How to pronounce Pluto’s moon Charon


Let’s just get down to it:

Even though it bares the same name as the Greek god Charon, which is pronounced like Karen, but with more emphasis on the -on (Kare-RON), Pluto’s moon is pronounced Share-ON, like a frustrated Ozzie Osbourne with diction training.

So why is this so confusing?

Well, according to NASA, the backstory of how it was named has to do with the guy who discovered, James Christy:

“Christy proposed the name Charon after the mythological ferryman who carried souls across the river Acheron, one of the five mythical rivers that surrounded Pluto’s underworld. Apart from the mythological connection for this name, Christy chose it because the first four letters also matched the name of his wife, Charlene.”

Which is pronounced “Shar-leen”. Hence Charon’s pronunciation, which is accepted by NASA and most astronomers. (We can’t speak for them all.)

In conclusion?

Wives 1 Greek Gods 0


Featured Image: Pluto and Charon in false color show compositional diversity. (Credit: NASA/APL/SwRI)

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