May 25 2024


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Vulcan Wins!

1 min read

The final tally for the vote to name two moons of Pluto is in, and Vulcan has outpaced all its competitors.

Vulcan, and the second-place finisher, Cerberus, were the two top vote getters, with only Vulcan receiving over one hundred thousand votes.

Vulcan received 174,062 votes, followed by Cerberus at 99,432 votes. Rounding out the top five are Styx (87,858), Persephone (68,969), and Orpheus (51,197). In all, 450,324 votes were submitted.

“174,062 votes and Vulcan came out on top of the voting for the naming of Pluto’s moons,” said William Shatner via Twitter. “Thank you to all who voted!”

Winning the contest does not mean that the winning names will automatically be used, however. But Mark Showalter, leader of the teams that discovered the tiny moons, temporarily named P4 and P5, said that he is leaning towards the popular vote.

On the Pluto Rocks website, Showalter asked voters to “please be patient now [as] it could take 1-2 months for the final names of P4 and P5 to be selected and approved.

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8 thoughts on “Vulcan Wins!

  1. Shatner is an idiot, and those proposing this story have hoodwinked the general public. There is no way in the universe that these names will become reality. Naming of bodies in the Solar System is controlled by the IAU / International Astronomical Union. On their site at , it actually said;

    Anyone may suggest that a specific name be considered by a task group, but there is no guarantee that the name will be accepted. Names successfully reviewed by a task group are submitted by the task group chair to theWorking Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN). Upon successful review by the members of the WGPSN, names are considered approved and can be used on maps and in publications. Approved names are immediately entered into the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, and posted on its web site. Any objections to these names based on significant, substantive problems must be forwarded in writing or email to the IAU Division III President within three months from the time the name was placed on the web site. Approved names are also listed in the transactions of the IAU.

    This will only be able to be finally confirmed and ratified by vote at the IAU General Assembly. The last was in Beijing, China in August 2012. The next one (the 29th) will be in Hawaii on 3-14 August, 2015. (The vote will be cast on 13th August 2015, actually, and by the nominated Committee representation.)

    “Vulcan” will not be selected, as it already applies to a once thought planet, during the 19th Century, orbiting between the Sun and the closest planet, Mercury. It would just be confusing to use it again for another Solar System body. Also in Greek and Roman mythology, Vulcan was a swift messenger who resided in Olympus, and these moons orbiting Pluto, is neither suited or appropriate. A moon of the dwarf planet, Pluto, will have to be another underworld character or god. Also these names have been already applied to asteroids in the Solar System, being (1865) Cerberus, (399) Persephone and (3361) Orpheus. [Note: The bracketed numbers are the number given in order of discovery .] On Styx has not been so far used, and this is because it is a river and not a god or goddess

    Clearly the incredible gullibility of some people knows no bounds. Like most of the apparent 174,062 suckers in the world, the poor and ill-informed media knows nothing about truth or reality. Investigative journalism is clearly an anachronism that no longer exists anymore, otherwise this story would not have got such amount of oxygen. Pity.

  2. Underneath all that froth and condescension you may actually have a point, somewhere. Unfortunately, I was too busy dodging the flying spittle to hear it.

  3. No doubt! Jeez… Investigative journalism? Are you serious? First, it’s a lighthearted story, not some piece meant to shape the world of the 21st Century. People are having a little fun with some names. That they didn’t research the history of the solar system back to the 1800’s before throwing out some names is just totally unacceptable… We should decapitate them and hoist their heads on pikes outside the IAU… please… You’re nerdraging against something virtually nobody really cares about… except the ultranerds, who, as you point out, have already formed their nerdcabal and already have their nerdling rules to abide by… So, all these lesser minds spouting what you think is stupidity doesn’t mean much… so, why juice up on the nerdroids over it if it’s already pointless?

    Sometimes, lighthearted fun is just that…

  4. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
    pray tell, where does it say this is a joke… anywhere. I mean anywhere…

  5. Excuse me. Vulcan is the Roman god of the forge and artifice, analogous to Hephaestus in the Greek pantheon. The swift (though not fiery) messenger you speak of is Mercury, the Roman analog of Hermes, who already has his own planet thank you very much.
    Just wanted to share my delight in the irony of you not knowing the truth or reality of this, and failing to investigate.
    That said, have some prune juice. It works wonders.

  6. What single thing has Shatner done in the last 15 years without his tongue firmly planted in his cheek?

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