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This Crater on Mars Was Named After a Town in Palawan

It was named after a charming and historic town in the Philippines.
IMAGE IAU, USGS
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The Martian landscape has thousands of craters, and one of these was named after a town in the Philippines. The Taytay Crater takes its name from the Municipality of Taytay in Palawan.

The name was adopted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on September 14, 2006. The IAU is the international body that officially assigns names to celestial bodies and planetary surface features such as craters on Mars.

The Taytay Crater has a diameter of 18.17 kilometers, which is the size of a city. It is located near the equator on Mars.

In 2006, a controversial petition by a space-funding company to name 500,000 craters on Mars caught flak for asking people to pay a fee for naming rights. The fees were as low $5, and could fetch for higher prices depending on the size of the crater you want to name. It prompted the IAU to issue a warning that such names would not be recognized if they were purchased.

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The Municipality of Taytay, Palawan

Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
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The town of Taytay in Palawan should not be confused with the town of Taytay in Rizal. Taytay is one of the most historic towns in the Philippines, whose founding date goes back to 1623. Prior to the coming of the Spaniards, it was a prosperous vassal state ruled by datus.

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Because of its strategic position in the archipelago, the Spaniards erected a fort in Taytay, now known as the Sta. Isabel Fort. It features historic structures such as 17th-century fort walls and a chapel. It is now one of the top tourist destinations in Palawan.

Fort Sta. Isabal in Taytay, Palawan

Photo by Jimaggro, Wikimedia Commons.
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Chapen in Fort Sta. Isabel

Photo by Jimaggro, Wikimedia Commons.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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