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Peace pact reached over Pluto’s map

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A composite image shows Pluto (lower right) and Charon (upper left). Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI

It’s taken a year and a half, but the International Astronomical Union and the science team behind NASA’s New Horizons mission have finally struck a deal for naming the features on Pluto and its moons.

The agreement, announced today, will open the way for the already well-known “informal” names for places on Pluto, such as Tombaugh Regio and Sputnik Planum, to become formal.

It also allows for features on Charon, Pluto’s biggest moon, to be officially associated with fictional characters and locales – including Mordor from “Lord of the Rings,” Mr. Spock from “Star Trek” and Princess Leia from “Star Wars.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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