Pluto was downgraded from a Planet to a Dwarf Planet in 2005. Pluto's surface has always been unknown. But not now. On the 14th July 2015, New Horizons spacecraft was the first to get detailed and accurate measurements and also a load of observations of Pluto and its Moons.
Studies on the map have been started and names have started being given to the Craters on Pluto. Just like any old map you see today.
"We need names to call things. We are working with these data. You can't just keep on saying, ‘Oh, that canyon up to the left.'"
New Horizons scientist
A big list has been prepared on what to call them. They are; Cavus (deep-sided depression), Chasma (chasm), Colles (small knobs or hills), Dorsa (ridges), Fossa (long, narrow depression), Linea (elongated marking), Macula (dark spot), Mons (mountain), Montes (mountains), Planum (plateau or high plain), Regio (large bright or dark region), Terra (extensive land mass), Vallis (valley) of the surfaces. The names will not be official until International Astronomical Union confirms them.
The full map of Pluto and Charon with the Informal Names.
The Names Are Here:
- Gallifrey Macula (dark spot) named after Doctor Who
- Kirk Crater named after Captain James T. Kirk from Star Trek (1977)
- Macross Chasma (chasm) named after the anime show Macross (1982)
- Mordor Regio (large bright or dark region) named after Lord of the Rings
- Nemo Crater named after Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1870)
- Nostromo Chasma (chasm) named after the ship in Alien (1979)
- Organa Crater named after Princess Leia Organa from Star Wars (1977)
- Ripley Crater named after Ellen Ripley from Alien (1979)
- Serenity Chasma (chasm) named after Firefly (2002)
- Skywalker Crater named after Luke Skywalker from Star Wars (1977)
- Spock Crater named after Mr. Spock from Star Trek (1977)
- Sulu Crater named after Lt. Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek (1977)
- Tardis Chasma (chasm) named after from Doctor Who
- Uhura Crater named after Lt. Nyota Uhura from Star Trek (1977)
- Vader Crater named after Darth Vader from Star Wars (1977)
- Vulcan Planum (plateau or high plain) named after Star Trek (1977)
- Kubrick Mons named after the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Clarke Mons named after the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke
- Cthulhu Rego named after the H.P. Lovecraft short story "The Call of Cthulhu"
As said, all these names are waiting approval. But IAU see this as cool as we do, then they must approve! The names have attracted global diversity and cultures.
"We felt strongly as a mission team that we stood on the shoulders of giants. Honor the missions and the engineers and scientists who figured out how to do space exploration, because we could have never pulled off New Horizons without their experience."
Principal Investigator of the New Horizons Mission
Lets hope these awesome names get approved!