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Trekkies Vote 'Vulcan' Into the Solar System

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the live-long-and-prosper dept.

Sci-Fi 138

New submitter jollyrgr3 writes "If William Shatner gets his wish, one of Pluto's two new moons will be named Vulcan. The two small moons were discovered recently, and the SETI Institute launched an online poll to let people choose names. Captain Kirk himself suggested the names Vulcan and Romulus. Vulcan was accepted as a candidate, and Shatner exhorted his Twitter followers to vote. Vulcan ended up winning by a landslide, taking 174,000 of the 450,000 total responses. The next highest was Cerberus at just shy of 100,000. The names still have to be approved by the International Astronomical Union, as they have the final say. Leonard Nimoy approves."

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FU Trekkie geeks (3, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018549)

I'm starting a NEW poll for Wookie and Ewok.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018597)

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Re:FU Trekkie geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018601)

C'mon, the opportunity to name a moon "Space Station" to utterly confound Obi-Wan Kenobi into oblivion (and beyond)

sheesh!

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018607)

I think you mistyped Kashyyyk and Endor.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018627)

Don't you mean Kashyyyk and Endor?

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (4, Insightful)

DarthStrydre (685032) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018915)

Don't you mean the forest moon of Endor? I understand that the moon and the planet it orbited (long long ago) had the same name colloquially, but if we must be pedants, let us be truly pedantic.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019263)

I was aiming for the big one and the little one motif.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018639)

Ewok is never said once in any star wars movie. It's not canon.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018667)

Well it sure as shit said Ewok on my Star Wars action figure.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018735)

Technically "Wankerhead" isn't a canon species name, either.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019811)

You're right that the word is never said, but that's irrelevent. The word appears in the original ROTJ credits at least twice, in the script and in the novelisation, in both Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor, and is also Word of God [tvtropes.org] .

From the relevant Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] :

G-canon is absolute canon; the movies (their most recent release), the scripts, the novelizations of the movies, the radio plays, and any statements by George Lucas himself. G-canon overrides the lower levels of canon when there is a contradiction. Within G-canon, many fans follow an unofficial progression of canonicity where the movies are the highest canon, followed by the scripts, the novelizations, and then the radio plays.

Yes, the word "Ewok" is canon.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018727)

Wouldn't it be better to try to get the entire Pluto mess renamed "Alderaan"?

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (3, Informative)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018905)

Wookie and Ewok are not in Greek or Roman mythology and do not qualify under the rules, while Vulcan does.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (2)

rokstar (865523) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019067)

Traditionally its Roman for the planet name and Greek for the moons (Mars w/ Phobos and Deimos for example), so it should really be Hephaestus. The "rules" are some what flexible since Makemake and Haumea are neither Roman nor Greek.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019273)

Pluto, Makemake, and Haumea are now officially designated "Plutoids" ... I think the rule there is to name them after various gods of creation. Pluto is, of course, an exception due to history.

Moons in general have various naming schemes. Take Uranus, for example, where many moons are named after characters from Shakespeare's plays, of all things.

The moons of Pluto have so far been named after things associated with Pluto. I know of nothing that associates Vulcan with Pluto, however, other than his connection with fire ... which Christians associate with the underworld. Whoops.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (1)

rokstar (865523) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019441)

I didn't realize there was a rule associated with dwarf planets naming. And like I said the moon names were only traditionally Greek to their Roman counterparts. Uranus is the biggest exception to that tradition but the others largely follow it including Pluto. All that being said, I agree that its a pretty long stretch to get from Vulcan to Pluto. There are plenty of other Greek names one could use. Nerdom aside Cerberus should have won, or Persephone or Lethe for that matter (though it would likely be the easiest one to forget.)

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019447)

Would be a trap to propose Death Star. That's no moon.

Re:FU Trekkie geeks (2)

aoteoroa (596031) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019739)

Wouldn't Hoth have been a better choice anyway? Vulcan was hot.

Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018559)

I can understand the "nerd" value for the story but on any given day there are about a dozen things more interesting in the world of astronomy that never get page space here.

Re:Meh. (4, Insightful)

Dins (2538550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018913)

So start submitting articles...

Re:Meh. (2)

Tarlus (1000874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019483)

Yeah, but this is astronomy and Star Trek, all rolled into one!

That will just confuse things. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018571)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_(hypothetical_planet) [wikipedia.org]

Vulcan was the name of the hypothetical planet between Mercury and the Sun.

Re:That will just confuse things. (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018653)

Vulcan was the name of the hypothetical planet between Mercury and the Sun.

That made sense because Vulcan was the name of the Roman god of fire. [wikipedia.org] It seems like an odd name for a moon frozen at 43K (-230C).

Re:That will just confuse things. (5, Interesting)

guises (2423402) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018833)

You can't name moons after gods anyway, it's against the convention. Planets get named after gods. Cerberus is the more appropriate name.

Re:That will just confuse things. (2)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019087)

Well, since Pluto is already a non-planet with a God's name...

Re:That will just confuse things. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019641)

wrong, Mars' moons are named after gods. Phobos god of horror and his twin brother Deimos god of terror. there are other examples.....

Re:That will just confuse things. (1)

guises (2423402) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019845)

Well you're right, although Phobos and Deimos are at least Greek gods, not Roman. Is that at least a rule that people have stuck with? Planets = Roman, other objects = Greek?

Answer: Nope. Ceres is a Roman goddess. I suppose that works now that Ceres is a dwarf planet, but I am disappointed by our astronomers' lack of consistency.

Re:That will just confuse things. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43020539)

That's going to change soon, though, once the race baiters realize that "people of color" have been left out of the equation.

Expect the next moon to be name "Shaniqua" is all I'm sayin'

And the next one, with a nod towards lesbians who look remarkably like Patton Oswalt, "Kagan".

Re:That will just confuse things. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020787)

Also Uranus is a Greek not Roman deity,she was husband of Gaius (Earth)

Re:That will just confuse things. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020847)

heheh, meant "he" not she. He was castrated by the youngest titan Cronos, Gaius put her son up to the job because she was tired of bearing children he hated and mistrusted and banished.

Re:That will just confuse things. (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020835)

You can't name moons after gods anyway, it's against the convention.

Then why are there already over a dozen moons named after gods? Or are you saying "god" when you mean "Olympian"?

Re:That will just confuse things. (2)

erice (13380) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018939)

Vulcan was the name of the hypothetical planet between Mercury and the Sun.

That made sense because Vulcan was the name of the Roman god of fire. [wikipedia.org] It seems like an odd name for a moon frozen at 43K (-230C).

It doesn't make sense for the Trek reference either. Vulcan is supposed to be warmer than Earth.

Re:That will just confuse things. (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019501)

It was also a planet in the fiction, so they're not basing it on much more than just the name.

Re:That will just confuse things. (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018795)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_(hypothetical_planet) [wikipedia.org]

Vulcan was the name of the hypothetical planet between Mercury and the Sun.

Not to worry! Since Pluto is not a "planet", this is not a "moon". The proper term is "mooninite [wikia.com] "!

Re:That will just confuse things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43019093)

Mooninite?

Downgraded from fiction to reality (4, Funny)

mynameiskhan (2689067) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018871)

I guess now it is being downgraded to a moon of a former planet.

Very Amazing (-1, Troll)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018575)

The most amazing thing about this is not how it came about or that trekkies voted it in.
No, the thing that amazes me most is that Shatner has twitter followers!!

Re:Very Amazing (3, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018615)

No, the thing that amazes me most is that Shatner has twitter followers!!

Shatner is a very funny man, who doesn't take himself very seriously.
Why wouldn't he have twitter followers?

Re:Very Amazing (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018757)

William Shatner has over 1.3 million Twitter followers. If we assume that every vote was thanks to his plea for votes, then he had about a 13% response rate. Not too shabby.

(For the record, Leonard Nimoy has 450,000 Twitter followers.)

Can we name something Jar Jar? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018605)

Especially something that is going to crash and burn in a horrible way in the near future?

Re:Can we name something Jar Jar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018635)

There was the comet that might hit Mars.

Re:Can we name something Jar Jar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018701)

It would be best if there is a guarantee it will hit Mars. What happens if it missed and started heading toward Earth?!

Re:Can we name something Jar Jar? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018979)

Naming it Jar Jar would probably guarantee that outcome....

Re:Can we name something Jar Jar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018819)

How about NJ Gov Chris Christie's new diet plan?

That name is HIGHLY inappropriate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018617)

...given that Vulcan was the god of fire and that moon is presumably rather cold.

Re:That name is HIGHLY inappropriate... (2)

bughunter (10093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018929)

The logic here is 1) that Pluto was Vulcan's Uncle, and 2) Vulcan kept a subterranean smithy beneath Mt. Aetna, which could be construed as the underworld... loosely.

At least we didn't get "Styx."

Laaaaaay-deeeee....

Hrm (4, Informative)

Jarnin (925269) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018631)

While I'm a huge fan of Star Trek and Astronomy in general, I don't think a moon of Pluto should be called Vulcan. Why? The name "Vulcan" is from Roman mythology, and is the name of the Roman god of fire and volcanos. Last I checked, Pluto and it's moons were too far away from the Sun to have any connection to fire and volcanos. In other words, Pluto's moons are too far outside of the system to make the name "Vulcan" appropriate. I hope the IAU has the sense to name this moon after something that fits contextually.

Now if they'd discovered that Mercury had a moon, Vulcan would be the obvious choice!

Re:Hrm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018771)

Fascinating....

Re:Hrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018775)

ive have all the star tek series on dvd and blu ray! i should get modded a 5 based on that fact alone!

Re:Hrm (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020065)

I hope the IAU has the sense to name this moon after something that fits contextually.

You mean like gods or attendants associated with the underworld? Like Pluto? God of the underworld. Or Charon? Ferryman. Or Nix? Mother of Charon. Or Hydra? Okay, Hydra's a bit obscure. Apparently Hydra's lair was an entrance to the underworld used by Hercules.

Vulcan and Pluto are related (I mean biologically, as well as thematically. Or whatever deities have instead of biology.)

Re:Hrm (2)

codemachine (245871) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020851)

When I think of Vulcans, I think cold and distant.

So perhaps it works for a moon of Pluto after all.

No Norris? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018647)

A planet Norris would be neat. Add in all Chuck Norris jokes as a response.

Re:No Norris? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018693)

There is no planet under discussion here. Didn't you get the memo?

But if you are going to go that way, name one moon Natalie and the other Portman.

these moons have been hard to find (5, Funny)

ozduo (2043408) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018681)

so please call one "G spot"

Re:these moons have been hard to find (1)

gaudior (113467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018739)

If I only had Mod points for you. /well-done

Re:these moons have been hard to find (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43019027)

so please call one "G spot"

According to some seriously-too-hardcore nerd reports, Vulcan's catalog name would be Gamma Vega. That will have to be close enough. ;)

Trekkies jumping the gun (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018683)

It's a shame really that all those Trekkies are jumping on this bandwagon.

Just think how silly they'll feel when we start voting on names for exoplanets and the name Vulan is already in use.

Re:Trekkies jumping the gun (3, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020083)

They did the same thing with the shuttle Enterprise. A drop-test glider that never flew in space. Well done boys.

Simply (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018703)

One does not simply vote Vulcan into our solar system. It is 16 light years away.

Men become gods (3, Interesting)

Mandrel (765308) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018705)

I voted for Orpheus and Eurydice. I thought it fitting that probably the last two decent-sized objects in the planetary part of the solar system be named after a man and his god-wife to symbolize humanity's progress.

Re:Men become gods (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019907)

Meh. Name them Mickey and Minnie.

WTF? It's a lifeless, cold moon. (2)

ggraham412 (1492023) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018723)

Mythology notwithstanding, even in the Star Trek universe Vulcan is a hot desert planet. Not a cold, dead moon.

Re:WTF? It's a lifeless, cold moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018911)

Temperature has nothing to do with what defines a desert.

Re:WTF? It's a lifeless, cold moon. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019013)

Temperature has nothing to do with what defines a desert.

Otherwise in "hot desert planet" the "hot" would be redundant. Your point being?

Re:WTF? It's a lifeless, cold moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43019157)

No you are correct that a warm desert and a cold desert only have one thing in common, lack of water. Now the fact that this is a cold desert moon on the outskirts of our own solar system would even be considered to be named Vulcan is ridicules. We would be better off calling it Krypton, seeing as it is a dead moon. or hell why not call it Colbert?

Re:WTF? It's a lifeless, cold moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43020099)

is Ridicules

FTFY. It's a proper noun.

Re:WTF? It's a lifeless, cold moon. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43019051)

In the Star Trek universe, Vulcan doesn't exist anymore.

I also approve... (2)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018741)

Make it so.

Re:I also approve... (3, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018791)

Make it so.

You should hand in your Geek card. It was that pussy Picard who used that phrase.

Re:I also approve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018953)

Make it so.

You should hand in your Geek card. It was that pussy Picard who used that phrase.

Your attitude towards women explains why you don't get any.

Re:I also approve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018959)

Kirk was the pussy. It's all he thought about.

Re:I also approve... (0)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019031)

Make it so.

You should hand in your Geek card. It was that pussy Picard who used that phrase.

Atleast Picard has experience of dealing with omniscient and omnipotent beings without getting his crewmembers killed for no good reason.

Also, Picard DOES know how to play hard-ball, when the situation calls for it.

Re:I also approve... (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019119)

You SERIOUSLY thought that was not intentional?

And miss the ensuing Kirk -vs- Picard flame war?

NO WAY!

Re:I also approve... (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019253)

You SERIOUSLY thought that was not intentional?

And miss the ensuing Kirk -vs- Picard flame war?

NO WAY!

Hey you got 3 replies of me saying pussy, you should thank me for that .. lol

Re:I also approve... (1)

servognome (738846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020233)

Exactly, Kirk was more "beautifully metaphoric" [youtu.be] with his commands.
Like in Star Trek 6 "second star to the right, and straight on til morning"

Re:I also approve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43021107)

beautifully metaphoric, but not terribly original...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverland

That's no moon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018783)

Oh, wait, wrong franchise.

Re:That's no moon... (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018789)

...it's a mass relay?

Dictionary Much? (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018787)

174,000/450,000 is not a landslide. [google.ca]

Re:Dictionary Much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018941)

Sure it was. You forget the vote was in America. The Electoral College vote for the naming process was 452 to 112.

Insult to Vulcan and illogical to Sol system names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018805)

Vulcan was a roman god. For Pete's sake, we name planets after gods. Not two-bit meteor sized moonlets of a minor planet smaller than our own moon. Vulcan should be reserved for some planet orbiting a star relatively nearby that we think has some possibility albeit remote of life, perhaps towards the warmer end of the habitable zone. Cerberus was a logical name for this moon, although I cannot believe it was not already used...

Re:Insult to Vulcan and illogical to Sol system na (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019149)

For Pete's sake, we name planets after gods.

Do you any source that Pete really wants that? :-)

Since there's new Star Trek Movies (4, Funny)

Roman Coder (413112) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018909)

In keeping with the new Star Trek movies, they should be called "Lens" and "Flare".

When Vulcan is voted down by the IAU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43018923)

that will leave Cerberus and Styx as the winners. Rock on, I suppose.

Re:When Vulcan is voted down by the IAU (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019611)

Voted for those ones, were the ones that are actually closer to Pluto in mythology on the available ones.

In the other hand, having Vulcan and Romulus in our solar system could give a push to outer solar system exploration. Colonizing Vulcan could end being the logical choice.

Vulcan orbits Pluto (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019009)

And Pluto orbits William Shatner.

Re:Vulcan orbits Pluto (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019461)

Considered Shatner's current mass, pretty much everything will orbit him ;-)

(ok, I admit I haven't seen any recent pictures)

Bit premature (2)

mister2au (1707664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019259)

We will take into consideration the results of the voting, but they are not binding. The discovery team, in consultation with the Nomenclature Working Groups of the International Astronomical Union, reserves the right to propose the names. Note that the International Astronomical Union has final authority over the naming of Pluto's moons.

IAU has the final say and would be likely to reject this name I would think for scientific consistency with their previous naming conventions.

And the discovers are not even saying they will propose this name to IAU - just that they will consider the voting.

So dont hold your breath !

Re:Bit premature (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020385)

If you voted for this, yes, please hold your breath.

Brilliant pre-emptive strike by Shatner! (1)

Provocateur (133110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019295)

That way, if any Vulcans or Romulans from an alternate dimension do wind up here, seeking "James Kirk" or "Spock", we can point at the visitors from the /finger quotes "Alternate dimension" /close finger quotes and mock and say, those barren cold moons of Pluto?? No frickin way!

YOU FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43019337)

com@prehensiv#e our chances fact came into

Cerberus... (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019413)

Save the name Vulcan for a desert exoplanet. The Legion of Space, classic space opera by Jack Williamson, mentions a moon of Pluto named Cerberus. It's the only correct choice.

Re:Cerberus... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43019487)

Save the name Vulcan for a desert exoplanet.

A desert exoplanet will be properly named Arrakis, you insensitive clod.

Re:Cerberus... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43020165)

You misspelt Tatooine, you nerf herder.

Why should anyone care about this vote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43019525)

Why is the SETI Institute involved in naming objects in our solar system? That wasn't even close to their thing last I checked.

And If it was up for popular vote Pluto would be a planet.

And When We Find a Planet at 40 Eridani A? (1)

reallocate (142797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43019803)

Everyone who knows anything knows Vulcan orbits 40 Eridani A.

We just haven't found it, yet.

Fucking idiots (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020375)

These are the same idiots that did a write in campaign to have the first shuttle names Enterprise..even though it would never fly into orbit.

Oh look, it a references to a TV show I enjoy, we must mindlessly vote for it even though it is only a moon and nothing like the planet in my TV show.

Disgusting. If it was an extra solar planet? that would have been fine.

I say this and I am a Trekkie...just not a mindless one.

Styx & Kerberos ? (1)

mister2au (1707664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020767)

My money is on 2nd and 3rd choices:

Styx - a river in Greek mythology that formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld
Kerberos - a multi-headed hound which guards the gates of the Underworld, to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping

These form a nice pair and are themed on the transition from Earth to another world (the underworld) ...

Pluto is very much a transition from our planetary system to interstellar space (or at least the Oort cloud)

Astronomers do see still the romance in the skys and are quite apt to draw these parallels.

confusing (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43020829)

Naming some really cold moons of a planetoid after a widely-known fictional hot inhabited planet seems like a recipe for confusion.

Well if Nimoy approves... (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | about a year and a half ago | (#43021275)

I wasn't too keen on the idea either, until Leonard Nimoy approved. After all, he was the prototype Vulcan, and with his new career in erotic photography, he's quite well qualified to be naming moons...

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