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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 11:22 GMT
Mars crater named after Tooting
Mars
The crater is close to one of the Red Planet's river valleys
A newly-discovered crater on Mars could be named after south London's Tooting, if a British scientist gets his way.

Planetary expert Pete Mouginis-Mark, 53, has applied to get the meteorite crater named after his birthplace.

If he succeeds it will join other Martian craters named after British places, including Maidstone and Crewe.

He discovered the 17.4-mile wide crater in September, close to one of the Red Planet's small river valleys, which reminded him of Tooting Bec.

Mr Mouginis-Mark, acting director of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, was born in Tooting and lived in south London until 1970.

I thought my mum and brother would get a kick out of having their home town paired with a land form on Mars
Pete Mouginis-Mark

He has applied to the International Astronomical Union to register the name of the crater - one of the youngest of its type on Mars.

"I thought my mum and brother would get a kick out of having their home town paired with a land form on Mars," he said.

He hopes it will be adopted by the US Geological Survey.

Tooting MP Sadiq Khan said: "This is getting a lot of attention, not only because of its twinning to our fantastic area, but also because this is probably the youngest large meteorite crater on Mars."

Among Tooting's other claims to fame is its status as the setting for the 1970s comedy Citizen Smith, and for former Tooting Bec Grammar pupil, now Conservative leadership contender, David Davis.


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