Pluto terrain named after Japanese asteroid explorer Hayabusa
Jiji -- Sep 09
A large land mass on Pluto has been named after the Japanese asteroid explorer Hayabusa, which brought back the first asteroid sample to Earth, from Itokawa in 2010 after a seven-year voyage.

The International Astronomical Union said Thursday that it approved the names of 14 geological features on the surface of Pluto, captured during a close fly-by by the U.S. spacecraft New Horizons in July 2015, including a plateau named "Hayabusa Terra."

According to the union, the names of the features, including distinctive terrains and craters, were chosen from suggestions submitted by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's New Horizons team and the public.

Hayabusa Terra lies on the north side of Tombaugh Regio, a region named after U.S. astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930. The region is made up of the two terrains that have been informally known as the "heart" and "whale's tail."

News source: Jiji
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