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back to article Vulcan? Not on our tiny balls. Pluto moons named Kerberos, Styx

The International Astronomical Union has dissed William Shatner and the public to name Pluto's moons Kerberos and Styx, instead of most-popular moniker Vulcan. Despite having won the SETI-run Pluto Rocks contest to come up with names for the fourth and fifth - and tiniest - moons of the heavenly body with 174,062 votes, Vulcan …

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So the "Vulcan" name was a bad candidate to begin with?

Why was it allowed on the vote, then? I don't understand.

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Megaphone

Re: So the "Vulcan" name was a bad candidate to begin with?

SETIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII !!!!

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Happy

Re: So the "Vulcan" name was a bad candidate to begin with?

They must be out of their Vulcan minds!

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Re: So the "Vulcan" name was a bad candidate to begin with?

"SETIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII !!!!"

Should've named it Ceti Alpha V.

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Re: So the "Vulcan" name was a bad candidate to begin with?

Maybe because the poll wasn't actually held by the people who make the decision (IAU), but by someone else (SETI)?

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Anonymous Coward

not worthy of Vulcan

no loss - only an awesome planet is worthy of the name Vulcan

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Happy

Re: not worthy of Vulcan

or an awesome aircraft (XH558).

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Attack of the ultra-nerd ...

Surely they're saving the Vulcan moniker for a planet orbiting 40 Eridani A when they find one?

I'll get my coat ...

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"Cerebus"?

I never imagined Shatner being a comic books aficionado with a fondness for sword-wielding aardvarks with questionable ethics (both the aardvark and its creator)! Although it kind of fits.

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Re: "Cerebus"?

Cerebus even went out to Pluto. Damn, we should have voted that as the name (and Jaka for the other one).

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Coat

It's all in the name

So, if there were a marriage between William Shatner and Hyacynth Bucket ( " It's Bouquet dear...."), would they go with the double barreled option of Shatner-Bucket ?

Mine's the one with the bog roll in the pocket....

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Re: It's all in the name

Just like when science nerd Stephen Fry marries Dawn French and she becomes Dawn French-Fry...

Completely off topic, I know.

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Happy doggies

So the Disney dog is joined by a 3-headed dog and they're off to chase sticks.

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Facepalm

Re: Happy doggies

Shouldn't they be chasing Styx?

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Coat

Re: Happy doggies

Domoarigato Mr. Roboto....

Yeah, yeah, I'm going. Mine's the one with the mp3 player loaded with classic rock in the pocket.

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Re: Happy doggies

Just be happy they didn't name the other moon Fluffy...

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Somehow, I'd rather the name Vulcan went to an actual inhabitable planet around another star.

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Alien

The needs of the Few

If you need that explaining then tough

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pretty obvious really

the name "Vulcan" as in the ancient god and not a pointy eared prat with silly eyebrows, is already taken in astronomy circles.

urbain le verrier called his hypothetical planet between the sun and mercury vulcan, and though it is now proven not to exist there is a very good chance of a ring of asteroids in that orbit, reffered to as vulcanoid asteroids. anyone want to guess what these would be called on discovery? heres a clue... vulcan1, vulcan2, vulcan3....

(they are hypothetical but there is eveidence to support the claim, they are however extremely hard to find as the area they would inhabit suffers from serious light pollution from the sun making telescope observation difficult)

besides as the god of fire and volcanos it would hardly be a fitting name for a little rock out in the coldest boondocks of our solar system.

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Re: pretty obvious really

"besides as the god of fire and volcanos it would hardly be a fitting name for a little rock out in the coldest boondocks of our solar system."

Right. Shatner's campaign reminds me when trekkies obtained to name the only Space Shuttle that wouldn't have never gone to space "Enterprise". They were asked to wait for a "production" Shuttle, but they were blinded by their faith and didn't listen - guess the Futurama episode that shows Star Trek fans turning it into a religion got it right.

The names choosen are the correct ones for Pluto, Vulcan would have been out of place, for a dark, cold remote world. Maybe Shatner was thinking about hell's fire - anyway Vulcan is not hell despite Vulcan's ears - but in Greek mithology the underworld is different form the Christian one - it includes places for every soul, bad and good ones, and it's often described as a "dark" place.

Kirk should let Spock choose astronomical names, he didn't studied enough at the Starfleet Academy...

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Re: pretty obvious really

In fairness Enterprise was always intended to be converted to into an orbiter after the ALT program completed. Under the original plan she would have been the second functional shuttle to reach space.

The unexpected number of changes that had to be made to the shuttle design during Columbia's construction ended up precluding Enterprise's conversion on the basis of cost.

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LDS
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Re: pretty obvious really

AFAIK trekkies were told to wait because the name was already choosen, but they didn't listen.

Columbia building started in 1975, and thereby the decision not to retrofit the Enterprise was taken early enough to suggest to wait.

If they had let the NASA name the first Shuttle "Constitution", and name a later Shuttle "Enterprise", they would have had a "Constitution-class" Enterprise....

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Re: pretty obvious really

Enterprise was built between 1974 and 1976. The Approach and landing test program finished in 1977 and the decision not to convert Enterprise to an orbiter was made in 1978 so it was still assumed during the naming of Enterprise that it would fly in space.

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Coat

Re: pretty obvious really

>Space Shuttle that wouldn't have never gone to space "Enterprise"

Presumably because the engines cannea take it cap'n

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MJI
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Re: pretty obvious really

To some of us it is a V bomber!

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Re: pretty obvious really

-- the underworld is different form the Christian one - it includes places for every soul, bad and good ones, and it's often described as a "dark" place. --

Sounds like Hel's domain, all right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hel_(being)

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Alien

Legacy

He has already been immortalised by neurologists; time perception is, of course, governed by the Shatner's Bassoon. There's still plenty of potential for the name Vulcan to be assigned to more appropriate rock in the galaxy, there isn't a shortage of them. I daresay the trekkies will have cause to celebrate one day.

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Boffin

"time perception is, of course, governed by the Shatner's Bassoon"

Well, that explains those ... odd ... pauses we alll ... experience ... now and again.

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There was once a vulcan before

It was a mythical planet that was once thought to orbit the sun closer than Mercury...

Which is why some people thought it was a bad idea for Pluto (ignoring the theme the IAU correctly went for).

In Star Trek Vulcan was a hot desert planet, so having a real Vulcan out in the outer part of the solar system doesn't tend to go with that theme either.

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I knew it...

I always thought my neighbour Sylvia was a bit of an asteroid...

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Who'd be an astronmer

All that staying up late and peering into optics. The only fun bit of self-expression you get is when its time to name a celestial body. And that's when every TV-watching nerd in the world tries to enforce his (or her) childish views. Meh.

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LDS
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Re: Who'd be an astronmer

You no longer peer into optics - today you just watch a monitor who shows you what the CCD sensors see - maybe on the other side of the world (or orbiting around it, if you are using Hubble or any of the other space telescopes, or even from deep space probes) - and if so you don't have to work all the night. Anyway even before CCDs professional astronomers were using chemical imaging to record their observations - peering directly into a telescope is a thing of the remote past - or of amateur astronomers (and even advanced amateurs now uses CCD cameras a lot).

Moreover imaging is just a part of an astronomer's job - spectral and photometric data are a large part of it, and that's not something you can look at directly.

It's funny to see how the early XIX century astronomer stereotype is still strong today...

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Trollface

Re: Who'd be an astronmer

Hey, lets be fair here. Peering into optics is quite fun.

Oh, they're supposed to be pointed at the sky?

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Re: Who'd be an astronmer

Actually you do spend a lot of time peering into optics.

You also spend a lot of your time saying;

This fscking mirror is filfthy when was it last recoated?

I can't see the chip - the fsckign filter wheel has jammed!

There is fscking ice on the inside of this dewar window!

Whose fsckign fingerprint is this on an interference filter?

Although if you work on an interferemeter with 100s of optical components linking 4 telescopes you can get a little frustrated with peering into optics - and your language coarsens a little.

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Happy

Re: Who'd be an astronmer

Oh yeh I know I know its all done using very clever techniques and sensors and you actually use the internet for proper science stuff. I just wanted to make the point about childish nerds thinking they have any rights in the naming of celestial bodies, that was all.

Jeez I should check out replies to my comments more often :-)

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Not a problem

Vulcan can be used for something larger.

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Vulcan was a bad name

Pluto is close to absolute zero -- you can't name a planed Vulcan if there are no volcanoes.

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Vulcan was always inappropriate

Not only does it not fit with Pluto's theme, but it doesn't fit with any other aspect of Pluto and it's moon. Vulcan was the Roman god of fire, and the fictional planet on Star Trek was a hot one. What possessed Shat to think that it was a good idea to name an ice ball after these is beyond me.

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Re:What possessed Shat to think that it was a good idea

It's the Shat, what more reason do you need?

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<pedant>

Cerebus has four heads - his tail was a snake, with it's own head

</pedant>

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Cerebus is an aardvark

Cerberus is a three-headed hound of hell.

Serpent's head as a tail, I associate with the Chimera

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Headmaster

If you're going to be a pedant...

... at least get the apostrophe rule correc for 'its' correct!

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Can't we have some rude names?

How about: "Approaching the planet 'Cock-Ring' captain"

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Re: Can't we have some rude names?

I believe that one would be a fitting tribute to Kirk....

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Well done! Another strike aganst the Fanatics calling themselves "Trekkies"

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Kerberos

Great. Now I'm thinking either about the bear thingy from Sakura Card Captors, or an authentication system when I talk about that moon...

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A more important question

Why are Vulcans named directly after their planet? I am an Earth-ling, Marvin was a Mar-tian but Spock is a Vulcan. Do they not believe in hyphens?

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Happy

I like Styx

...kind of appropriate really.

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Headmaster

Greek god Pluto?

No, no, no!

Hades is the Greek God.

Pluto is the Roman one.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Greek god Pluto?

Nope. See Princeton university's website: http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Pluto_%28mythology%29.html

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