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These Adorable NASA Pets All Have Astrophysics-Inspired Names

For National Pet Day, meet Hubble the dog, Muon the cat and Neutrino the chameleon.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

This isn't a NASA dog, but her name is Sappho and there's an asteroid named "80 Sappho," so at least we're in the ballpark.

Amanda Kooser/CNET

If you're here, it's probably because you like space and you like animals and you want to see those two worlds meld together in a palate-cleansing burst of delight. To celebrate National Pet Day on Monday, NASA Astrophysics dropped some heavenly creatures into its NASA Universe Twitter stream.

NASA Universe dedicated a thread to pets as co-workers. It includes a GIF of cute cats, dogs and reptiles along with some explanations of their "cosmic names."

The menagerie of adorability includes more than one dog named Hubble (for the Hubble Space Telescope and astronomer Edwin Hubble) and a spectacular chonk of a cat named Milky Way (for our home galaxy).

Space names aren't just for the fur-bearing crowd. There's an iguana called Event Horizon. "Event Horizon is named for the surface of a black hole. This boundary defines where you'd have to go faster than the speed of light -- which is the fastest thing we know of -- to escape the black hole," NASA Universe explained

Some NASA astronauts have also shown their devotion to their pets. Leland Melvin famously posed with his pups during a NASA photoshoot. Astronaut Christina Koch offered a twist on the pet reunion video genre when she rejoined her dog in 2020 after spending 328 days on the International Space Station.

Astrophysicists may be gazing out into the universe, but their furry and scaly companions help keep them grounded here on Earth.