Tooting…Out Of This World

Picture of Tooting Crater on March
Tooting Crater, Mars (Photo: Dr Peter Mouginis-Mark)

Janet Smith (Vice-Chair, Tooting History Group) has written for us about how Tooting has been put on the map again…on Mars.

Yes, it really is!  Tooting is not only in south London, but also on Mars!

This is entirely thanks to Dr Peter Mouginis-Mark, who grew up in Tooting in the Fifties and Sixties and is now Professor of Geology at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

His special interest is the geology of the Red Planet and because of his analytical work on a new meteorite crater, he was invited to give it a name. All suggestions have to go before the International Astronomical Union and they gave the thumbs up to naming the crater after Peter’s home town.

Map of part of Mars Surface showing Tooting Crater
Map of Mars Surface Showing Tooting Crater (Photo: Dr Peter Mouginis-Mark)

Tooting Crater is about 28 km in diameter and is located to the west of the Olympus Mons volcano – thought to be the largest volcano on Mars. Peter estimates it was formed 3-5 million years ago making it one of the planet’s newest craters.

Picture of Dr Peter Mouginis Mark At Tooting Bec Station
Dr Peter Mouginis-Mark on a trip to Tooting (July 2006)

Many thanks to Peter’s brother David for alerting us to this wonderful story!

You can find out more about Tooting Crater here.

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