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Why is there Canberra Crater on Mars?

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braddles
47110.  Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:44 am Reply with quote

Series 3, Episode 8
According to the IAU Guidelines for Naming Craters on Mars the convention for craters less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) in diameter are named after towns on Earth with fewer than 100,000 people. Craters wider than 100 kilometers are named after late planetary scientists.
(On the show, the distinction between the size of the crater and the convention used wasn't stated.)

It's true that there is a Canberra Crater on Mars. But Canberra has some 320,000 people. I'm not sure when Canberra did have less than 100,000 people, however considering that the crater is only 3km wide, it was probably discovered quite recently.
Canberra's population
Index of Mars Craters
"I've never stood on Convention, he never stood on me." Mike The-Cool-Person - The Young Ones

 
AndyE
47173.  Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:17 pm Reply with quote

I know one possible answer, though I don't swear it's the right one.

Every country has its own slightly different way of counting the population of towns and cities. In Australia, their system is to count each neighbourhood within a large metropolis as a separate place - as though we counted each London Borough as a separate place and claimed that the population of London was merely the handful who live in The City.

So for instance, the population of Melbourne proper is only about 150,000. To get to the figure of around 3 million which is normally cited for Melbourne, you have to add in the population of 24 other places which are essentially Melbourne suburbs.

It is possible that something similar happens in Canberra, and that Canberra proper has a population under 100,000.

 
gerontius grumpus
47302.  Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:23 pm Reply with quote

Was it mad by the Canberra bomber that crashed there in 1962?

It had intended to crash on the moon but there was a double decker bus in the way.

 
dr.bob
47394.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:23 am Reply with quote

Is there another, smaller Canberra somewhere in the world?

I have to say that I was unable to find one myself, but someone here might know.

 
eggshaped
47396.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:47 am Reply with quote

The Canberra crater was named in 1979, due to the fact that the Communication Complex in Tidbinbilla (35km South of Canberra) provided tracking which was used by NASA in the crater's discovery.

However like you say, the name seems to have snook under the net, as Canberra is certainly over the 100,000 population figure which is stated.

The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex is probably a good place to start any inquiries, I will e-mail them this evening if I have time.

My personal opinion is that the 100,000 figure is not completely absolute, and certain special exemptions may be made; I shall report here should I recieve anything by way of a reply.

 
dr.bob
47422.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:57 am Reply with quote

It seems the 100,000 figure is ignored more than once. A quick check of the list of craters mentioned earlier shows that Bremerhaven has a crater named after it and, according to http://www.fortwaynemaennerchor.us/bremen.html, Bremerhaven has a population of 127,000.

There's also Funchal crater, Funchal having a population of 126,889 in 1991 (http://www.cosmos.co.uk/aboutcountries.php?cid=MI) and an Innsbruck crater, Innsbruck population 140.000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innsbruck).

 
braddles
47959.  Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:56 am Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
The Canberra crater was named in 1979, due to the fact that the Communication Complex in Tidbinbilla (35km South of Canberra) provided tracking which was used by NASA in the crater's discovery.

I didn't know the year that the crater was named. The population was probably around 100,000 in 1979.

 

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