IAU approves ‘Statio Shiv Shakti’ as name for Chandrayaan-3’s landing site

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An image of Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander, clicked through a Pragyan rover’s navigation camera, and released by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

An image of Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander, clicked through a Pragyan rover’s navigation camera, and released by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
| Photo Credit: ANI

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) working group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Statio Shiv Shakti for the landing site of Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander. The approval was given on March 19, 2024.

“Compound word from Indian mythology that depicts the masculine (“Shiva”) and feminine (“Shakti”) duality of nature; Landing site of Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander,” states the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature on the origin of the Statio Shiv Shakti name.

According to the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is used to uniquely identify a feature on the surface of a planet or satellite so that the feature can be easily located, described, and discussed.

“This gazetteer contains detailed information about all names of topographic and albedo features on planets and satellites (and some planetary ring and ring-gap systems) that the IAU has named and approved from its founding in 1919 through the present time,” it states.

The IAU is the internationally recognised authority for assigning nomenclature to planetary surface features.

Name announced by PM Modi

The Astrogeology Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey maintains the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature on behalf of the IAU with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

On August 26, 2023 Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the point where the Moon lander of Chandrayaan-3 touched down will now be known as Shiv Shakti.

“The point where the moon lander of Chandrayaan-3 landed will now be known as Shiv Shakti. In Shiv, there is resolution for the welfare of humanity and Shakti gives us strength to fulfil those resolutions. This Shiv Shakti point of the moon also gives a sense of connection with Himalaya to Kanyakumari,” Mr. Modi while announcing the name.

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