Kirk (crater)


Charon Kirk Clarke.png
Kirk crater is in the center of this image. To its right is Clarke Montes.
Coordinates5°S 2°E / 5°S 2°E / -5; 2Coordinates: 5°S 2°E / 5°S 2°E / -5; 2[1]
Diameter30 km
DiscovererNew Horizons
EponymJames T. Kirk

Kirk Crater is the unofficial name given to a small crater on Pluto's largest moon Charon. The crater was discovered by the New Horizons space probe in 2015 during its flyby of Pluto and its moons. It was named after captain James T. Kirk from the Star Trek franchise and TV series. The crater is located in the southern hemisphere, just south of the equator, and just east of the prime meridian, near Clarke Montes, in a region that astronomers have named Vulcan Planum.[2]

The floor of Kirk Crater is covered with small mounds called hummocks, which may provide evidence for how ice flowed.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "USGS Astrogeology Science Center". Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  2. ^ Wall, Mike (August 3, 2015). "Vader Crater, Kirk & Spock! 'Star Wars,' 'Star Trek' Collide on Pluto Moon". Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  3. ^ Singer, K. N. (16 Nov 2019). "Impact Craters on Pluto and Charon Indicate a Deficit of Small Kuiper Belt Objects". arXiv:1902.10795.