P4 and P5 aren't the sorts of names that impart the manner of excitement space exploration companies and organizations are looking to inspire in the next generation of enthusiasts (nor the customers, philanthropists and tax payers destined to fund those explorations). The SETI Institute, a private non-profit, best known for its ties to the eponymous search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the universe, is looking to add a little bit of audience participation to the act of naming Pluto's newly discovered moons, which sport those rather uninspired alphanumeric designations.
Beginning today, SETI will open up an online contest to name the moons, both of which were discovered via the Hubble Telescope fairly recently. As with the rest of the dwarf planet's moons, the organization's asking that the names be associated with Hades (the underworld), with ties to Greek or Roman mythology. SETI will pre-select candidates and is also allowing for write-in candidates (though it's retaining editorial discretion here, so, for better or worse, we're not likely to see a Baba Booey moon in the near future).
On a recent trip to the Bay Area, we had the opportunity to speak to Mark Showalter, the senior research scientist at the organization's Carl Sagan Center, an astronomer who played a key role in the discovery of the celestial bodies. You can check out that interview just after the break, before heading off to vote. Showalter is also co-hosting a Google+ Hangout with astronomer Hal Weaver today at 2PM ET.