The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named a 9.8 km wide crater on Mars as Langtang after one of the villages most affected by the devastating earthquakes in Nepal. The researcher behind the move, Dr. Tjalling de Haas, told the BBC that he chose this name because his colleague had worked there while studying Himalayan glaciers. "It was his base camp for a long period, so we said maybe it's a nice tribute," he added.
Langtang was a "scientifically important" crater, Dr. de Haas said. "The marks on the top of the crater wall were probably water flows, and below them you can see ridges — the remains of former glaciers."
Three other craters on the planet were named Bunnik after the researcher's hometown in the Netherlands, Nqutu after a town in South Africa, and Talu after a city on West Sumatra. The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved the names on June 14.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015 killing over 8,800 people and injuring more than 21,000. Nearly 3.5 million people were left homeless. At least 215 people were killed in Langtang, when the quake triggered a huge avalanche that submerged the village. The village, which is also a popular trekking site in Nepal, was destroyed by the avalanche.
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