It’s been almost two months since the Perseverance made a touchdown on Mars. While it is yet another wait in the unforeseeable future when a human will actually step foot on the planet, there are handful numbers of features we know about Mars, thanks to our brilliant scientists and powerful instruments such as telescopes and imaging systems.
It’s safe to say that a part of the Philippines is already on Mars as there are impact craters on the planet that were named after towns here in the country.
How do Mars craters get their names?
How did these Philippines towns get a namesake on Mars? According to the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, impact craters on Mars are named depending on their size. Small craters, approximately 50 km and smaller in diameter are named after small towns and villages of the world with populations of approximately 100,000 or less.
No commemoration of specific towns or villages is intended unlike for larger craters, wherein they are named after scientists who have contributed significantly to the study of Mars.
Now that we know how these towns were picked, without further ado, here are the six craters on Mars that were named after towns in the Philippines, arranged according to their diameter.
Diameter: 8.68 km
Named after a municipality in Cavite, the name Naic was approved in 1976. According to the 2015 census, it now has a population of 111,454 people.
Diameter: 9.0 km
Solano is a Nueva Vizcaya, which according to the 2015 census, has a population of 59,517 people. The name for the crater has been holding the name since 1991.
Diameter: 10.58 km
Also approved in 1976, this crater was named after Daet in Camarines Norte, which now has a 104,799 population as of 2015.
Diameter: 18.17 km
With a slightly larger diameter than the abovementioned, Taytay was approved in Sep 14, 2006, named after a town in Palawan. It is not to be confused with Taytay, Rizal.
Diameter: 21.58 km
Approved in 2006, it was named after Bacolor, a municipality in Pampanga. The photo of the Bacolor crater below is a set of images combined which were taken from September 2002 to October 2005 using the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THERMIS) of NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter.
Diameter: 21.91 km
The Camiling Crater was named after a municipality in Tarlac. Its name was approved in 1976. 2015 census states that it has a population of 83,248 people. It is the biggest crater named after a Filipino town so far.