Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Naming Categories on Titan

The IAU has approved several changes to the nomenclature of Titan. No names are available (yet), but several changes are encouraging. First, the faculas will be named after islands on Earth (not politically independent). Faculae (groups of bright features) will be named after archipelagoes on Earth. Secondly, a new category has been approved, Flumina. These are channels on Titan that MAY carry liquid. They will be named after mythical or imaginary rivers.

The "categories" page was last updated July 5 so this kinda of old news but this is the first I have seen some of these changes on the web.


Anonymous jerry said...

"These are channels on Titan that MAY carry liquid. They will be named after mythical or imaginary rivers."


8/10/2005 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I'd like to know what constitutes an "imaginary river". The Rillito River here in Tucson is an "imaginary river" and a flumina, for it is a channel that may carry liquid.

8/10/2005 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for Styx...

8/11/2005 03:14:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Moomaw said...

How about Phlegethon? That's the river of boiling blood that some violent people had to stand in for all eternity in the 7th circle of Dante's Inferno. (And it was red, which makes it even more appropriate for Titan.)

And, of course, one can go to Tolkien for "Anduin"... (I'm still waiting for the first official Solar System name derived from Tolkien -- although the Apollo 15 astronauts chose some of their unofficial landing-site feature names from him.)

8/11/2005 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

We may want to save Inferno-related names for Io :-D

I have always liked the Tolkien idea. the plan was to use lakes and river (and now islands, though that's partly my fault) on Earth, but that goes against the IAU idea of not using the same name on different planets/satellites, particularly when they are the same type of feature. Mining a completely imaginary world for names seems like a sensable idea, but perhaps not enough time has passed since his work was published for place names and character names to be used.

8/11/2005 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Pioneer said...

These are channels on Titan that MAY carry liquid.

Are you referring to the channels in the Huygens images? If so, I thought the consensus was those were created by liquid. What else would create them?

8/12/2005 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

this could include any channel-like feature seen by ISS, RADAR, or VIMS, not just Huygens.

8/12/2005 12:08:00 PM  

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