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UPDATED: September 21, 2010
Three Moon Craters Named After Chinese Scientists

The International Astronomic Union (IAU) has named three impact craters on the moon after Chinese scientists Cai Lun, Bi Sheng and Zhang Yuzhe, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) announced Monday.

The announcement came more than one month after the IAU approved China's application for the naming on August 2, 2010.

Located at 80.3 degrees north latitude and 113.5 degrees east longitude with a diameter of 43 km, the Cai Lun crater is partially visible from the Earth when the librations are favorable. It was named after Cai Lun (57 BC-121 BC), a Chinese inventor credited with the invention of paper.

Located at 78.4 degrees north latitude and 148.6 degrees east longitude with a diameter of 55 km, the Bi Sheng crater was named after Bi Sheng (990 BC-1051 BC), a Chinese inventor credited with the invention of movable type.

Located at 69.1 degrees south latitude and 148.6 degrees west longitude on the moon with a diameter of 55 km, Zhang Yuzhe the impact crater was named after a Chinese astronomer who lived between 1902 and 1986.

With the IAU's recent namings, a total of 14 geological entities on the moon have been named after Chinese. The IAU has approved the namings of 1,993 geological entities on the moon since it was founded in 1935.

Liu Xiaoqun, an engineer of China's moon mission project, said the IAU naming is partly a reflection of a country's moon exploration capability and its scientific strength.

China is set to launch the Chang'e-2 lunar probe at the end of the year.

The country launched its first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, named after China's mythical Moon Goddess, on October 24, 2007, from southwest China's Sichuan Province. The probe ended its 16-month mission on March 1, 2009, when it crashed into the moon's surface.

(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2010)

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