Friday, 4 January 2019

Naming extra-terrestrial things

Naming Extra-Terrestrial Things

I came across THIS ARTICLE and, while not very geological, is very interesting.
Did you know that large craters on Mars are named after deceased scientists and writers associated with Mars (there’s an Asimov and a Da Vinci), and craters less than 60km across are named after towns and villages on Earth (there’s a Bordeaux and a Cadiz)?

Or that the moons of Jupiter (except Io - see below) would be named using names from mythology - but in a way related to the Earths climatic zones!

  • Europa - mythical names from the European temperate zone
  • Ganymede - names from near-Eastern mythology
  • Callisto - names from far northern cultures
Part of Io, with fiery names

  • Io - However, because Io was revealed to be undergoing continual volcanic eruptions, the original naming theme was deemed inappropriate and was replaced by the names of fire, sun, thunder/lightning and volcano deities from across the world’s cultures. For example, the names Ah Peku, Camaxtli, Emakong, Maui, Shamshu, Tawhaki, and Tien Mu (which occur on the map above) come from fire, thunder or Sun myths of the Mayans, the Aztecs, New Britain, Hawaii, Arabia, the Maoris, and China, respectively.
There is a lot more of this, all of it interesting. 

I was drawn to this because a pal of mine, John Bunting, discovered an astrobleme in Western Australia - Yarrabubba, possibly the deepest eroded astrobleme on the planet - and as a reward has an asteroid named after him! 

He was assured that it was unlikely to strike earth any time soon! You can find it as number 19243 on THIS PAGE

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