Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: IAU

  • Second group of names approved for features on Pluto

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 26th, 2019

    A second set of names for features on Pluto, already used informally by members of NASA’s New Horizons mission, has received formal approval by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the organization that names celestial objects and their features. Submitted by the New Horizons mission, these 14 names honor pioneering explorers on Earth, space missions, scientists […]

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Two craters named in honor of Apollo 8

    Tomasz NowakowskiOctober 10th, 2018

    This December marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission to the Moon. The International Astronomical Union has found a special way to honor the occasion.

  • IAU approves names for features on Charon

    Laurel KornfeldApril 18th, 2018

    The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has accepted a list of names for features on Pluto's largest moon, Charon, submitted by NASA's New Horizons mission team.

  • Ten years later, IAU Pluto vote remains controversial

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 24th, 2016

    In the decade that has passed since the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) controversial vote that demoted Pluto from planet status, people around the world have seen what was once little more than a tiny dot transformed into a complex world via NASA's New Horizons mission.

  • Sci-Fi names given to features on Pluto and Charon

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 7th, 2015

    Names of people and places from popular science fiction franchises are informally being given to features on Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, by the New Horizons team. Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Robotech, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, and mythology are all represented in monikers chosen for craters on Charon.

  • Pluto flyby spurs new petition for planetary status

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 23rd, 2015

    On July 14, 2015, the day that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft conducted its historic flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto, the producers of Yahoo’s web TV show “Other Space” published a petition on the advocacy site change.org seeking the reinstatement of Pluto’s planetary status. This is just the latest step in a back-and-forth battle to determine what a planet is.