Pluto’s regions have just received the darkest of names
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Scientists have finally chosen some names for several regions of the most lovable dwarf planet of the solar system, Pluto. As it has been named after the Roman god of the underworld, it was natural that its regions should get some fitting names. Therefore, those who came up with the names did some serious research in the field of dark mythology.
The first flyby mission to Pluto took place in 2015
Scientists have identified 14 distinct features present on the surface of Pluto, and they couldn’t remain without a name. Therefore, the International Astronomical Union (IAU). A part of these names were chosen as a result of a campaign launched in 2015 by IAU and the NASA team New Horizons, soon after the flyby mission to Pluto started.
Back then, IAU agreed the names should come from themes like mythology, the underworld, or from the field of science and exploration. However, they haven’t been released until today. Now, we finally got to see how creative people got, and where they took their dark inspiration from.
The names were inspired from mythology and the underworld
Several depressions on the surface got the name Djanggawul Fossae. This is the name of three beings from the Australian mythology which used to travel between the continent and the island of the dead. Another region is called Sleipnir Fossa, named after the Nordic god Odin’s horse, which carried him down into the underworld.
Another name worth mentioning is Virgil Fossae, named after one of the greatest Roman poets. Virgil was also present in Dante’s Divine Comedy as hell and purgatory’s guide. IAU also preserved some names previously given by scientists, such as Sputnik Plainita or Tombaugh Regio. These names were made public even since the 2015 flyby, but they haven’t been official until now.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons