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Space Science

New Moons of Pluto Named Kerberos and Styx; Popular Choice 'Vulcan' Snubbed 194

MarkWhittington writes "The International Astronomical Union announced on July 2, 2013 its picks to name the two recently discovered moons of Pluto, hitherto known as P4 and P5. They will now be known as Kerberos and Styx respectively. In Greek and Roman mythology Kerberos is the name of the mythological three headed hound that guards the entrance to the underworld. Styx is the name of the river that separated the underworld from the real world. The names, picked in a popular contest, were actually the second and third choices. The first choice was Vulcan, which was officially touted because it was the name of a Roman god who was a relative of Pluto's and was associated with fire and smoke. The real reason that Vulcan shot up to the top of the list was that was a choice by Star Trek fans in a campaign instigated by actor William Shatner, who played Captain James Kirk in the original series." Shatner is sad and may lead a revolt. Phil Plait wins the award for best headline for this news.
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New Moons of Pluto Named Kerberos and Styx; Popular Choice 'Vulcan' Snubbed

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  • by BenSchuarmer ( 922752 ) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @03:48PM (#44169653)
    Pluto is a dwarf planet [] (a celestial body in direct orbit of the Sun that is massive enough for its shape to be controlled by gravitation, but that unlike a planet has not cleared its orbital region of other objects). The definition doesn't exclude moons.
  • Re:Shred of dignity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @03:54PM (#44169723) Homepage

    Although if they are so interested in "dignity" and "class", then perhaps they shouldn't use a popularity contest to determine the results (or at least claim to be doing so, if they intend to ignore the results anyway).

    The people (or at least the subset of the people who care enough about this to actually vote) made their voice heard. Claiming first that their opinion is worth listening to by holding the contest and then ignoring it when the results don't match their expectations only makes the IAU look doubly foolish.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright