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IAU To Uwingu: You Can't Name That Martian Crater Either 125

RocketAcademy writes "The International Astronomical Union has thrown a tantrum over a plan to crowdsource names for craters on Mars. The IAU gives official scientific names to craters, but it has only bothered with craters that have 'scientific significance.' The science-funding platform Uwingu has launched a campaign to come up with popular names for the remaining craters. For as little as $5, a member of the public can name one of the craters on Uwingu's map, with the proceeds going to fund space science and education. This caused the IAU to issue a statement condemning such crowdsourcing efforts. The IAU pointed out that it did allow the public to vote on names for two of Pluto's moons, in the past. In that case, however, the IAU rejected the winning name (Vulcan)." Last year, the IAU got into a spat with Uwingu over naming exoplanets. Sounds like the old name a star scam, on Mars.
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IAU To Uwingu: You Can't Name That Martian Crater Either

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  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:50PM (#46465303)

    They can't "refuse to let anyone else do so", that's not how it works. All they can do is point out that these names aren't any more authoritative than any name you could give to the object yourself, or the nicknames NASA engineers give to craters, and as far as astronomers are concerned they're just catalogue numbers because everyone knows they're referring to the same thing.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus