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.
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.