A canyon on Mars was named Sakarya Valley by graduate student Madison Hughes, after a river in Turkey. Few can match the success of Madison Hughes, a graduate student in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who named a canyon on Mars. Gale Crater now hosts the geographical feature officially known as Sakarya Valley.
Hughes chose this name to complement another local natural feature, the Gediz Valley. Although some Martian valleys, such as the Sakarya Valley, are more often described as canyons or even cliffs, the general name "valley" refers to a feature similar to a valley on Earth.
Sakarya Valley and Gediz Valley are both named after rivers in Turkey, in accordance with the naming conventions that give the names of modern or traditional rivers on Earth to all valleys on Mars.
Hughes said: “In previous studies, Sakarya Vallis was only referred to as one of the few canyons on Mount Sharp. Gale Crater's Grand Canyon was an unofficial name, but as you can see, this may have confused some readers of my research. We believed that the canyon needed an official name because it plays a crucial role in my upcoming article.
Hughes studies past water flow on Mars in collaboration with James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor Raymond Arvidson. Hughes' current research on Aeolis Mons (also known as Sharp Mountain) in Gale Crater is investigating surface features that appear to be debris flow deposits in other canyons and valleys in and around the Sakarya Valley. His analysis of both Sakarya Vallis and Gediz Vallis will complement measurements from NASA's Curiosity rover, which will explore Gediz Vallis in the coming years.
According to Hughes, the presence of these debris flow deposits in the Sakarya Valley and other Mount Sharp valleys “indicates that there was a significant amount of groundwater at the time of their formation.” Even after the massive canyons and valleys of Mount Sharp have formed, this region still needs precipitation in the form of snow or rain.
What is the value of a name? Planetary bodies and features are traditionally given names by their discoverers until they are formally determined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which fosters global professional collaboration among astronomers. As part of the process, the IAU considers the power of naming and the signals that the names represent.
For example, NASA scientists working on the Perseverance mission, with the approval and cooperation of the Navajo Nation, used Navajo terms to designate places on Mars with geology similar to those on Earth. The renaming of the distant Kuiper Belt object, formerly known as Ultima Thule, to Arrokoth, meaning "sky" in Powhatan/Algonquian, was done with a similar idea.
According to Hughes, any geoscientist would consider naming the monument he was working on as a special chance. I think this increases the importance of my research on the development of Sakarya Valley. Even though it is on another planet, I will always have a strong connection with this region.
The naming committee of the International Astronomical Union adopted the name Sakarya Vallis, which Hughes officially presented for the star, on 14 December 2020.
Günceleme: 17/04/2023 12:21