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New Names on Mars

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Five new names have been approved for Mars: Angustus Labyrinthus, Chronius Mons, Promethei Mons, Sisyphi Tholus, and Thyles Montes. The names Australis Patera, Angusta Patera, and Cavi Frigores have been marked as dropped in the database. New imagery has shown that the two paterae were named using the wrong descriptor term, and the area previously named Cavi Frigores has been incorporated into the adjacent Cavi Angusti.

The definition of the descriptor term labyrinthus has been expanded from "Complex of intersecting valleys" to "Complex of intersecting valleys or ridges."

See the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature for more information.

2003 UB313 named Eris

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The International Astronomical Union has approved the name Eris for the largest known dwarf planet (see CBAT Circular 8747). Eris is the Greek goddess of chaos and strife; she created a quarrel among goddesses that led to the Trojan War. This name could be considered quite fitting for the body that has fueled the debate concerning how to define a planet. The name Eris was suggested by the discoverer, Michael Brown.

Eris’ satellite was named Dysnomia, for Eris’ daughter who carries the attribute of lawlessness.