Lunar landing site gets a Chinese name
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The site where China's Chang'e-3 spacecraft landed on the moon more than two years ago is to be known as Guang Han Gong or "Moon Palace."
The name has been approved by the International Astronomical Union, China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense announced yesterday.
In Chinese mythology, Chang'e is the goddess of the moon while Guang Han Gong is the palace that houses Chang'e and her pet Yutu (jade rabbit).
Three craters nearby were given the names Zi Wei, Tian Shi and Tai Wei, three constellations in traditional Chinese astrology, said Liu Jizhong, director of China's lunar exploration project.
Lunar rover Yutu recently found a new type of basaltic rock that could shed light on lunar volcanism, according to an article published by Chinese scientists in the Nature Communications science journal last month.
A total of 22 lunar features have been given Chinese names. The first crater was named Zu Chongzhi after a famous Chinese mathematician in 1961.
Li Chunlai, a member of the naming committee for lunar features, said Guang Han Gong, with a diameter of 154 meters, is at a latitude of 44.12 degrees north and a longitude of 19.51 degrees west.
The crater, along with other features, is included in the area covered by lunar rover Yutu.
Rita Schulz, chairwoman of the IAU's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature, said landing sites on the moon can be named if they are the first landing sites for a country's spacecraft.
- Lunar landing site gets a Chinese name
- The site where China's Chang'e-3 spacecraft landed on the moon more than two years ago is to be known as Guang Han Gong or "Moon Palace."