08 August 2009

Mythical Dune planets become tangible places on Titan

Titan’s mysterious dark plains will be named after planets in the series of “Dune” science fiction novels by author Frank Herbert. The US Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center announced the first plain or “planitia” given a name will be designated as Chusuk Planitia. Chusuk was a planet from the Dune series, known for its musical instruments. Chusuk Planitia on Titan is located at 5.0S, 23.5W, and in the picture here is the small, dark area next to the “C” of Chusuk. Nancy Atkinson

This piece of news is so cool it's almost unbelievable: the plains that the Cassini probe discovered on Titan will be named after the planets from the very popular Dune series by Frank Herbert. Here is a .pdf map from the U.S. Geological Survey with Chusuk Planitia in the western hemisphere.

Since Titan is wet, although not with water, I think Mars would be more suited to be associated with the great desert world, but most of Mars was baptized centuries before. So this is as good as it gets for the Dune universe until we fly to other stars to find a real Dune replica.

Until then, Titan just climbed up several spots in my list of "Places to visit in the Solar System" and I have another reason to await impatiently the blooming of the space tourism industry.


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