Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

Astronomers consult the underworld to name Pluto's first features

RATE THIS! +27
Posted in Science on 8th Sep, 2017 05:28 PM by Alex Muller

In July 2015, the New Horizons probe zipped past Pluto, and images and information gathered during the historic flyby are still being processed and studied. Now, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially named 14 features on the dwarf planet's surface.

 

The various mountains, ridges and valleys have all been given titles that honor influential astronomers and spacecraft, or continue the underworld theme that began with Pluto's naming in 1930.

 
The new names come from a mix of sources. Some of them had been casually thrown around by the New Horizons team over the years to describe the landscape, while others were suggested by the general public through a campaign called Our Pluto. Since the dwarf planet was originally named for Pluto, the god of the underworld in Greek mythology, many of the new titles have been plucked from various underworld myths from around the globe. Other landmarks are named after important explorers, both terrestrial and celestial, human or otherwise.
 
"We're very excited to approve names recognizing people of significance to Pluto and the pursuit of exploration as well as the mythology of the underworld," says Rita Schulz, chair of the IAU's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature. "These names highlight the importance of pushing to the frontiers of discovery. We appreciate the contribution of the general public in the form of their naming suggestions and the New Horizons team for proposing these names to us."
 
The iconic heart shape on Pluto's surface has informally been referred to as the Tombaugh Regio for a while already, but now it's official. The title honors Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who first discovered the dwarf planet in 1930.
 
Burney crater is named after Venetia Burney, who was only 11 years old when she suggested the name "Pluto" for the newly-discovered dwarf planet.
 
Sputnik Planitia, the large plain that forms the western half of the heart shape, is named after the first manmade satellite to be launched into space.
 
Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes are mountain ranges appropriately named after the members of the first expedition to climb and return from the summit Mount Everest: Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.
 
Al-Idrisi Montes, a mountain range named after a 12th century Arabian geographer.
 
Fossae are long, narrow depressions in Pluto's landscape, and several sets of these were named after figures of the underworld from different cultures. The Djanggawul Fossae are named after ancestral beings from indigenous Australian folklore who were believed to hail from the island of the dead. From Norse mythology, Sleipnir Fossa was named after the eight-legged horse that carried Odin into the underworld, and Virgil Fossae is a reference to the Roman poet who guided Dante through Hell and Purgatory in the classic poem The Divine Comedy.
 
Adlivun Cavus is a deep depression named after the Inuit underworld.
 
Hayabusa Terra is a land mass named after the Japanese mission that retrieved the first sample of rock from an asteroid.
 
Voyager Terra is a similar swath of land bearing the title of the famous spacecraft that have recently celebrated their 40th anniversary in space – one of which is now the most distant manmade object in history.
 
Tartarus Dorsa is a ridge bearing the name of the deepest, darkest pit in the Greek mythology's version of the underworld.
 
And finally, the Elliot crater is named after the astronomer James Elliot, who discovered the rings around Uranus and pioneered new techniques to study Solar System bodies.
 
This list is just the beginning, with names for other geological features on Pluto and its moons expected to be discussed in the future.

Tags: PlutoastronomyNew HorizonsresearchNASA

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

View comments by:


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 19:05:15
    Google boosts Cloud Natural Language API with automatic.....read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 18:55:34
    Salesforce to launch $50 million artificial intelligence.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-09-20 18:50:18
    The Paris agreement climate aim is 'still achievable'..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-19 18:06:17
    China orders Bitcoin exchanges in capital city to close..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-09-19 18:00:15
    LinkSpace is a Chinese startup that will try to make.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me