Extraterrestrial places named after deaf people
- Crater Heaviside
Deaf electrical pioneer and inventor Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) has been honored by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which named in his honor a crater on the planet Mars, 84.7km in diameter at latitude 70.7 S and longitude 95.3 W.
THE MOON (LUNA):
- Crater Cannon
On the Moon's near side, east of Mare Crisium, at 19.9 N and 81.4 E, 56km in diameter. Named by the IAU in honor of Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941), who developed the Harvard System of stellar spectral classification, proving that the vast majority of stars represent only a few species. She published star catalogs that together covered almost half a million stars, and was the first woman to receive an honorary doctor's degree from Oxford University and the first woman elected an officer of the American Astronomical Society, also an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society, London. In 1929, she was listed as one of 12 "greatest living American women" by the National League of Women Voters.
- Crater Heaviside
The IAU has also named another crater, 165km in diameter and on the Moon's far side at latitude 10.4 S and longitude 167.1 E, in honor of Oliver Heaviside, the only deaf person to be honored on two astronomical bodies.
- Crater Leavitt
On the Moon's far side at 44.8 S and 139.3 W, the IAU named this 66km-diameter crater in honor of Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921), a deaf astronomer who worked at the Harvard College Observatory, where she undertook major projects and discovered several new astronomical bodies. Her most famous discovery was of the periodic luminosity of certain stars (called Cepheid variables), of which she eventually discovered 2400. A Swedish mathematician nominated her for a Nobel Prize for formulating the law relating the period and luminosity of stars, unaware that she had died of cancer four years before. Unfortunately, Nobel Prize rules do not allow posthumous awards.
- Crater Sherrington
The IAU has also honored Sir Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952), a late-deafened neurophysiologist who shared the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on the nervous system and the function of neurons. His 18km-diameter crater on the Moon's far side is at latitude 11.1 S and 118.0 E.
- Crater Tsiolkovsky
A 185km-diameter crater on the Moon's far side, at latitude 21.2 S and longitude 128.9 E, was named in 1959 by the Soviet Union, later confirmed by the International Astronomical Union, in honor of the deaf Russian rocket pioneer Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935).
* * * * * * * * * *Prepared by Tom Harrington
Reference and Instruction Librarian