Two of the small moons orbiting around Pluto have been given names. The International Astronomical Union, the group responsible for these kinds of things, has chosen “Kerberos” and “Styx” as suitable names for the moons, Space.com reports.
Of course, the decision wasn’t made without a little controversy. The IAU chose names based on a poll sponsored by SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). However, neither of those names got the most votes. In fact, the top pick was Vulcan, which is the home planet of Spock (Leonard Nimoy) on “Star Trek.”
The name was suggested by William Shatner (Captain James Kirk, himself) as a possibility, before “Trek” fans took the ball and ran with it. Out of the 500,000 votes cast, Vulcan tallied around 170,000.
With fans of the franchise upset about being denied, SETI released a statement. They say the IAU considered the name, but rejected it for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Vulcan is the Roman god of volcanoes, which doesn’t mesh well with the very cold Pluto. It also turns out the Vulcan name has already been used in astronomy.
While “Star Trek” fans are surely disappointed, those who loves 80s hair metal must be ecstatic that Styx is finally getting their due, having a whole moon named after them. Sure, it’s also a river that separates the living and dead in an ancient myth, but the real reason must be that someone at the IAU just loves “Mr. Roboto.”