Mars crater named after quake-hit village in Nepal

LONDON (TIP): A nearly 10-kilometre wide crater on Mars has been named after one of the villages worst hit by the devastating earthquakes in Nepal last year.

The International Astronomical Union has named the crater after Langtang, also a popular trekking site. At least 215 people were killed in Langtang when a quake-triggered avalanche submerged the village.

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved the name on June 14, the BBC reported. The researcher behind the move, Tjalling de Haas, said it was “a tribute” to the Nepali village.

de Haas, who studies Mars’s physical geography at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, told the BBC that he chose Langtang because his colleague had worked there while studying Himalayan glaciers.

“It was his base camp for a long period, so we said maybe it’s a nice tribute to call (the crater) Langtang,” he said. Langtang was a “scientifically important” crater. “The marks on the top of the crater wall were probably water flows, and below them you can see ridges – the remains of former glaciers.”

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