William Shatner and Star Trek fans around the world chased the SETI Institute Pluto Moon Naming Contest “round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round perdition’s flames” and although Vulcan was the hands down winner vote wise, it was not chosen as one of the two moon names. The SETI Institute announced that the two smallest moons of Pluto will from this day forth, be called Styx and Kerberos.
The small moon labeled P4 was named Kerberos after the three-headed dog of Greek mythology and the moon labeled P5 was named Styx, after the mythological river separating the land of the living from the land of the dead.
SETI said that Vulcan was rejected because there is already something named Vulcan and the character of Vulcan has little to do with the mythology of Pluto. The Institute has had a long-standing tradition of naming moons in relation to the planet’s name, (Does this make Pluto a planet again?). The other moons of Pluto, Charon, Nix and Hydra, are all characters associated with the Greek and Roman Mythological Underworld.
Shatner tweeted his displeasure at the announcement:
I think they used us for promotional purposes! They’re probably Star Wars fans!
Star Trek fans have had it rough. First JJ blows up Vulcan and now SETI finds a loophole to deny it from coming back!
Who’d ever thought I’d be betrayed by geeks and nerds? 😉
Of course it’s all in jest for Shatner, who is an old hand at outrageously obvious simulated outrage. Whichever way this was going to turn out Shatner was going to have some fun with it. I wonder what Shatner’s next target will be?