Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Pluto's Moons

"Pluto's tiniest moons now have official names: Kerberos and Styx".

BTW, William Shatner is displeased with the final vote:
Initially, there were 12 names on the ballot, including such minions of Hades as Eurydice, Alecto, and Persephone. After a few days, Showalter added eight more. By the time voting closed, more than 450,000 votes had been cast, and voters had written in with 30,000 other options (including Stephen and Colbert, Mickey and Minnie, Potato and Pota(h)to, and various siblings claimed to be underworldly).

Among those write-ins was Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and volcanic fury, and the first addition to the ballot. Suggested on February 12 in a tweet by the actor William Shatner, Vulcan quickly zoomed ahead of the competition, leading the final tally with more than 170,00 votes.
Showalter submitted Vulcan, and second-place Cerberus (99,432 votes) to the International Astronomical Union for approval.

But when mulling over the names, the IAU found there were already too many objects named after Vulcan – not including the fictional home world of Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock – and after much deliberation, ruled that Vulcan wouldn’t work.

“What? That’s impossible! I’m going to lead a revolt,” Shatner said, when Wired told him of the outcome. “Pluto is so big and cold that it deserved to have a hot little rock running around it, named Vulcan — for fire.”