Pluto’s big moon may host Doctor Who names in space!
This month’s New Horizons flyby of dwarf planet Pluto and its biggest moon Charon left a wealth of incredible data in its wake, with unforgettable pictures of geographic features such as the now famous giant “heart” on Pluto.
But the highly detailed pictures gave the New Horizons team a welcome problem: What do they call all those craters, plains and mountain ranges?
Now, thanks to maps the New Horizons team plans to submit to the International Astronomical Union (the official governing body for names of celestial objects), we know the answer.
Their names are drawn from movies, TV shows and books sure to gladden every geek’s heart — including Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Firefly, Alien, Lord of the Rings and the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Spock, Kirk, Sulu and Uhura craters dot the Vulcan plane. Spock, Kirk, Sulu and Uhura craters dot the Vulcan plane. The Tardis chasma crosses the Gallifrey macula — named for the Doctor’s vessel and home planet respectively. Which could make for an awkward moment if the Time Lord ever lands there.