Feb 25 2013 6:30pm

Pluto’s Two New Moons Have Names. One of Them is “Vulcan”

Though it was the only one of the Greek/Roman names not directly associated with the mythology regarding the underworld, “Vulcan” won by a landslide in the Pluto Rocks poll to name the two new moons discovered orbiting Pluto.

Second place went to “Cerberus” known better to Harry Potter fans as the three-headed dog Fluffy. (But really, we all know Cerberus was the three-headed dog who guarded the underworld, while Vulcan was the Roman god of the forge, and didn’t go to the underworld at all. Not even on weekends.) Suspicions are high that William Shatner’s Twitter campaign to get folks voting for Vulcan probably helped is garner its 174,062 votes. 

Pluto Rocks, which is associated with the SETI Institute, is quick to point out on its website that the official final naming selections still need to be made and it might be 1-2 months before moons P4 and p5 become forever known as Vulcan and Cerberus.

We’re fairly sure this is retribution for what J.J. Abrams and Nero did to the other planet Vulcan in the last Star Trek movie.

[News via Pluto Rocks]

Stefan Jones
1. Stefan Jones
For cripes sake . . . Cerebrus would have been a far fitter choice.

Vulcan should have been reserved for some close-orbiting asteroid. or a moonlet of Mercury.
Stefan Jones
2. Kitty Steinbeck
Greetings! My grandson, Lodaki Lappin and I (Kitty Steinbeck) entered the proposed names Cerebus and Erebus, coming in second with Cerebus!

My grandson said, "Nana, who's this guy and why don't we get our names on there too?", I said, good question. Let's write some emails and see.

So, I am writing to let you know that we might not be movie stars (but we are super cool!) and that we were the ones that entered the name Cerebus.

The contest sparked an interest in space exploration with my grandson, I hope it has the same effect on others as it did for him.

Thank you for your kind consideration.


Lodaki Lappin/Kitty Steinbeck
(alias Ki and Groovy Grandma)
Stefan Jones
3. XSapien
Vulcan is a terrible choice for a moon of Pluto. Hekate would make more sense.
Stefan Jones
4. some guyz
Dave Sim and Gerhard would be proud, Ms. Steinbeck, as am I.
Stefan Jones
5. Georgia Bulat
I've always thought that Persephone would have been the absolutely perfect name for Pluto's 1st moon. She was the daughter of Demeter & was kidnapped by Pluto & forced to live in the underworld.

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