FYI, there's a crater on Mars named after the municipality of Taytay in Palawan, but as it turns out, it's not the only one named after a place in the Philippines. According to the Gazzetteer of Planetary Nomenclature of the United States Geological Survey, craters that measure over 60 kilometers in diameter are named after famous scientists and well-known science fiction authors. Those smaller than that are named after towns and villages on Earth, with populations of approximately 100,000 or less.
The USGS clarifies this category was chosen simply because it is a large source of crater names. “No commemoration of specific towns or villages is intended,” it says.
That said, it’s still pretty cool that there are places outside of the planet that are named after places in the Philippines.
A crater in the Casius quadrangle of Mars, located at 33 North and 241.4 West. It is 20.8 km in diameter and was named after the town of Bacolor in Pampanga. According to the Mars Odyssey Thermal Imaging System (THEMIS), the crater lies in Utopia Plantitia, a vast, flat region in Mars' northern lowlands and home to distinctive-looking craters. Its rim sits 4,200 meters below areoid (or Mars’ mean elevation that is analogous to sea level on earth) and the bottom is 5,800 meters below areoid.
Named after the town in Tarlac, the Camiling crater is about 22.5 kilometers in diameter. The name was approved in 1976.
The Daet crater is named after the town in Camarines Norte. It’s about 10.5 kilometers in diameter and was also approved in 1976.
The Naic crater was named after the town in Cavite in 1976. It measures 8.3 kilometers in diameter.
Named after a municipality in Nueva Vizcaya in 1991, the Solano crater measures 8.7 kilometers in diameter.
Perhaps the most famous of the Martian craters with a Filipino origin, the Taytay crater’s name was adopted in 2006 from the town in Palawan. It is located in the Oxia Palus quadrangle, one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps used by the USGS.
There’s been a renewed interest on the Red Planet after a new Mars rover mission, called Perseverance, landed there last February 18.
*This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.