Star Trek Trumps Mythology in Naming Pluto's New Moon

Due to popular demand, one of Pluto's recently discovered moons is to be named Vulcan, after the fictional home of Star Trek's Spock. And that makes no kind of sense.

The name Vulcan was suggested by William Shatner, then reinforced by Leonard Nimoy. Over 450,000 people voted to name the moon, in a poll run by SETI, and eventually Vulcan won by a clear 50,000 votes.

Not that it really make any sense. Pluto's other moons—Charon, Hydra and Nix—have traditionally been named after characters from Greek mythology with ties to Hades, the Greek equivalent of Pluto. But no longer, thanks to a bunch of over-excited Star Trek fans.

Now might be a good time to point out that the fictional Vulcan was in fact a planet which orbited fictional star 40 Eridani A and itself had no moon. Whereas the newly named lump of rock is a moon orbiting a planet. So the decision doesn't really make any astronomical sense, either. Just sayin'. [BBC]

Image by AP