Vulcan clings on in moon naming poll

Comment on this story


iol scitech feb 21 spock

REUTERS

Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed the Vulcan science officer Spock on the long-running TV sci-fi show.

Los Angeles - Star Trek star William Shatner and tens of thousands of the show's fans are leading a charge to name one of Pluto's newly discovered moons after the character Spock's home planet.

Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk on the Starship Enterprise on the programme launched in 1966, proposed the name earlier this month in response to an appeal from scientists for help in choosing the names of two newly discovered Pluto moons.

Vulcan is among 21 names in the running in an online poll organised by the California-based SETI Institute, whose team of astronomers discovered the moons.

As of Wednesday, Vulcan was the clear front runner, receiving more than 100,000 out of more than 330,000 votes cast.

Shatner, who starred along with Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed the Vulcan science officer Spock on the long-running TV sci-fi show, rallied support for Vulcan on Wednesday on his Twitter account, writing: “We are approaching 120K votes for Vulcan on PlutoRocks.com! Have you voted today?”

Until now, the two moons, each of which are about 15 miles to 20 miles (20km to 30km) wide, have been known as P4 and P5. The P4 moon was discovered in 2011 and P5 a year later.

Before the discoveries, astronomers had identified and named three of Pluto's moons - Charon, Nix and Hydra.

Voting for the names of the new moons ends on Feb. 25. The selected names will be submitted to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for consideration.

“Let's hope the IAU thinks Vulcan is a good name,” Shatner said in another tweet. - Reuters

Hungry for more scitech news? Sign up for our daily newsletter


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks