New York USA — The International Lunar Geographic Society has announced that a crater on Luna, Earth’s Moon, has been renamed to honor Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી in Gujarati).
The official designation of a Lunar crater is a singular honor bestowed upon only a select few public figures. Among those receiving this rare tribute over the past century are Leonardo da Vinci, Christopher Columbus, Sir Isaac Newton, Julius Caesar and Jules Verne.
The crater, which is located in the Moon’s Sinus Iridum (“Bay of Rainbows”) district, has been given the honorary designation as the Mohandas K Gandhi Peace Crater to commemorate his lifelong struggle for the freedom of his people and to mark the eightieth anniversary of Bapu’s historic Satyagraha March in 1930. The march was a significant event in the civil disobendience movement that led to the independence of India.
Mahatma Gandhiji (2 October 1869-30 January 1948) pioneered satyagraha — “truth and love with firmness,” the non-violent resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience — which helped India to gain its independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
The crater designated to honor Mahatma Gandhi was previously known as Laplace A, and is located at 43.7º North (latitude) and 26.8º West (longitude) on the so-called Earthside of the Moon. It measures approximately nine kilometers in diameter, with a depth of about 1000 meters.
The Mohandas K Gandhi Peace Crater is part of the Laplace crater group, named for Pierre-Simon, the Marquis de Laplace (1749-1827), a French mathemetician and astronomer who authored the landmark five-volume Mécanique Céleste. Gandhi is the largest of seven satellite craters to Promontorium Laplace, and rests at the mouth of the Moon’s magnificent Bay of Rainbows.