Of Course the Internet Names Pluto's New Moon Vulcan

By Sam Gibbs on at

If you leave votes for things up to the internet, there are normally only two outcomes. Either you end up with a cat, or something from Star Wars or Star Trek. The later is true when it comes to space. Yes, the internet has decreed that Pluto's new moon be called "Vulcan".

The Seti institute ran the vote to name Pluto's two new moons, P4 and P5, which ended Monday with Vulcan a clear winner. The name was first put forward by none other than William Shatner himself. Cerberus, the name of the Greek underworld's multi-headed guard dog came second, meaning both names will be taken forward to the International Astronomical Union for ratification.

It's not guaranteed, unfortunately, as an IAU spokesman apparently told the BBC that "the organisation typically did not involve the public in decisions like this. Astronomers, not Star Trek fans, that would have the final say on the matter", which sounds a bit prickly to me. Anyway, hopefully internet-sense prevails and Vulcan really does come into existence, even if it is just a moon. [BBC]