This is Apollo 11,
landing on the Moon for the first time in human history.
Just a few seconds after touchdown, Neil Armstrong said
“Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed”.
Tranquility Base was the name that NASA had chosen
for the site of the first moon landing.
It’s located in the south-western corner of the Lunar plain
called Mare Tranquillitatis or Sea of Tranquillity.
This is just one out of thousands of names that have been given to geographical features on the Moon.
But who is in charge of coming up with these names?
And are they official?
In this video we’re going to look at how we began
naming features on the moon.
We’re also going to look at who’s in charge of making these names official
and the strict rules around naming a place on the Moon.
In the year 1610, Galileo released his famous drawings of the Moon.
Looking through one of the world’s very first telescopes, he studied the moon closely
and was able to produce drawings
which accurately represented the Moon’s harsh features
in a way that no one else had ever seen before.
Although Galileo had essentially created the very first map of the Moon,
there were no place names on this map.
40 years later, a new map of the Moon was created
by astronomers Riccioli and Grimaldi.
This map divided the Moon up into 8 sections
and names like ‘Tranquility’ and ‘Serenity’
were given to the great mountains and flat plains that lay in between.
This map quickly became the basis for naming the Moon’s features
and many of the original names are still used to this day.
Fast forward by a few centuries and we have the birth of spaceflight.
In 1959, the Soviets became the first to send a probe to the far side of the moon.
This probe successfully imaged the side of the Moon
which had never been seen before by humans.
With this new perspective of the Moon’s hidden surface,
the Soviets started to name features after Russian Heroes and place names.
Over the next decade,
America and The Soviets started to piece together higher quality images
of the far side of the Moon whilst continuing to name newly found features.
Although NASA often informally names features on the Moon,
they don’t actually have any authority to officially assign names to lunar features.
When naming features on other planetary bodies,
each name has to be accepted by the International Astronomical Union.
However, it’s not just NASA that can suggest names,
然而 不仅限于NASA 任何人都可以
anyone can sudmit a name to the IAU,
as long as it complies with their specific guidelines.
Almost all craters on the Moon must be named after deceased scientists
or explorers who have made a significant contribution to their field.
The large plains that are so common on the Moon must be given Latin names
which describe things like weather and other abstract concepts.
Ridges like these which are found on the Moon have to be named specifically after Geoscientists.
Although these names must be attached to significant people within the science community,
the scale of a Lunar feature doesn’t necessarily reflect who it’s named after.
Copernicus and Archimedes both have their names attached to spectacularly large craters,
whereas other science legends like Galileo and Newton
were given features that are much less impressive.
In 1970, the IAU agreed to name
one of the widest craters on the Moon ‘Apollo’
and smaller craters within Apollo
were named after astronauts from the Apollo 8 missions.
Nearby craters were later named after deceased NASA employees,
including the lost crew of Apollo 1 and the two Space Shuttle disasters.
So although these names might not be familiar to us now,
in the future when space tourism is a reality,
places like Apollo, Borman and Lovell might be as common to us
像阿波罗 博尔曼和洛维尔这样的地方 也许就会像
as New York, Paris and Tokyo.
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Thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.
This is Apollo 11,