The internet is rallying behind the cute new name for baby moons.

Who knew outer space could be so adorable?

The internet is rallying behind the cute new name for baby moons.

Photo by Bob Familar/Flickr

Can a moon have a moon?

Sounds like the question a precocious kindergartner or a stoned college student may have pondered at some point in their lives.

But it’s actually a question being asked by serious scientists.

Juna Kollmeier at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, and Sean Raymond at the University of Bordeaux recently released a study that looked at whether a moon could have a moon.

Their findings suggest that, in most cases, tidal forces would pull the little moon towards the big moon, destroying both in the process. However, they do believe that a small baby moon of about 6 miles in diameter or less could orbit a larger moon.

Researchers believe that four planets in our solar system, including Earth, have moons that are large enough to support a smaller, orbiting moon.


The problem is, if one of these moons is discovered what do we call it? ““IAU [International Astronomical Union] will have to decide!” Kollmeier told Quartz.

Raymond and Kollmeier have a few names of which they approve:

Submoons — Boring!
Moonitos — Sounds like an item on the Taco Bell late-night menu.
Moonettes — Just because it’s smaller, why does that make it female? Huh?
Moooons — How would you even pronounce that? Like a cow?

But the best by far has to be moonmoons.

Moonmoon sounds like something you’d call a loved one or a pet. Or, possibly, a honeymoon within a honeymoon. “Like, we went to Honolulu, but it was pretty hectic so we took a break over on Kuai, you know, for a little moonmoon.”

If Twitter was allowed to name the moon that orbits a moon, moonmoon would win in a landslide.

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