Oakland has made it to Mars!

In what amounts to a social experiment, Wired Science writer Adam Mann has named a Martian crater just 1.03 kilometers across after everyone’s favorite town. He named the crater through the Boulder-based organization Uwingu whose mission is to increase the public’s interest in astronomy and help fund scientific research.

The crater now named “Oakland” can be found at Martian latitude: -12.23° N, longitude: 298.69° E, but the jury is still out on how official the name is. According to Mann, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) maintains official naming rights to celestial bodies, but the process often gets bogged down in bureaucracy. For a small fee, anyone can name a crater on Mars through Uwingu. In the first 10 days of Uwingu’s name game, 7,000 Martian craters received monikers—compared to the 1,000 names given to Martian craters by the IAU in the last 50 years.

With more than 500,000 Martian craters yet to be named, Uwingu stands to raise a fair amount of cash. But the IAU cited concerns over free and equal access to space as well as well as internationally recognized regulations to say, “no purchased names can ever be used on official maps and globes.” So name away, but buyer beware.

Read more at Live Work Oakland.

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