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Has the Popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Books Spread beyond Earth?

The planets in our solar system are named after Greek and Roman deities, and this mythological naming convention has extended to far-away geological features, as well. On Venus, for example, the mountains, craters and valleys are named after various goddesses, including those of love, fortune, and fertility. When it came time to name the mountains on ice-covered Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, in 2012, the International Astronomical Union approved a series of names for Titan taken from The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Titan's mountains have a familiar ring to them:

  • Mount Doom is the Tolkien-inspired name given to one of the prominent peaks on Titan. Detailed mapping of the moon occurred during the Cassini space probe mission.
  • You could also find Mount Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, where Bilbo and company trekked to in The Hobbit.
  • Tolkien fans will also recognize Misty Montes as the Misty Mountains, as well as the Mountains of Moria, under which the dwarves inadvertently released the demonic Balrog.
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