Charon The Spotlight
Doctor Who has reached a level of consciousness in the US that it is now invading NASA! 🙂
NASA have released plans for the naming of areas of Pluto’s moon Charon, based upon the International Astronomical Union‘s recommendations that these would 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.”
This has led to proposals of names from a number of sci-fi shows including Doctor Who, which sees a large crater on the surface named “Gallifrey Macula”, with a nearby rift named “TARDIS Chasma”. Star Trek is honoured with a plain named the “Vulcan Planum”, containing craters such as “Spock” and “Sulu” and mons like “Kirk” and “Uhura” – there are also features named after Star Wars characters, and also sci-fi writers/directors such as Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey).
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.
The names are to be submitted to the IAU for final approval.