According to a Feb. 18, 2013 story in Universe Today, the contest to name the two most recently discovered moons of Pluto have taken a strange turn. William Shatner, who starred in a little known TV show called “Star Trek,” has made the suggestion that one of the moons of Pluto be named “Vulcan.” The reason is that Vulcan is a god in the Roman pantheon and is related to Pluto. The fact that it is also the home planet of a certain science officer with pointed ears and green blood is purely a coincidence.
Thanks to a world-wide reaction by “Star Trek” fans, “Vulcan” is not first in the running, followed by Cerberus and Styx.
Mind, the Vulcan depicted in the series and the movies that followed was hot and arid and not frozen and sterile, as the moons of Pluto surely are. But one supposes that is not the point.
There is some precedence to the power of “Star Trek” fandom influencing the naming of things. In the 1970s, the very first space shuttle, originally to be named Constitution, was instead named Enterprise, thanks to a campaign by “Star Trek” fans. Ironically, space shuttle Enterprise never flew in space.