The IAU has issued a press release condemning the public’s naming of Martian craters as initiated by the private company Uwingu.


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My heart bleeds: The IAU has issued a press release condemning the public’s naming of Martian craters as initiated by the private company Uwingu.

This war over the right to name features on other planets is mostly a tempest in a teapot, as the actual names will finally be decided by the people who end up living there. Nonetheless, I really like how Uwingu is pushing the IAU’s buttons, as that organization’s self-righteous insistence that it has the power to name everything in space, from craters to the smallest boulders, has for years struck me as pompous and wrong.

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  • Patrick Ritchie

    I’m perfectly happy to see Uwingu selling whatever it wants, especially given where they are funneling that money.

    That being said I think there is value to the IAU, it seems like a perfectly reasonable case of self-regulation. It makes perfect sense to me that the astronomical community would want to have shared set of names for referencing astronomical phenomena and I think the IAU is doing a reasonable job at that.

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