NASA Makes A Geek World Out Of Pluto’s Moon

The meek can inherit the Earth, but the geeks are inheriting a moon. With a whole load of new photographic reference to pore over following the New Horizons fly-by NASA is in the process of naming regions of Pluto’s moon Charon and sci-fi references are the theme.

pluto goes sci-fi

According to IAU rules, Pluto’s various geographical landmarks must be names after names drawn from underworld mythology, resulting in the Cthulu regio (sic) and the Balrog macula (dark spot).

But with Pluto’s moon Charon, the International Astronomical Union has recommended that the names will relate to “destinations and milestones of fictional space and other exploration; fictional and mythological vessels of space and other exploration; fictional and mythological voyagers, travellers and explorers.”

Suggestions being proposed so far include the Gallifrey Macula, the TARDIS Chasma, the Serenity chasma (that noise is Nathan Fillion fans squeeeeeeing), the Vulcan Planum, craters called Spock, Sulu, Leia and Skywalker and mons called Kirk, Uhura, Clarke (as in Arthur C) and Kubrick (as in 2001 director Stanley).

Though they are still provisional, “we have a decent chance of getting these names approved,” New Horizons planetary scientist Mark Showalter tells Mashable. “The IAU tends to favour names that have been around for a while, but Star Trek is almost 50-years-old now and Star Wars is about 40-years-old.”

Hmmm, the Firefly squeeeeing may have to be put on hold then…

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