It's official: Glasgow is on another planet

IF YOU are looking for an out-of-this-world experience, Glasgow is the place to be.

That's not Glasgow, Scotland, but the newly named Glasgow, Mars, discovered by NASA's roaming explorer Opportunity and named in honour of the University of Glasgow's research into rocks on the Red Planet.

"We've started using Scottish names and Glasgow is the only one so far," said Steve Squires, a NASA scientist who has monitored Opportunity and her sister Mars rover, Spirit, since they touched down last year.

Tradition dictates that areas are named after people and places from Earth. One rocky outcrop is called Voltaire, after the French scientist, and there are hills carrying the names of the seven astronauts killed in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster.

University of Glasgow scientists were granted 400,000 to explore whether tiny traces of water trapped in rocks from Mars could reveal secrets of early life on Earth.

But don't expect to find a Clydebank, Greenock, Stirling or Paisley anywhere near Glasgow on Mars. Some of its more off-the-wall neighbours, named during the earlier Mars Pathfinder expedition, include Scooby-Doo, Darth Vader and Yogi Bear.


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