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?

Via: Bleedingcool


SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) began an online poll a few days ago to find names for two tiny moons of Pluto, recently discovered thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, and designated P4 and P5 thus far.

SETI proposed a list of mythology-inspired monikers, in keeping with the naming traditions of planetary bodies within our solar system, and so far, Vulcan is leading the race. Approximately 347,000 votes have been cast, with more than 120,000 for Vulcan. Cerberus and Styx are in second and third place, respectively, and other candidates include Hercules, Orpheus, Sisyphus,  and Persephone (not enough Firefly fans voting, apparently).

It was William Shatner himself who proposed this addition to SETI. The Shat never misses a chance to pimp out Star Trek, and suggested not only Vulcan, but Romulus as well–but it seems that one’s already taken (along with Remus), it’s the name of one of Asteroid 87 Silvia’s moons (I didn’t even know asteroids HAD moons! Who says this site isn’t educational?)

Keep in mind, this poll itself will not choose the names of these moons. The candidates with the most votes will be presented to the International Astronomical Union, but they will make the actual decision.

If you’d like to add your two cents, the poll is open until 12:00 PM EST on Feb. 25 at Pluto Rocks! (one vote per day, please).

Source: Blastr