Vulcan Exists!

No, not that one.  Sorry to disappoint the Trekkers out there.  However, the votes have been tallied and the results are in from the SETI Institute’s Pluto Rocks Poll.  The poll was opened to name the moons of the planet (yes, you heard right, I said it: PLANET) Pluto.  P1, P2, P3, P4 and P5, while practical, are boring.  The names “Vulcan” and “Cerberus” have come out on top for names for Pluto’s most recently-discovered moons, P4 and P5.

https://i1.wp.com/ut-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Pluto-and-Vulcan.jpg
After 450,324 votes cast over the past two weeks, Vulcan is the clear winner with a landslide 174,062 votes… due in no small part to a little Twitter intervention by William Shatner.


Naming one of Pluto’s moons “Vulcan” was spearheaded by both Shattner and Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock).  “‘Vulcan’ is the logical choice. LLAP” (https://twitter.com/therealnimoy 2013 February 14)

As far as having a name from the Star Trek universe be used for an actual astronomical object?

“Vulcan works, he’s got a family tie to the whole story. Pluto and Zeus were brothers, and Vulcan is a son of Pluto.”  What can you say when even Mr. Spock agrees?

The other winning name, Cerberus, is currently used for an asteroid.  Because the IAU tries to avoid confusion with two objects sharing the same exact name, the Greek version of: Kerberos will be the name submitted.

Cerberus (or Kerberos) is the name of the giant three-headed dog that guards the gates to the underworld in Greek mythology.


Now that the international public has spoken, the next step will be to submit these names to the International Astronomical Union for official approval, a process that could take 1–2 months.
Who knows, maybe the two actor’s can get enough support to re-instate planet-hood to Pluto.

One thought on “Vulcan Exists!

  1. Pingback: The International Astronomical Union is at it again. | Astronomy and Law

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