While people get excited as new updates on Pluto emerge, astronomers are busy thinking up names for it’s moon. And yes, those names are going to be geeky!
NASA has kept the naming process public. Predictably, the result was a dream for sci-fi fans everywhere.
According to the International Astronomical Union – the official governing body for names of celestial objects – Charon’s features should be named after “destinations and milestones of fictional travelers and explorers”.
Many of the names are drawn from movies, TV shows and books including Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who.
For example, the dark spot near the north of Charon is called Mordor in reference to the region which features in Lord of the Rings.
The New Horizons team is now set to submit the plans to the IAU for final approval.
According to New Horizons planetary scientist Mark Showalter, who spoke to Mashable, there’s a “decent chance” of the names being given the go ahead.
The IAU has previously approved features on Saturn’s moon Titan named Frodo and Bilbo.