The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named one of the craters on Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, ‘Revati’. In the first set of official surface-feature names for Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, IAU has selected names of legendary explorers and visionaries, real and fictitious. The names were proposed by the New Horizons team and approved by IAU’s Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature.
According to IAU, Revati is a character in the Hindu epic narrative Mahabharata — widely regarded as the first in history (circa 400 BC) to include the concept of time travel.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the internationally recognized authority for naming celestial bodies and their surface features, recently approved a dozen names proposed by NASA’s New Horizons team, which led the first reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons in 2015 with the New Horizons spacecraft.
The other names approved for Charon focus on the literature and mythology of exploration.
Argo Chasma is named for the ship sailed by Jason and the Argonauts, in the epic Greek poem Argonautica, during their quest for the Golden Fleece.
Butler Mons honours Octavia E. Butler, the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur fellowship, and whose Xenogenesis trilogy describes humankind’s departure from Earth and subsequent return.
Caleuche Chasma is named for the mythological ghost ship that travels the seas around the small island of Chiloé, off the coast of Chile; according to legend, the Caleuche explores the coastline collecting the dead, who then live aboard it forever.
Clarke Montes honours Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the prolific science fiction writer and futurist whose novels and short stories (including 2001: A Space Odyssey) were imaginative depictions of space exploration.
Dorothy Crater recognizes the protagonist in the series of children’s novels, by L. Frank Baum, that follows Dorothy Gale’s travels to and adventures in the magical world of Oz.
Kubrick Mons honours film director Stanley Kubrick, whose iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey tells the story of humanity’s evolution from tool-using hominids to space explorers and beyond.
Mandjet Chasma is named for one of the boats in Egyptian mythology that carried the sun god Ra (Re) across the sky each day — making it one of the earliest mythological examples of a vessel of space travel.
Nasreddin Crater is named for the protagonist in thousands of humorous folktales told throughout the Middle East, southern Europe and parts of Asia.
Nemo Crater is named for the captain of the Nautilus, the submarine in Jules Verne’s novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) and The Mysterious Island (1874).
Pirx Crater is named for the main character in a series of short stories by Stanislaw Lem, who travels between the Earth, Moon and Mars.
Sadko Crater recognizes the adventurer who travelled to the bottom of the sea in the medieval Russian epic Bylina.