And it’s still not a planet. (Associated Press)

Well chosen, Internet!

Pluto’s new moons have names, and they are appropriately Stygian. In fact, one of them literally is Styx, after the river all dead souls must cross to reach the underworld. The other is Kerberos, for the three-headed guardian dog of the underworld, owned by Pluto himself. The moons formerly known as P4 and P5 have just been approved under their new monikers by the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) naming committee.

These are sound choices. You hate to leave Pluto without his dog, even if the dog is ill-tempered and three-headed and was once abducted by Heracles in the course of his labors. And it seems a little silly to leave Charon, the ferryman on the infernal river, without his river to ferry on.

I know William Shatner was pushing for Vulcan. But the IAU pushed back, and wisely. Vulcan already is reserved for a hypothetical planet between Mercury and the sun.

In general, I am pessimistic about our name-choosing ability. After all, for our own children, we pick monstrosities like Kyler and Nevaeh. But we really pulled through on these moons. Admittedly, the pool of people who fill out online surveys to name planets may be a self-selecting pool of nerds, but, still well done. For once, we crowd-sourced something and picked excellent options. No more of this Vote For The Worst nonsense. Kerberos and Styx are better names than North West.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.