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10 Science Fiction World Names that Should Be Used for Real Planets


On February 25, 2013, the SETI Institute selected Vulcan for one of the latest discovered moons of Pluto. The name, proposed by actor William Shatner, won an international Twitter poll to name two new recently discovered moons. While Vulcan has mythological roots, Shatner was clearly referencing the fictional Star Trek world of the same name.

This blatant reference to science fiction has me thinking about other fictional world names that would fit well in our very real universe.

While no list can truly name every deserving world, these ten worlds are good enough to get the discussions started. You may not agree with this list and may have your own set of worthy tenders, but I felt these ten worlds needed mentioning.

  • Endor (Star Wars) – Many people get Endor confused with its forest moon. Astronomers can fix this problem by giving the name to a turquoise-colored gas giant.
  • Namek (Dragon Ball) – The search for the dragon balls would continue if astronomers used Namek for a planet. This world from Dragon Ball Z would spur space exploration for decades.
  • Krypton (Superman) – No list of fictional planets would be complete without the home of Superman.
  • Alderaan – A great disturbance in the Force would be corrected if astronomers would use this name for a planet.
  • Mer (Pirates of Dark Water) – With monkey-birds and leviathans, Mer, from the cartoon Pirates of Dark Water, would be perfect for an Earth-like water world.
  • Tatooine (Star Wars) – No retched hive of scum and villainy would prevent astronomers from using this name.
  • Kilrah (Wing Commander)- Any Wing Commander fan would appreciate a real world named Kilrah.
  • Coruscant (Star Wars) – You cannot go wrong with the capitol of the galaxy.
  • Qo’noS (Star Trek) – Naming a world Qo’noS would give the billions of Klingon speakers a world of their own.
  • Bob (Titan A. E.) – At the moment astronomers announce that named a planet Bob, everyone who has watched the animated motion picture Titan A. E. would get a chuckle.

While all planet and moons in our solar system need names with mythical origins, there are no restrictions for the numerous extra-solar planets around other stars. The handful of names offered here is just a small sample of fictional worlds whose names would be perfect for these far off worlds. Fortunately, astronomers are among the geekiest of geeks and a prone to using such whimsical names. The future is only limited by our imaginations, and who wouldn’t want to live on Planet Bob.


1 Comment

  1. Kiki Stamatiou

    I never knew there were moons of pluto. I always thought there was only one moon. I like this article. It’s fascinating, especially learning the moons of pluto were more recently discovered. I love science fiction stories of all kinds, especially the worlds of superheroes. It’s fun to imagine the different fictional worlds writers can come up with for a given story.

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