Mars crater officially named Langtang to honour quake-ravaged region

  • June 17, 2016

2016-06-17, IAU

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has approved a proposal to name a Martian crater as Langtang in an honour to the region ravaged by a devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015.

According Mountain Hydrology website, the idea to rename the crater was initiated by scientist Tjalling de Haas, who studies and investigates debris flows and land-forms on Mars, and was approved by the Paris-based IAU, a collection of professional astronomers active in research in astronomy.

The site which intricate the interconnection between mountains, climate, water cycle, social impacts and more stated the newly renamed Langtang crater has a diameter of 12 kilometers and has significant research interest containing glacial land-forms. The debris fans formed after the glaciers melted are clearly visible, the site stated.

Craters less than 60 kilometers in diameter are renamed after names of towns while diameters above those are named after famous scientists or authors.  However, only those craters with significant research interests are renamed.

Langtang, a popular tourist hub in Rasuwa district of Nepal, was completely devastated by an avalanche triggered by the devastating earthquake. The entire valley was swept away becoming the worst affected single settlement in the earthquake.

A total of 210 people including foreigners had also lost their lives in the tragedy.
Langtang, which depends on tourists, mostly foreigners, visiting the region, was hardly hit following the earthquake with arrivals falling to 10 persons per day from previous numbers of 15,000 per annum.