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View Full Version : Vulcan Loses In Pluto Moons Name Game. Did the IAU Choose Wisely?



Fraser
2013-Jul-02, 05:10 PM
It looks like Vulcan was not the logical choice for the International Astronomical Union when it came to naming Pluto’s new moons. The internationally recognized body for astronomy names selected Kerberos and Styx as the new names for Plutonian moons P4 and P5, respectively. While these names were popular in a public vote last year [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/103241/vulcan-loses-out-in-pluto-moon-name-game/)

NEOWatcher
2013-Jul-02, 06:23 PM
Popularity doesn't necessarily mean logically.
Did they choose wisely? In this context what is wise? What's the goal?
With no goal except to get a name, then any choice is as good as another. At least they had a reasoning behind it.

Either that, or when they assumed the Shatner was expressing his choice in a fit of rage as the included picture shows.

KaiYeves
2013-Jul-02, 09:05 PM
Styx and Kerberos are underworld names, and thus fit better with Pluto, while Vulcan has traditionally been reserved for a hypothetical planet within the orbit of Mercury (although, since it now appears that no objects larger than 6 km orbit between Mercury and the Sun, we might save it for a newly discovered moon or planet that displays, well, volcanism.)

Concerned
2013-Jul-02, 10:01 PM
Styx and Kerberos are underworld names, and thus fit better with Pluto, while Vulcan has traditionally been reserved for a hypothetical planet within the orbit of Mercury (although, since it now appears that no objects larger than 6 km orbit between Mercury and the Sun, we might save it for a newly discovered moon or planet that displays, well, volcanism.)

Agreed, would prefer we keep Vulcan free until we find planet Vulcan, with actual Vulcans :)

Swift
2013-Jul-02, 10:02 PM
Styx and Kerberos are underworld names, and thus fit better with Pluto, while Vulcan has traditionally been reserved for a hypothetical planet within the orbit of Mercury (although, since it now appears that no objects larger than 6 km orbit between Mercury and the Sun, we might save it for a newly discovered moon or planet that displays, well, volcanism.)
That was exactly my thinking too. The existence of Vulcan was proposed as explanation for the discrepancies between Mercury's orbit and Newtonian physics. Relativity ended up explaining that. But I still think it would be confusing to now use Vulcan for some other astronomical body.

JustAFriend
2013-Jul-03, 01:03 PM
yup. Vulcan needs to be a hot place, not a cold place.

Although they could have named one of the moons Hell, because we need someplace in the
solar system where Hell freezes over.... ;-)

KaiYeves
2013-Jul-03, 01:19 PM
I've heard that Hell, Michigan (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Michigan) freezes over quite frequently come winter.

Swift
2013-Jul-04, 03:24 PM
Although they could have named one of the moons Hell, because we need someplace in the
solar system where Hell freezes over.... ;-)
There is water ice in some of Mercury's polar craters. :D

DonM435
2013-Jul-06, 02:14 PM
“If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell” ― Philip Henry Sheridan