Calling all space nuts. Or at least those who haven’t heard. There’s a poll in progress to name Pluto’s two most recently discovered moons, currently designated P4 and P5. Voting ends at 12 pm EST Monday, so if you haven’t voted yet, you can still have your say.
William Shatner suggested one of the moons be named be name Vulcan, Spock’s home planet in the Star Trek series. And Vulcan was leading the pack with more than 100,000 of the 325,800 votes cast as of February 19. Cerberus and Styx were in second and third place respectively. The public vote is not binding, but SETI officials will take it into account when making their recommendation to the International Astronomical Union, the organization ultimately responsible for naming the moons.
Several new write-in names were added to the list on February 14, so if you voted earlier, you might want to check back. You can vote once a day until the poll closes.
Letting the general public in on the naming of objects in space is a great idea. It generates interest and makes space exploration something for everyone, not just for the scientific community.
(Pluto, once considered one of Earth’s nine planets, was demoted to “dwarf planet” in 2006.)
- ‘Vulcan’ leads Pluto moon name vote (bbc.co.uk)
- “Vulcan” has big lead in bid to name Pluto’s newly discovered moons (reuters.com)
- William Shatner gets “Vulcan” name option added for Pluto’s moons (slashgear.com)
- Fascinating! William Shatner boosts ‘Vulcan’ as name for Pluto moon (cosmiclog.nbcnews.com)
- Let’s Name Pluto Moons ‘Vulcan’ and ‘Romulus,’ William Shatner Says (space.com)