said to orbit Pluto. kwami 17:58, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Article Name Change[edit]

Science magazine reports that S/2005 P 2 will be called "Nix". [1] This article should presumably be moved to Nix (moon), but I suppose it is appropriate to wait until the official announcement on June 23.RandomCritic 06:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

No, that's just silly, it's not like it's going to NOT get renamed. The move simply should have been done properly, as a MOVE, not a copy and paste. Now that there's a Nix (moon), though, that's impossible until there's some bureaucratic action here. Blah. --Kaz 02:37, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Spelling of Nix[edit]

I have read that the spelling "Nix" was used instead of "Nyx" to avoid confusion with 3908_Nyx. Can someone with access to the IAU Circular tell me if it goes into detail on a justification for this? Has use of a nonstandard spelling of a deity's name occurred before? It seems kind of weird to me. You could have names like "Persefonee" and "Titann" and so on. --Cam 01:09, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, it's pretty stupid; but that's about what you can expect from academia, these days. They're no longer expected to even be familiar with, much less understand and respect, classical language, history, or any other such stuff outside of whatever narrow discipline they've chosen for a specialty. --Kaz 02:44, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
It would seem to set a strange precedent. If I were an astronomer I might try to name a satellite I discovered "Cereeze" or "Vessta" or something, to poke fun at this. --Cam 03:21, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I can recall some asteroids, such as Ganymed and Kressida, having their spelling changed like this, to make their names different from the moons - probably this is the first case it is applied viceversa (to a moon, because of an already existing asteroid), but there's nothing new in it. I can't see the reason behind it either, especially because problems arise when you have to translate the names (since I'm from it:Portale:Astronomia): you cannot keep the spelling differences, and both names become Ganimede, Cressida, and Notte in the case of Nix. --Leaden´skij 16:25, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Whoa, it's simple. The Egyptian version is "Nix". So it wasn't a spelling change, just a pantheon change. So no need to slam academia there. Previous examples with asteroids were done to reflect differences in transliterating Greek. With the main asteroids, it was traditional in German language to transliterate kappa as "k" not "c" as in English. So, thus Kalliope, Klio, Klotho, etc. IN any event, I like an Egyptian name for a moon of the god of the underworld. --Sturmde 21:07, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

I assume they're talking about the name of Nyx in an Egyptian form of Greek. Same goddess, same pantheon, but a different form of the Greek language, where the name was spelled nu-iota-xi rather than nu-upsilon-xi. I'll have to head to the library and look it up. In the meantime I retract my Persfonee/Vessta rants above. :-D --Cam 23:27, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
As likely as not to be Coptic. Septentrionalis 15:49, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't retract the rants. I'm a graduate student who specializes in the Ancient Mediterranean world. I study both Greek and Egyptian. And I HAVE NO IDEA what they're on about here. I really don't think it's a Coptic form: upsilon is normally kept as upsilon in Coptic (though it was probably pronounced more like an eta). --Iustinus 23:45, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Interesting, thanks. I think I'll try to write to someone involved with the naming to see if they have a cite or can explain what they mean by "Egyptian." (Whatever I might find out would be original research, though, I guess.) --Cam 01:03, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
If you find anything, be sure to let me know! --Iustinus 01:24, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I wrote to the USGS/WGPSN a year ago seeking a source for the "Egyptian spelling" statement and soon got a friendly reply saying that the question had been forwarded to someone who might be able to answer. Unfortunately I heard nothing further. I hope a source comes to light eventually, I'm still mighty curious about what they meant. --Cam 05:16, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Hadn't checked this page since august of 06, but when I come here it's within days of your last update. Funny. Too bad your update is negative. Bah! --Iustinus 07:49, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I looked into this again. The late Jürgen Blunck, who was on the IAU Working Group for Planetary Nomenclature, says in the cited book that Nix is the Spanish translation of the Greek name. This conflicts with with the Gazetteer, also compiled by Working Group astronomers, so I kept both. Since the concept of a Latin-alphabet Egyptian spelling of a Greek goddess name does not make clear sense, I left "Egyptian spelling" in quotes, and to balance the POV I also put "Spanish translation" in quotes.--Cam (talk) 14:05, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Nix is also Latin for snow - don't know if that was intended or not, but it's kind of appropriate. DenisMoskowitz 17:36, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Hey Denis, tell your brother Salve for me ;) --Iustinus 23:45, 23 August 2006 (UTC)


The article's value of <5×1018 kg is extremely bloated. Given the quoted radius of 44 km, Nix would have to have a density 112 times that of water! In case of very low albedo, say 0.05, the corresponding diameter would be 116 km, and its density would still have to be 6 g/cm³. For the assumed value of 0.35 for albedo, and with a likely density of 1.5, Nix's most likely mass is ~7×1016 kg. The largest reasonable values would be with Albedo ~0.05, and density ~2g/cm³, leading to mass < 1.6×1018 kg. Deuar 16:27, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

The radius is extremely uncertain. Stern el al. 2005 give the upper limit on the radius as 137 km, for example, as does Weaver et al. 2005 WilyD 15:46, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
There, I fixed up the sidebar with a good cite WilyD 15:59, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Last mass edit was Deuar on 19:57, 21 July 2006 and Deuar on 12:41, 16 July 2006. -- Kheider (talk) 17:21, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Dunno what the last edit date was *now*, but at time of writing the mass estimate is, depending on whether you're on the Nix page or Moons Of Pluto page on WP, either "5.0 ±4.0 x 10^16 kg" or "4.5 ±4.0 x 10^16kg". Which I take to basically mean "we don't really know, it's just nonzero and less than 1x10^17kg", given that that works out to either 10 ~ 90, or even 5 ~ 85 Teratonnes... so a 9x or 17x range. Guess this means, after 11 years, we still don't have any clear idea? "Most likely 7 x 10^16 kg" seems rather more certain than the current figure. (talk) 01:31, 25 September 2017 (UTC)


What's this italic after the title for? If its just a pronunciation guide, I doubt that any English speaker doesn't know how to pronounce x. Remove it or IPA it, or explain what it's for. 03:34, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

S/2005 P2 redirection[edit]

S/2005 P2 redirects to Pluto instead of here. Can someone fix that please (I don't know how)


the picture of nix is the same as the one for hydra is this supposed to be like this? which way round is i supoosed to be? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lord Aro (talkcontribs) 12:46, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Reference 9[edit]

There is a floating reference 9 (Steffl) which is not attached to anything at present. Varlaam (talk) 03:46, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

New Horizons Information[edit]

New Horizons is reporting a diameter of about 35 km for Nix. I would assume this information is more accurate than previous information, but the brief mention does not mention anything about the shape (i.e., is it roughly spherical, or is 35 km the diameter of the major axis?). Article is here: Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:45, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Date format[edit]

Why does the infobox use DMY while everything else uses MDY? Dustin (talk) 20:26, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

It should simply be consistent, and DMY makes more sense. I've made the change. --JorisvS (talk) 20:33, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
No, it does not. Dustin (talk) 02:13, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
The first revision with a specific date format is 27151969, where MDY is used. And DMY is the one case where the international "standard" is inferior, the reason being that it sticks large units after small units rather than the other way around. It is more logical to go from large units to small units, narrowing it down, so the best date format is YMD, especially with computing. However, YMD isn't accepted in English for some reason, the the next best is MDY, which I can attempt to justify with the comma. July 21, 2015 could be taken to mean 2015 July 21 because commas often are used to indicate that the following year was moved from the beginning to the end for convenience. Dustin (talk) 02:20, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
YMD would indeed be the most logical format, but DMY comes squarely after that. MDY sticks the intermediate unit in front and the smallest and largest together, which makes even less sense than starting with the smallest unit, which is at least ordered. Commas make no difference, they just indicate that when spoken aloud there is a pause. --JorisvS (talk) 08:12, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I already explained why DMY is the most inferior date format; rarely is the year necessary when compared to month and day, so it is tucked at the back, so I believe you to be wrong. In order of sense, I'd say YMD, MDY, and lastly DMY. MDY does make sense, and it at least it maintains "Month-Day" format rather than "Day-Month"; that's the biggest issue in my opinion. A comma can simply indicate a pause, yes, but have you any proof that it does not have a deeper purpose? It's tucked at the back to get it out of the way; how can that not make sense? Say we have a book named The First Book. Well, it could be sorted as First Book, The. Who says that MDY can't be seen with a similar interpretation? I suppose this may be getting a bit speculative, but still... Dustin (talk) 03:48, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I explained why MDY is the least logical, yet you choose to avoid my argument altogether. If you'd like to claim there is some "deeper purpose" (whatever that is supposed to mean), then the burden of evidence is on you (like Russell's teapot). --JorisvS (talk) 14:55, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
A less relevant question may be why a date in the form 2015 July 29 is not allowable, with it simply being written July 29 when the year is not necessary. All that aside... in terms of computer science, at least, YMD is the best standard because of the way information is sorted from first to last. This is very logic-based, so no, "MDY is the least logical" is only your opinion. Take four dates. 2014-02-28, 2013-03-23, 2013-03-07, and 2015-01-19. That will sort to 2013-03-07, 2013-03-23, 2014-02-28, and 2015-01-19. MDY will be 01-19-2015, 02-28-2014, 03-07-2013, and 03-23-2013, so correct so long as only one year is involved, but because of the year issue, still much less useful than YMD. DMY will sort to 07-03-2013, 19-01-2015, 23-03-2013, 28-02-2014 so wrong every single time. MDY, in my opinion (just as DMY is more logical in your opinion), is better because it at least maintains month-day most of the time as does YMD, and is actually used commonly in English (unlike YMD). Opinions do not make the difference though... Perhaps the most relevant question is why the change from one format to another is justified? Because more people use DMY? What is the policy-based rationale for such a change? Dustin (talk) 16:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I would be fine with YMD. The MoS says nothing about using YMD with the month written out, nneither as acceptable nor as unacceptable. There was a mix of DMY and MDY. What I did was make the date format consistent throughout the article. --JorisvS (talk) 13:21, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

YMD is the ISO standard. Why would we do that with a technical article? Next thing you know we'll be using the metric system! — kwami (talk) 03:39, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

MDY is advantageous for a year, after which it becomes the least rational system. Once the date format is set, we're supposed to stick with it, long after the month becomes as irrelevant as the day. IMO all articles should be YMD (preferably), DMY, or spelled out. — kwami (talk) 03:43, 9 August 2015 (UTC)


Whilst the current revision seems to do the sensible thing and write it in an unambiguous, natural fashion, with units going from small to large in the way customary around most of the world - ie, what would be called ddMMMyyyy in a spreadsheet (numerical day-of-month, month name as word, then 4-digit numerical year) - I feel it would be prudent at this juncture to point out that...

a) it doesn't really matter if the unit size goes from small to large, or large to small, so long as the progression is consistent;

b) ISO standard makes the most sense overall, when considered in terms of how numbers generally work, and if combined with a time-of-day stamp on the end, but it doesn't scan comfortably vs how dates are written in most cultures, ie with the year on the end... except in Japan... it's only really obvious and logical to use in general text unless part of a year-thru-seconds date and time stamp, or if you specifically point out that you're using YMD to avoid confusion;

c) there is only one place in the world that MDY allegedly makes any sense (and then only because it has, for reasons I wouldn't even attempt to fathom, gained widespread cultural traction) is the USA... pretty much nowhere else bothers with it... and Wikipedia may have been started by an American and based on American servers, but it makes a particular point of not being US-centric, except maybe in that it prefers US English spellings in articles where variant spellings aren't more appropriate (eg because they concern mostly British subject matter), thus that's no reason to enforce MDY;

d) actually most of the world uses DMY, so if going for a purely numerical date, you'll alienate by far the smallest number of the global population, even if you only include the English-speaking part, by using that. Even if you can't get your head around small-medium-large being a second-best alternative to large-medium-small in terms of logic and understandability (vs medium-small-large), then what's most natural for the largest number of readers should be the guiding principle.

Though, really, the solution used here is the safest, unless you take the time to point out exactly what standard you're using if it's not obvious whether it's DMY or MDY, and YMD doesn't seem appropriate. IE make it completely unambiguous by writing each of the three components a different way that is best suited to each.

(And on a personal note - fight to change the culture of the US away from that messed up system by refusing to use MDY and encouraging everyone else to do similar, until the idea dies out completely... after all, you wouldn't write times as minutes-seconds-hours or hours-seconds-minutes, would you? Vs normal hours-minutes-seconds, or the unusual but arguably almost as valid seconds-minutes-hours, which is only less preferable because it goes against the normal method of writing numbers with the most significant digits to the left) (talk) 01:52, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

merge Red region on Nix[edit]

Nothing said there that couldn't be said here, and in fact little said there that isn't said here. — kwami (talk) 03:35, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Support - There is little to no info available, so a separate article for it is not justified. BatteryIncluded (talk) 16:30, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Support merge/re-direct - I doubt there will every be much to say about it and if there ever is it will get a better name than that. -- Kheider (talk) 04:32, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Merged. — kwami (talk) 03:51, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Reference 4[edit]

Reference 4 is linked to a livestream of a conference. Shouldn't the actual paper by the New Horizons team be linked instead: ? Vgrigore (talk) 15:57, 26 June 2017 (UTC)