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New Moons of Pluto Named Kerberos and Styx; Popular Choice 'Vulcan' Snubbed

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the you-have-defied-the-will-of-the-internet dept.

Space 194

MarkWhittington writes "The International Astronomical Union announced on July 2, 2013 its picks to name the two recently discovered moons of Pluto, hitherto known as P4 and P5. They will now be known as Kerberos and Styx respectively. In Greek and Roman mythology Kerberos is the name of the mythological three headed hound that guards the entrance to the underworld. Styx is the name of the river that separated the underworld from the real world. The names, picked in a popular contest, were actually the second and third choices. The first choice was Vulcan, which was officially touted because it was the name of a Roman god who was a relative of Pluto's and was associated with fire and smoke. The real reason that Vulcan shot up to the top of the list was that was a choice by Star Trek fans in a campaign instigated by actor William Shatner, who played Captain James Kirk in the original series." Shatner is sad and may lead a revolt. Phil Plait wins the award for best headline for this news.

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Styx Rawks! (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44168559)

Why must you be such an angry young man?

Re:Styx Rawks! (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | about a year ago | (#44168577)

Your future looks quite bright to me.

Re:Styx Rawks! (2)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#44168657)

Domo arigato

Re:Styx Rawks! (3, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44169385)

I think you've got too much time on your hands.

Re:Styx Rawks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168763)

Because he has too much time on his hands.

Re:Styx Rawks! (4, Funny)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year ago | (#44168951)

Joel: Hey, c'mon, I'm serious. There existed a time when our nation took pride in its service stations. They gleamed like a beacon of hope from coast to coast. Then, ka-blooey, Sky Chief Super Service turned into the Tank and Tummy. I don't mind telling you, the day this country went self-service was the day Hell began to bubble up and flood the earth.
Crow: Well, I hate to burst your bubble, Joel, but what about the bubonic plague? World war? Stalin?
Joel: Well, those are all big things. Hell works better when it's a lot more subtle. Here, I'll give you an example. Okay, Crow, what do you think of Adolf Hitler?
Crow: Well, I hate him, naturally.
Joel: Right. Now, what do you think of the band Styx?
Crow: Well, they had one or two decent...Oh my God, you're right!

Re:Styx Rawks! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168937)

I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, a bunch of stuff from Hades is up in Pluto's skies

Shred of dignity (3, Funny)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#44168563)

Thankfully real space programs prefer to operate with a shred of dignity and class. Next thing you know we would have demands to name a moon somewhere after a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Re:Shred of dignity (2, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44168617)

We demand to have a moon called Usagi, just to piss off people like you.

Re:Shred of dignity (1)

0racle (667029) | about a year ago | (#44169405)

I approve of this message.

Re:Shred of dignity (4, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year ago | (#44168667)

Kerberos and Styx were the equivalent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters thousands of years ago.

Re:Shred of dignity (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44169531)

Ceberos was, but Styx would be more like the StarGate

Re:Shred of dignity (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44168851)

Thankfully real space programs prefer to operate with a pretext of a shred of dignity and class. Next thing you know we would have demands to name a moon somewhere after a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Or a warrior princess...

Whose moons are these, some stinkin' committee, which allowed a bunch of frauds to demote Pluto to "dwarf planet" with disgusting act of skulduggery?

Re:Shred of dignity (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44168985)

Space Shuttle Enterprise (OV-101) wasnt named after the aircraft carrier........

Re:Shred of dignity (3, Informative)

dan828 (753380) | about a year ago | (#44169701)

Well, there were at least 6 ships named "Enterprise" in the US Navy, and the likelihood is that when Roddenberry was choosing the a name for his fictional vessel, he named it after either the WW2 Carrier (which was the most decorated warship in US history) or the newer Enterprise which was the US's first nuclear powered carrier. So pretty much, the shuttle was named after a US Navy ship, albeit indirectly.

Re:Shred of dignity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169743)

But the punchline was that after the trekkies begged and pleaded and petitioned *back in the days when a petition involved the use of ink and dead trees* they got OV-101. The OV that NEVER WENT INTO "O".

Cue the Nelson Laugh.

Re:Shred of dignity (4, Interesting)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about a year ago | (#44169723)

Although if they are so interested in "dignity" and "class", then perhaps they shouldn't use a popularity contest to determine the results (or at least claim to be doing so, if they intend to ignore the results anyway).

The people (or at least the subset of the people who care enough about this to actually vote) made their voice heard. Claiming first that their opinion is worth listening to by holding the contest and then ignoring it when the results don't match their expectations only makes the IAU look doubly foolish.

Wrong names (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44168567)

P4 should obviously have been named "FDIV" and P5 should have been "Core Solo".

Finally they are recognized! (4, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44168601)

I am glad to finally see Styx get the recognition they deserve. I can't believe took this long though.

Re:Finally they are recognized! (5, Funny)

musth (901919) | about a year ago | (#44168765)

Yeah, Rush and Pink Floyd should be next.

Re:Finally they are recognized! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44168873)

Yeah, Rush and Pink Floyd should be next.

Brace yourself, they're probably Journey fans.

Re:Finally they are recognized! (0)

Danathar (267989) | about a year ago | (#44169161)

Pleas don't put Rush in the same thread as Styx and Floyd.

Rush is playing better now and with more complexity then they did since the late 70's and early 80's. They also are all ORIGINAL band members.

Only one band can get away with rotating members in and out without anybody caring, and that's Chicago. I never knew the members in Chicago and as far as I can remember nobody else does either, but the band continues to exist and people like them...

Re:Finally they are recognized! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169053)

I'm sailing away...

Re:Finally they are recognized! (0)

Danathar (267989) | about a year ago | (#44169129)

Which Styx do you mean? the one where all but 2 of the original band members are left? Or the ACTUAL band from the 70's...

Re:Finally they are recognized! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44169585)

What?! They suck! I'd start a revolt too. If they want to name something 'Styx', make it the rings of Uranus.

Moon? (5, Funny)

RDW (41497) | about a year ago | (#44168619)

That's no moon, that's a [ FRANCHISE ERROR DETECTED - Resetting]

So sick of popular geek culture. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168625)

Please leave it to those of us who actually know the mechanisms of space and have seen more of it through an eyepiece than a "science" channel show.

And as for your Star Wars/Star Trek fetish? Grow up. That same with you Big Bang losers. I don't give a crap about your stinking show. Don't mention it to me. I don't want to know anymore about it.

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44168669)

I'm assuming that I shouldn't come to you with my "They should have named them 'Kerberos' and 'LDAP'" suggestion?

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169103)

Oh, and 'Kerberos', 'LDAP' and 'AFS' would make it the magic trio!

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169583)

I'm assuming that I shouldn't come to you with my "They should have named them 'Kerberos' and 'LDAP'" suggestion?

Wrong planet.

Those are found around Uranus.

capcha: mooned :-D

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169721)

It coud've been worse. At least it wasn't 'Kansas' and 'REO Speedwagon'.

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (2)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year ago | (#44168703)

At first I thought this read "So sick of popular _greek_ culture", to which I'd agree. If we're going to draw from mythological names for astronomy, there are plenty to choose from beyond the typical Roman & Greek ones, both modern and ancient.

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (4, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year ago | (#44168781)

Indeed. We could call it Jesus. [wikipedia.org]

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (4, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#44169639)

No, Jesus should clearly become the name of an Asteroid. One that has the chance to once get to earth and terminate life. Then even atheists can talk about how Jesus will come to the world and end it.

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168917)

No let's keep the Greek culture references. The next two moons discovered should be named Taxfraud and Bankruptcy.

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44168819)

So what? The names used for celestial bodies all come from somewhere, we're all sick of millennia-old references from Greek culture.

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (3, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44169055)

So what? The names used for celestial bodies all come from somewhere, we're all sick of millennia-old references from Greek culture.

The Uranian system doesn't have Greek names - Oberon, Titania, Ariel, Umbriel, Puck, Miranda...

And, of course, the Tellurian system doesn't either.

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (1)

Dr. Sheldon Cooper (2726841) | about a year ago | (#44169485)

We don't need to mention it to you, as everything one would want to know about that absolutely wonderful television program can be easily found here [the-big-bang-theory.com] .

You're welcome.

Re:So sick of popular geek culture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169569)

If you don't want to see mention of Big bang Theory, Star Trek, or Star Wars, you're on the wrrong web site. Perhaps Fox News or the Wall Street Journal would be more up your alley?

Thanx (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168677)

Thanks

My Website [careersforarabs.com]

Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168705)

If we're going to name anything Vulcan... it should be the first planet that we find intelligent life on :-/

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168857)

If we're going to name anything Vulcan... it should be the first planet that we find intelligent life on :-/

Don't you think they may already have a name for it?
(Smivs - Posting as A/C due to modding)

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169115)

It'll have to be translated to English at some point. Why not claim Vulcan is our word for ?

Re:Good. (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44169483)

It will be in another solar system, in this one there isn't a single planet with intelligent life yet.

Re:Good. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#44169663)

So you say the dolphins aren't intelligent?

Re:Good. (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44169777)

They are still here, after all.

Don't blame me (2)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#44168709)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kang.

keep synced (1)

nedwidek (98930) | about a year ago | (#44168719)

So if your system clock is off by more than 5 minutes, does Kerberos disappear?

Re:keep synced (1)

St.Creed (853824) | about a year ago | (#44169571)

If your own system clock is off, you disappear. But if the Global Solar Timer (GST) is off by more than 5 celestial minutes, then yes, Kerberos *does* disappear.

Any more questions while I'm here? :)

Some contest (5, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#44168759)

1. I agree with the name choices because they make sense...

However...

2. What is the point of having a contest if you're not going to pick the winner?

They should not hold a naming contest if they're just going to pick the names they want anyway.

Re:Some contest (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44168841)

They should not hold a naming contest if they're just going to pick the names they want anyway.

Sounds like voting in the USA and Canada.

Re:Some contest (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#44169237)

Indeed, a lack of credible candidates :)

Re:Some contest (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168989)

Because this way, it's democratic. That's how democracy works: the upper class lets you vote for what you want before doing what they want.

Re:Some contest (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#44169741)

Because this way, it's democratic. That's how democracy works: the upper class lets you vote for what you want before doing what they want.

FTFA (emphasis by me):

And in place of Vulcan, they submitted third-place Styx (87,858 votes), which in addition to being a river, is also the name of the goddess of unbreakable oaths.

Re:Some contest (4, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#44169555)

2. What is the point of having a contest if you're not going to pick the winner?
They should not hold a naming contest if they're just going to pick the names they want anyway.

The IAU makes these decisions.

Showalter's contest was no more than a publicity stunt. That said, the rules were clear.

For two weeks in February, anyone with a computer could vote for their favorite names, or suggest ideas of their own. The caveats: Names needed to represent characters bearing more than just a passing relation to Pluto, the Greek god of the underworld, and must not have already been bestowed upon a celestial solar system object.

The People Have Spoken, and Pluto's Tiny Moons Have Names [wired.com]

Vulcan --- Hephaestus --- god of fire and forge, fails on both counts.

Good on them (5, Insightful)

Dasher42 (514179) | about a year ago | (#44168773)

Vulcan is Hephaistos, the god of the forge. He has fiery, volcanic imagery, which is why when some astronomers suspected that there might be a planet closer to the Sun than Mercury, Vulcan was the proposed name. Really, Trek fans, a tiny icy moon of Pluto's was not the place to name after Vulcan, no matter how much we like Spock.

Re:Good on them (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about a year ago | (#44168881)

As much as I love Star Trek, Vulcan would be a poor name for either of these objects: too cold. Kerberos and Styx are excellent choices to accompany Pluto.

Re:Good on them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169275)

Yes but, "dontgiveafuck" would have been better still.

Re:Good on them (2)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44169369)

Do I need to get a ticket to get to Kerberos? Or a ticket granting ticket?

Re:Good on them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168891)

A tiny icy moon of Pluto's is not a place to name after Vulcan especially if you like Spock. In "Amok Time", Vulcan was depicted as being a planet (not a moon) that had a hotter climate than Earth's. Oh yes, and it was in another solar system ...

Re:Good on them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168941)

Vulcan is Hephaistos, the god of the forge. He has fiery, volcanic imagery, which is why when some astronomers suspected that there might be a planet closer to the Sun than Mercury, Vulcan was the proposed name. Really, Trek fans, a tiny icy moon of Pluto's was not the place to name after Vulcan, no matter how much we like Spock.

We'll save Vulcan for when we finally make contact with intelligent, super logical people from another planet. We'll name their planet Vulcan for them.

Re:Good on them (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about a year ago | (#44169003)

I agree. "Vulcan" would be an illogical choice for such cold places.

Re:Good on them (1)

aix tom (902140) | about a year ago | (#44169425)

Yeah. The name of choice for any icy, planet-y thing should of course have been Hoth.

Re:Good on them (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a year ago | (#44169523)

Or if you're going to stick with Trek, Rura Penthe.

Re:Good on them (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year ago | (#44169159)

I absolutely agree and am very happy to see the IAU's decision . I winced every time I saw that one of Pluto's moons was going to be named Vulcan. Pluto's moons should be directly assosciated with darkness and the underworld. Vulcan was inappropriate, not simply for its Trek connections, but because (barring some truly exceptional discoveries by New Horizons) it is inappropriate to name a tiny, icy moon of a dwarf planet after the god of the forge. Save the name, Vulcan, for the first super-heated super-Earth, or the first Hot Jovian that humans or our robot proxies directly explore.

Re:Good on them (1)

Joviex (976416) | about a year ago | (#44169209)

Vulcan was thought to be between Mars and Jupiter by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Re:Good on them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169561)

And most importantly, Vulcan itself (in Star Trek) is also a comparatively fiery and geologically active planet. A more appropriate name suggestion would be Andoria - which is an icy moon that is home to the Andorrians (the blue dudes with antennae). Gosh, Star Trek nerds, get your own lore straight! :)

I'm all for naming exo-planets after science fiction, but they need to at least match their sci-fi descriptions properly. It would be wasted to throw "Vulcan" away on a crappy little moon of a non-planet like Pluto, only to find a relatively hot but earth-like exoplanet that actually matches Vulcan and then have people go "Nah, we can't call it Vulcan - that's already a tiny rock, orbiting another tiny rock, beyond Neptune).

Save up your cred for when it counts - like when we build our first warp drive ship - then insist we call it Enterprise-A: that's a much better use of your lobbying power!

Points at the two moons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44168777)

Hideki! Hideki!

does shatner ever tire? (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44168789)

Vulcan was rejected because it shared its name with a hypothetical planet inside the orbit of Mercury, and also because, as god of the forge, Vulcan had little connection to the icy moons of Pluto.

Re:does shatner ever tire? (1)

mwfischer (1919758) | about a year ago | (#44168883)

If anything it should be called Andoria.

QOTD (4, Funny)

Spottywot (1910658) | about a year ago | (#44168799)

Shatner is sad

Quote of the day.

Re:QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169007)

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/keanu-is-sad-sad-keanu

We need pictures of Shatner eating a sandwich

Re:QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169133)

Shatner.

is.

sad.

Quote of the day.

FTFY

Post colonialism ... (1)

Forget4it (530598) | about a year ago | (#44168971)

What ever we earthlings call them now they'll have to be renamed later when we discover the name the natives use for their own world. Post colonialism rules!

Kerberos, for me to poop on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169021)

Seriously, fuck Kerberos. Cerberus is 100% better. I can't think of Kerberos without thinking of Microsoft authentication schemes, which makes me nervous.

Re:Kerberos, for me to poop on (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year ago | (#44169453)

/\ This.
I've always read the 3 headed dog's name as Cerberus.
Or, "Fluffy", from Harry Potter, if you prefer. In hindsight, I think I'll refer to these moons as Styx and Fluffy.

Re:Kerberos, for me to poop on (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#44169635)

What about calling it Fluffy? I'm sure a lot more people know of Fluffy, the three headed dog than Kerberos, the three headed dog.

Iau can name it what it wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169027)

There is no law against everyone else calling it Vulcan until the Iau melds its mind.

JJ Abrams.... (1)

tekrat (242117) | about a year ago | (#44169051)

I'm surprised he didn't get in on this to further tie his horrendous Star Trek movies to something else (as if Cadillacs, Asus notebooks, Burger king, Pepsi, and some kind of Watch weren't enough)....

Although, according to Abram's "canon"; Vulcan has an icy (but habitable) moon, which is the only way Old Spock and Young Kirk could have witnessed the destruction of Vulcan.

The real reason Vulcan wasn't chosen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169109)

KHAAAAN!

Pluto is Latin (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about a year ago | (#44169111)

They should rename Pluto to Hades, mixing up mythologies makes me feel like Papa Legba when Baldr was killed by Anansi.

Re:Pluto is Latin (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#44169579)

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune are also Latin.

Phil Plait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169127)

I knew it wouldn't be long until he didn't come around here anymore. Since he lost his gig at discovery.com he's become a no show. I guess since his new place of employment hasn't threatened him yet unless he got some traffic on his page he doesn't have time for Slashdot. He'd be quick to pimp out his blog here until it no longer served a purpose and *poof!* he was gone.

Don't blame me for predicting it all along. I knew he was good for nothing and he was only in it for the money.

Give it a rest.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169173)

American are sore loosers.
They whined when Pluto lost its "planet" status, the rest of the world just got over it.
They whine when moons are not named after star trek, the rest of the world just goes on.

Clearly (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#44169187)

Someone had Too Much Time On [Their] Hands

Cerberus, not Kerberos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169243)

I can find no reference to Kerberos being an alternate spelling for Cerberus.

Shatner who? (1)

Cyfun (667564) | about a year ago | (#44169249)

Thank you for explaining who William Shatner is. I'm sure there are still a good 5 or 6 Slashdot readers who are still unaware.

Re:Shatner who? (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#44169423)

You mean that "Denny Crane" guy did something before Boston Legal?

Re:Shatner who? (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#44169613)

You're obviously too young to remember him in his role as police officer T. J. Hooker. [wikipedia.org] Now get off of my lawn.

Re:Shatner who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169435)

Not all of us sit around eating pizzas and watching TV all day while trying to act all nerd because they rooted their little phones.

Re:Shatner who? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#44169711)

Actually, it has been quite a number of years since Star Trek was on the air. It's quite possible that some of the younger Slashdotters do not know who William Shatner is, or rather, have never seen his portrayal of Captain Kirk. After all, 20 years ago, it was Picard who was at the conn.

Re:Shatner who? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#44169765)

It's possible for a kid or 20yo to not know about Kirt: if the kid is a teenager and doesn't have cable, and isn't into sci-fi enough to have seen the films it's possible.

It's not very probable, but it's possible.

Heck, I met a kid that was into computers and didn't know about disks larger than a 3.5" floppy. Not that he knew and hadn't seen one before, but thought 3.5" was the only kind ever used.

can a non-planet have moons? (2)

night_flyer (453866) | about a year ago | (#44169467)

serious question...

Re:can a non-planet have moons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169611)

Your momma has moons.

Re:can a non-planet have moons? (3, Interesting)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#44169653)

Pluto is a dwarf planet [wikipedia.org] (a celestial body in direct orbit of the Sun that is massive enough for its shape to be controlled by gravitation, but that unlike a planet has not cleared its orbital region of other objects). The definition doesn't exclude moons.

A new hope for space exploration (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44169501)

Can't wait till USA announces an expedition to the outer solar system to hack Kerberos.

Why was Vulcan disqualified? (1)

joeflies (529536) | about a year ago | (#44169505)

Seems like that's a critical part of this story and the reason is not mentioned.

Disappointed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44169675)

That it wasn't named Yuggoth

And I guess the Mass Effect fans voted for ... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about a year ago | (#44169745)

Kerberos, or rather, Cerberus?

Oh, and can't we keep it Roman in this Solar System? We still need the Greek names for the next system.

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