install theme
[Image credit: First image via Space.com on Facebook, second image via original Space.com article.]

It’s official! Two tiny moons orbiting the dwarf planet Pluto finally have new names: Styx and Kerberos.

The International Astronomical Union — the organization responsible for naming celestial objects — has approved “Kerberos” and “Styx” as the new monikers for two of Pluto’s moons that were previously called P4 and P5 respectively, but fans of TV’s “Star Trek” might not be too happy about the new names.

The IAU selected the names based on the results of the Pluto Rocks Internet poll sponsored by SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), but the top vote-getter, Vulcan, ultimately wasn’t chosen as a name for one of the tiny moons.

Actor William Shatner — who portrayed the Starship Enterprise captain James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek” TV series — suggested Vulcan (the home planet of the show’s pointy-eared Vulcan people) as a possible candidate, and voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of it.

In total, nearly 500,000 votes were cast, with about 170,000 of those going to Vulcan alone. In second place was Cerberus with Styx coming in third in the online poll. But for Vulcan, it was not meant to be.

"The IAU gave serious consideration to this name, which happens to be shared by the Roman god of volcanoes," SETI officials wrote in a statement. "However, because that name has already been used in astronomy, and because the Roman god is not closely associated with Pluto, this proposal was rejected."

IAU rules states that Pluto’s moons should be named for mythological characters of the underworld in Greek and Roman mythology. Pluto is known as the ruler of the underworld in ancient mythos.

Cerberus, the three-headed dog in Roman mythology, came in a clear second in the Pluto Rocks ballot with nearly 100,000 votes, but IAU officials decided to tweak the name slightly, instead opting to name the moon Kerberos — Cerberus’ equivalent in Greek myth.

The name Styx, the river that separates the living from the dead in ancient myth, garnered about 88,000 votes for a third place finish.

393 notes
comments powered by Disqus

393 notes


, #Pluto #Styx #Kerberos #astronomy #astronomyfacts #science #IAU
  1. sierraslinger reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  2. fictionalfriend reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  3. treemigration reblogged this from mentalalchemy
  4. giantboombastic reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  5. cosmic-microwave-background reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  6. willnobilis reblogged this from neuronsandneutrons
  7. hummusapiens reblogged this from astronemma
  8. spoktoberfest reblogged this from astronomerinprogress
  9. islandscrivener reblogged this from thinkcosmos
  10. leonerdnimoy reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  11. superiorvintage reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  12. feetgearsnrotor reblogged this from astronemma
  13. chemman9 reblogged this from hobomystical
  14. fandomfervor reblogged this from alwaysatlusstories
  15. kjiquva reblogged this from scienceing
  16. lovelyuniversee reblogged this from astronomerinprogress
  17. drachenfotze reblogged this from kingofwubdubs and added:
    PLUTO
  18. themindhasmtns reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  19. unknownexplorers reblogged this from scienceing
  20. anneisagoat reblogged this from scienceing
  21. thatonemarvelousplace reblogged this from scienceing
  22. satans-milky-nipple reblogged this from scienceing
  23. scienceing reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  24. alwaysatlusstories reblogged this from mentalalchemy
^