Vulcan Denied As A Name for Pluto’s Moon

Posted Thursday, July 4th, 2013 09:00 pm GMT -4 by 0

Vulcan Spock

As a fan of Star Trek, I thought this summer couldn’t get any better. However, it is now a disappointing time for Trekkies everywhere as earlier this week, the name Vulcan was denied by the International Astronomical Union for one of Pluto’s moons.

If you recall, a couple of months ago there was a poll to name two of Pluto’s most recently discovered moons. There was one rule in the poll and was the names had to be related to the god Pluto or the underworld in Greek mythology. (This was to prevent one of the moons being named “Justin Bieber” or “YOLO”, I’m sure.)

William Shatner took interest in this and suggested naming one of the moons Vulcan. He took to Twitter to promote this and the name skyrocketed to the top. Ah, the power of social media!

Vulcan would’ve been a great name, too. Although in reality, it’s Spock’s home planet, and in Roman mythology, Vulcan is the god of fire and volcanoes. That’s certainly related to Pluto. It would’ve been a great name!

However, the International Astronomical Union did not approve this name because apparently, there is another celestial body that has the name Vulcan.

Wait. What?

According to my favorite resource, Wikipedia, Vulcan is the name of a planet. However, Vulcan is actually a theoretical planet that was thought to orbit in our solar system between Mercury and the Sun during the late 1800’s.

In the 19th century, French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier hypothesized Vulcan’s existence as a reason for anomalies in Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. While no planet was ever found, a few researchers thought that maybe asteroids were orbiting between Mercury and the Sun, which they called vulcanoids. Still, there hasn’t been any proof to the existence or nonexistence of vulcanoids.

So, we can’t name a real moon after a fake planet because there’s already a fake planet named Vulcan?

Mr. Shatner did not hide his disappointment over Twitter.

 

Though Vulcan supporters are probably disappointed, fans of “dad-music” and three-headed dogs can certainly celebrate. The moons have been named Styx and Kerberos.

Source: CinemaBlend