This is the asteroid, Steins. What do you notice about the names of craters? Image credit: IAU.

This is the asteroid, Steins. What do you notice about the names of craters? Image credit: IAU.

Hello and welcome to the finale of Planetary Nomenclature!

A special thanks to the IAU Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature for sharing this database of official names for geologic features on planets, moons, and asteroids!

Also a special thanks to the Martian dune team out in USGS Flagstaff, Arizona for getting my dune field recognized and officially named. Yes, I have a dune field on Mars named! Here it is:

http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Feature/15370;jsessionid=A4F6F2DB31F5EA2B177EC23682E385C1

Here are some more fun facts about names in space!

1-There is a Heathcliff crater on the asteroid Eros named from the character of Wuthering Heights. All craters on this asteroid are named after lovers from mythology and literature! Very fitting, considering the asteroid itself is named after the Greek god of Love.

2-The names on Pluto, although still going through the paperwork to become official, will be within the realm of "underworld/dark world/ nether-world" themed feature names, as Pluto was the Greek god of the Underworld. One notable feature so far is the dark reddish-brown region on Pluto. This is named Cthulhu Region- after the Lovecraftian guardian of the Underworld.

3-On Titan, there are frozen dune fields. These dune fields are named after Greek gods of directional winds. 

4-Opal, malachite, obsidian, lapis- and many more minerals and gemstones- are names of craters on the asteroid Steins! There is even a Diamond Crater!

5-The playful moon of Uranus, Puck, has features named after Scottish, German, and British "mischievous spirits"

6- And finally, I think the most entertaining, in my opinion, to have creative names is on the asteroid Gaspra. This asteroid's crater features are named after spas from around the world! 

The asteroid, Gaspra, with its worldly-spa-location names! Credit: IAU.

The asteroid, Gaspra, with its worldly-spa-location names! Credit: IAU.

Thank you for reading and tune in next week for a segment about the study of planetary cores!