Is there a moon crater named after Scooby Doo?

The moon has over 30 thousand billion craters that measure at least a foot wide, half a million of those with diameters over a mile.

That’s a lot of holes and pockmarks, and there are a lot of names that have been given to moon craters over the years. Alas, “Scooby Doo” isn’t one of them. The closest in name would be the crater Scobee (over 130 feet in diameter), named in 1988 for Francis Richard Scobee, a member of the Challenger spacecraft crew.

There are strict and long-standing nomenclature guidelines for moon craters, and cartoon characters just don’t make the cut. Besides recent additions of famous literary figures like A. A. Milne, most craters are named after historical astronomers, scientists, mathematicians, and physicists.

What you may be thinking of is the recently named rocks on Mars. One of those was officially dubbed “Scooby Doo.” When the Mars probe Sojourner began sending back pictures of the red planet, scientists—trying to either boost public opinion of the Mars probe or prove they’re really cool guys stuck in nerdy jobs—named the rocks on their screens after cartoon characters they resembled.

Besides Scooby Doo, there’s Yogi Bear, Casper, Asterix, Gumby, and Ratbert, to name a few. The scientists also saw animals in the boulders on Mars’s surface. Names of these include Lamb, Frog, Iguana, Chimp, Kitten, Duck, and Ant Hill. Not a distinguished Ptolemy, Galileo, or Einstein to be found in this group.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment