Thursday, February 14, 2013

Captain Kirk: Name Pluto Moons 'Vulcan' & 'Romulus'

Let's Name Pluto Moons 'Vulcan' and 'Romulus,' William Shatner Says

Date: 14 February 2013 Time: 10:47 AM ET
Pluto System Showing Fifth Moon (P5)
This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shows five moons orbiting the distant, icy dwarf planet Pluto. The green circle marks the newly discovered moon, designated P5, as photographed by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 on July 7, 2012.
CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute)

Astronomers put out the call this week for cosmic names worthy of the two unnamed moons of Pluto, and Captain James T. Kirk has answered. Famed actor William Shatner, who portrayed the iconic "Star Trek" starship captain, wants to call them "Vulcan" and "Romulus."

Pluto has five moons but only three of them — Charon, Nix and Hydra — have names. The most recently discovered moons are known by the rather drab names P4 and P5. The two tiny moons are only 15 to 20 miles (20 to 30 kilometers) wide. Pluto and its three named moons are all named for Greek and Roman characters related to the underworld, and scientists are hoping to continue that tradition for the two newest moons.

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Contest to Name Pluto's Newly-Found Moons (2013 Feb. 12):

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Glenn Let's Name Pluto Moons 'Vulcan' and 'Romulus,' William Shatner…A. Walsh, Project Director,
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