There's A Place On Mars Called Tooting

M@
By M@
There's A Place On Mars Called Tooting

'Is there life on Mars?', David Bowie once pondered. Maybe not. But you can find a piece of London on the Red Planet. The Tooting impact crater, shown above, is named after Tooting, London... just a few miles from Bowie's birthplace of Brixton.

Tooting crater was named in 2006. How did this seemingly down-to-earth neighbourhood find its way onto the Martian atlas? Astronomical features are usually named by their discoverers. In this case, the 17.4 mile-wide crater was first spotted by Pete Mouginis-Mark, an astronomer who grew up in Tooting.

The crater lies close to an old river valley, which supposedly reminded the astronomer of Tooting Bec. "I thought my mum and brother would get a kick out of having their home town paired with a land form on Mars," he told the BBC at the time.

Not exactly a twin for our Tooting.

Tooting is not the only London location to be celebrated on Mars. The Downe crater was named in 2003 for the home village of Charles Darwin, to the extreme south-east of London.

14 English towns are commemorated on Mars. The other 12 are Badger, Bentham, Bristol, Corby, Cray, Crewe, Ellsley, Jodrell, Maidstone, Swanage and Woking.

Last Updated 23 November 2017