Online Vote Picks Vulcan as Name for Pluto's Fourth Moon

Online Vote Picks Vulcan as Name for Pluto's Fourth Moon

image

Pluto joins the final frontier as voters nominate Vulcan to be the name of one of its newly discovered moons.

The years haven't been kind to poor old Pluto. First its name was usurped by a cartoon dog and then, in 2006, the International Astronomical Union put in place new rules stripping it of its long-time status as a planet. Those dark days may be behind it however, as everyone's favorite dwarf-planet has been bestowed an honor of the Trekkie kind. Recently, Pluto was discovered to have fourth and fifth moons and now, after more than a million votes, one of them may be named Vulcan.

The two moons, currently known as P4 and P5, were discovered in 2011 and 2012 by a team of astronomers based at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. The team held an online vote, wrapping up on February 25th, to determine the names of the two moons. While the group originally listed off twelve preferred names, they soon received some suggestions from outside parties. Most notably, William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk, wanted the two moons named Vulcan and Romulus after the home worlds of the Vulcans and Romulans in Star Trek. At his urging, some 175,000 people voted for Vulcan, making it the top choice on the poll. "We have been overwhelmed by the world's response," said Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute.

Though Shatner pushed for Romulus as well, it had less success, owing in part to traditions that have long governed the naming of celestial bodies. The original twelve names suggested by the SETI team were all based off of Greek and Roman mythology, a criterion which Vulcan just happens to fit. In addition to being the fictional home planet of the Vulcans, Vulcan is also the name of Roman god of lava and smoke and is, fittingly, related to the god Pluto. "Any connection to the Star Trek TV-series is purely coincidental," said Showalter.

Though Vulcan won the internet poll, it and the second place choice Cerberus, still need to be submitted to the IAU for final judgment.

Source: New Scientist

Permalink

It is kind of silly, but as a Scorpio I feel proud again.

I would have preferred Hephaestus, but whatever, same god different name.

Um, Romulus is from Roman mythology as well. He was one of two abandoned twins raised by a she wolf and he killed his brother Remus and went on to be the mythical founder of Rome. In fact Rome comes from Romulus

wait, am i reading this wrong? im pretty sure Romulus has a lot to do with roman mythology, being one of the mythical founders

*EDIT*
looks like someone beat me to it

Lunar Shadow:
Um, Romulus is from Roman mythology as well. He was one of two abandoned twins raised by a she wolf and he killed his brother Remus and went on to be the mythical founder of Rome. In fact Rome comes from Romulus

Lunar Shadow:
Um, Romulus is from Roman mythology as well. He was one of two abandoned twins raised by a she wolf and he killed his brother Remus and went on to be the mythical founder of Rome. In fact Rome comes from Romulus

Yeah but he wasn't a God.
OT: what are they going to name the other one?

I know Vulcan is still from mythology but I think that it is a shame that the winner didn't fit the theme of being more closely linked to Pluto.

DVS BSTrD:

Lunar Shadow:
Um, Romulus is from Roman mythology as well. He was one of two abandoned twins raised by a she wolf and he killed his brother Remus and went on to be the mythical founder of Rome. In fact Rome comes from Romulus

Yeah but he wasn't a God.
OT: what are they going to name the other one?

Neither are Saturn or Uranus, as they are Titans

Vulcan and Cerberus, huh? Star Trek and Mass Effect join together around Pluto. :P

Lunar Shadow:

DVS BSTrD:

Lunar Shadow:
Um, Romulus is from Roman mythology as well. He was one of two abandoned twins raised by a she wolf and he killed his brother Remus and went on to be the mythical founder of Rome. In fact Rome comes from Romulus

Yeah but he wasn't a God.
OT: what are they going to name the other one?

Neither are Saturn or Uranus, as they are Titans

Well the Titans were the immortal predecessors of the Gods: Romulus was just a lowly human.

Lunar Shadow:
Um, Romulus is from Roman mythology as well. He was one of two abandoned twins raised by a she wolf and he killed his brother Remus and went on to be the mythical founder of Rome. In fact Rome comes from Romulus

Yeah, but my understanding is that there's already a pair of asteroids named Romulus and Remus. There's also one named Cerberus I think.

Either way, I am displeased. Vulcan should not be there.

DVS BSTrD:

Lunar Shadow:
Um, Romulus is from Roman mythology as well. He was one of two abandoned twins raised by a she wolf and he killed his brother Remus and went on to be the mythical founder of Rome. In fact Rome comes from Romulus

Yeah but he wasn't a God.
OT: what are they going to name the other one?

I think in Roman mythology Romulus was made a God, kinda like Caesar was. I think they said the second place name was Cerberus, so that might be the second moon's name? It would make sense, being Pluto's (or Hades, whichever) dog.

Aww I voted Persephone and Orpheus.

I feel we should have kept Vulcan for a proper habitable planet.

Cerberus is cool and not because of Mass Effect. Having the guard dog of the underworld orbiting the god of the underworld is incredibly fitting.

Cerberus fits just fine but not keen on Vulcan, oh well they're just names.

Dang it!

I was hoping for at least Persephone :(

Why did you have to hijack the voting, Mr. Shatner?

Cerberus is fine, but Vulcan doesn't fit...

Actually, now that I think about it, since the Greek counterpart is Hephaestus, I guess it's fine

I'm pretty sure Romulus was denied because there is already a body in the asteroid belt named Romulus, not because of any aberrant naming practices.

And Persephone was obviously the best choice.

Not really too fussed, would rather they keep the cool names like Persephone for when they start to discover other planets and what not.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here