Zoozve, how Alex Foster’s Solar System print got the internet buzzing

How Alex Foster’s Solar System print got the internet buzzing and space lovers scratching their heads to eventually play a part in renaming a quasi-moon!

Early 2023, writer and presenter Latif Nasser notices something strange in his toddler’s bedroom as he puts him to bed. On the wall, Alex Foster’s Solar System print and on it, an odd little detail sitting next to Venus, a moon called “ZOOZVE”. “Huh” he thought. “Never heard of that” and he’s right, Venus has no moons, he gets even his friends at NASA to confirm. From that, follows a year of obsessive reporting which he recounts in this special and fascinating episode of award-winning podcast Radiolab (+2M listeners each week).

This quest leads him to Alex himself who, although confesses he doesn’t know much about astronomy, swears he didn’t make it up and found the information from a list of moons online. Turns out he’d copied it wrong from his own rough drawing and misread his writing. The actual object is called '2002VE' - and it’s a giant rock the size of the Eiffel Tower. The big question is, is it a moon or not?

For 45min, we follow Nasser into this fascinating rabbit hole into quasi moons, taking a deep dive into our universe and what it can do - he even took the story to twitter which has led to a public poll to rename the quasi moon Zoozve (because, let's face it it IS a jazzy name!). And breaking news! As of February 5th, it is now its official name - the vote to name it Zoozve was razor thin as the naming protocol should normally be after mythology. However, the International Astronomical Union approved the name following the interesting story and Nasser’s thread!

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© Photo by Spoon Shao

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