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History of Pluto's Sign and Name

Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld, Pluto.

Its symbol is the combined letters "P" and "L," either for Percival Lowell or for Pluto.

The name Pluto was suggested by Venetia Burney of England, who was 11 years old at the time. She suggested the name to her grandfather, who was Librarian at Oxford. He passed her idea to the astronomers who were trying to name the newly-discovered planet (later reclassified as a dwarf planet).

Planet "X" was the temporary name given to the then-unknown planet beyond Neptune that disturbed the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. Percival Lowell calculated the rough location of Planet "X's" orbit, but died in 1916 before it was found. This dwarf planet was eventually found by the American astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh in 1930 and named Pluto. He did his observations at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

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