Backgrounder: Origin of name of NASA Mars rover's landing site Jezero Crater

Source: Xinhua| 2021-02-19 12:04:20|Editor: huaxia
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SARAJEVO, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- NASA's Perseverance rover touched down safely on Mars on Thursday, in search of signs of ancient life on the Red Planet.

Jezero Crater, the landing site of Perseverance rover, is named after Jezero, a small municipality situated on the Veliko Plivsko Lake entrance to the Pliva River in the western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In many Slavic languages, Jezero means lake.

Like its Earthly namesake, the some 45-km-wide crater, located on the western edge of a flat plain called Isidis Planitia near the Martian equator, is believed to be a river-fed lake in ancient times.

Scientists believe this ancient river delta could have collected and preserved organic molecules and other potential signs of microbial life from the water and sediments that flowed into the crater billions of years ago.

According to NASA's website, the linkage between Mars and the municipality of Jezero began in 2007, when International Astronomical Union gave the name Jezero Crater to the dried-out lake bed on the Red Planet, following the tradition to name locations in space after places on Earth.

In November 2018, 11 years after Jezero Crater got its name, NASA designated Jezero Crater the landing site of its Mars mission.

On Sept. 23, 2019, a letter from NASA's Director of Mars Exploration James Watzin was presented to the mayor of Jezero, honoring the connection between the small town and Jezero Crater. Enditem