Seti Poll Selects Cerberus and Vulcan as Names For Pluto's Fourth and Fifth Moons

Posted on February 26, 2013

Pluto Moons July 2012


Pluto's fifth moon was discovered in July, 2012 by astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. At the time it was given the temporary name P5. Another Pluto moon, discovered in 2011, is temporarily named P4.

BBC News reports that new names have been suggested for P4 and P5 following a public online poll conducted by the Seti Institute. The name chosen for P5 is Vulcan and the name chosen for P4 is Cerberus, after the multi-headed dog that guards the Underworld in Greek and Roman mythology.

It is possible these name choices for Pluto's moon will not make it past the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which has the final say. BBC News reports that the IAU said "it would be astronomers, not Star Trek fans, that would have the final say on the matter."



Photo: NASA; ESA; M. Showalter, SETI Institute