Venetia Burney

Venetia Burney (b.1919) was the first person to suggest the name Pluto for the planet discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh in 1930. She lived in Oxford, England, and was 11 years old at the time.

Interestingly, her great-uncle Henry Madan (who lived from 1838 to 1901 and was Science Master of Eton, a famous private school in England) had suggested in 1878 the names Phobos and Deimos for the moons of Mars.

Venetia Burney grew up to become a teacher. She married a mathematician named Maxwell Phair.She lives in Epsom, England, with her husband and has a 55-year-old son.

An account of how Venetia Burney was learning about the planets at school at the time of the planet's discovery is given in a news letter of Parents' Union School (an english movement for home-schooling) >