Image: NASA/New Horizons
If you know your mythology, you’re already familiar with Pluto’s spooktacular namesake; the lovable dwarf planet is named after the Roman god of the underworld, also known as Hades in Greek mythology. He was chiefly in charge of judging the dead, which sounds like one hell of a great gig.
Today, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which oversees the naming of all celestial bodies, finally made Pluto’s spooky status official: the organization announced it has approved underworld, mythology, explorer and scientist-themed names for Pluto and its moons’ surface features, including ice mountains, craters, canyons, and cliffs. The decision will help to formalize many of the informal names already given to Pluto’s surface features, such as Cthulhu Regio, and Norgay Montes. Cthulu is, of course, the octopus beast from H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulu, and Norgay Montes is named for Tenzing Norgay, the first man to summit Mount Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary.