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Captain Kirk’s ‘Vulcan’ top name for new Pluto moons

  |  February 27, 2013

Captain Kirk’s ‘Vulcan’ top name for new Pluto moons
William Shatner as Captain Kirk in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Image by Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Corbis

Star Trek fans, rejoice. An online vote to name Pluto’s two recently-discovered, tiny moons is over. And the winner is Vulcan, a name suggested by actor William Shatner, who played Capt Kirk in the original Star Trek TV series.

All of the potential names had to come from Greek or Roman mythology, and deal with the underworld. Vulcan was the Roman god of lava and smoke, and the nephew of Pluto. Vulcan was also the home planet of the pointy-eared humanoids in the Star Trek shows. Think Mr Spock.

In second place was Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the gates of the underworld.

In all, more than 450,000 online votes were cast over the past two weeks.

The International Astronomical Union will have the final say. – AP


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