Pluto’s Moon Charon Gets the Star Trek Treatment With New Feature Names

Charon_Map

Scientists are giddy over the wealth of data returned from the recently successful flyby of Pluto and her moons (Charon, Hydra, Nix, Styx, and Kerberos). The super high-resolution imagery means we can see lots and lots of geologic features on the surfaces of these icy worlds, and that means we need names for them. NASA scientists have decided to propose a sci-fi themed naming scheme to Pluto’s largest moon Charon, including names like Vulcan Planum and Spock, Kirk, and Sulu Craters.

nh-charon-1
Charon in all her glory as seen by New Horizons during the Pluto system flyby

We finally know what Pluto and it’s moons look like up close. But what to call all of those mountain ranges, glaciers of exotic ices, and craters? The New Horizons team has asked that Charon take on a science fiction inspired naming scheme, with a lion’s share of the features going to Star Trek characters, plus features named for Star Wars, Firefly/Serenity, and Dr. Who icons.

The team has submitted their proposal for official names of features on Charon to the International Astronomical Union (or IAU, the official governing body for names of celestial objects) for approval. The IAU has approved nerdy names before, allowing Frodo and Bilbo as official names on Saturn’s moon Titan.

William Shatner is particularly proud of the proposed names. He told Mashable:

“I am proud that they have named a series of physical features on Charon after Star Trek and other shows including Kirk’s Crater. It is an honor to have a character you helped create be given such an esteemed recognition.”

We here at TrekMovie think the naming scheme couldn’t be more appropriate for a world already named for a Star Trek planet.



 

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This vessel is going to Charon!

Are Bele and Lokai still up there, jogging through stock footage of The London Blitz?

Thank you, Kayla. As always, you do a yeoman’s job. Do you have the red velour mini and go go boots?

This is either nerdily awesome, or awesomely nerdy. Thousands of years from now there might be humans (or whatever might be descended from humans) actually living on those moons and only dimly aware that their home cities are named after fictional characters from a 20th century space opera. What a thought!

NERDFEST! (AWESOME!) =D

Very cool, Kayla. Thanks!

Well that is really neat. The Pluto/Charon system is the last major piece of real estate in the solar system, so it’s exciting that these names made the cut, and establishing yet another way of immortalizing our (romantic/frontier) hopes and dreams and contemporary mythology.

2. CmdrR – July 30, 2015

Are Bele and Lokai still up there, jogging through stock footage of The London Blitz?

Ha! And in their pagamas.

Err… *pajamas*

…So long as they don’t reopen the issue of whether Pluto is a full-fledged planet and how to define a planet. Pluto works as a dwarf planet. Let’s keep it that way. Let’s not rock the boat. We need order in these uncertain times. Order and discipline.

What? No Nancy or Robert Crater? :-)

I thought that the reason Pluto was redulated to dwarf-Planet status was because there are other materials (and dwarf planets) in that orbital region all the way to the Ort cloud?*

*understand that The PW isnt a scientist any shake of the world.

*looks at map* Macross chasma….* *Explodes with Nerdgasm mess*

Where’s McCoy’s crater?

Yes, where is McCoy’s crater? Can’t leave out our favorite ST doctor!

what about Roddenberrys crater he did create star trek

12. Pensive’s Wetness – July 31, 2015

I thought that the reason Pluto was redulated to dwarf-Planet status was because there are other materials (and dwarf planets) in that orbital region all the way to the Ort cloud?*

That’s true. Pluto not clearing its orbital path was one of the deciding factors in its reclassification. If they called it a planet, the reasoning went, then they’d also have to call many other Kuiper Belt objects planets. However, I seem to recall reading recently that New Horizons returned information indicating that Pluto had indeed cleared its orbital path and/or was found to be separate and distinct from other Kuiper Belt objects in some regard. . . .

#16 captain spock

Excellent question!

If Charon will ever future in a future Star Trek episode, things will get mind-boggingly meta! ;-)

Er, you DO know that Charon was a character in Greek mythology long before it was a planet on Star Trek, I hope?

Charon was the ferryman who took people across the River Styx to the land of the dead. Since Pluto was the god of the underworld, “Charon” is a name that’s thematically allied with the dwarf planet it orbits.

I hope the IAU approves those names. The only thing that would make happier would be to see the names Roddenberry, Nimoy, Doohan and Kelley used.

There MUST be an area called Dr. Sevrin’s Depression.

#11 Spoctor McKirk

Personally, I was rooting for Judge Crater, since he did stagger off the mothership at the end of CE3K… ;)

I demand the following dialogue to be in the next movie:

Spock: ”We have found out that the villain is hiding in a secret base on Pluto’s moon Charon. In the Kirk Crater, to be precise.”
Kirk: “In the WHAT!?

:-D

25. Bird of Prey – August 4, 2015

Spock: ”We have found out that the villain is hiding in a secret base on Pluto’s moon Charon. In the Kirk Crater, to be precise.” Kirk: “In the WHAT!?”

That would be a plot hole.

What about Uhura, or at least naming something for Nichelle Nichols, who started the “Women In Motion” program to encourage women to pursue Aero- and Astronautical careers?

Criminey!

Looks like they hit up a bunch of different SciFi shows for names :-) Hooray for

NERDS … IN … SCIENCE !!!

‘Impossible’ Rocket Drive Works and could get to Moon in Four Hours

“…it’s [probly] easier for The Powers That Be, to allow mention of the EM Drive in the mainstream media, than it would be to release news of anti-grav technology, which is what actually powers the secret space fleet: Solar Warden…”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11769030/Impossible-rocket-drive-works-and-could-get-to-Moon-in-four-hours.html

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