ISRO Missions and Discoveries

IAU approves ‘Statio Shiv Shakti’ as name for Chandrayaan-3 Landing Site


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: International Astronomical Union (IAU), Statio Shiv Shakti, Jawahar Point

Mains level: NA

What is the news?

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) working group for Planetary System Nomenclature recently sanctioned the name ‘Statio Shiv Shakti’ for the landing site of Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander, marking a significant milestone in planetary nomenclature.

About International Astronomical Union (IAU)

  • The IAU was founded on July 28, 1919, during the Constitutive Assembly held in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Its creation was prompted by the need for international collaboration in astronomy, especially after the devastation caused by World War I.
  • It aims for promoting and safeguarding astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation.
  • IAU is now headquartered in Paris, France.

Major Activities and Initiatives

  • General Assembly: The IAU holds a general assembly every three years in varying parts of the world at which professional astronomers meet to discuss research, new cooperative ventures, and similar matters of professional interest.
  • Astronomical Nomenclature: IAU standardizes the nomenclature of celestial bodies, features, and phenomena. It maintains several working groups dedicated to naming conventions for stars, planets, asteroids, and other objects.
  • Research and Collaboration: It promotes international cooperation in astronomical research and supports initiatives such as observational campaigns, data sharing, and joint projects.
  • Education and Outreach: It is actively involved in promoting astronomy education and public outreach efforts worldwide. It supports educational programs, workshops, and resources for students, teachers, and the general public.


  1. IAU membership spans 92 countries. Out of those countries, 85 are National Members.
  2. India is represented by the Astronomical Society of India (ASI).
  3. Its members are professional astronomers from all over the world, at the D. level and beyond, who are active in professional research, education, and outreach in astronomy.

IAU Nomenclature  Criteria


  • Rule 4: It emphasizes the international nature of solar system nomenclature and encourages equitable representation of names from diverse ethnic groups, countries, and genders.
  • Rule 9: The IAU adheres to Rule 9, prohibiting names with political, military, or religious connotations, except for historical political figures prior to the 19th century.
  • Rule 11: It emphasizes that names should be unique within the context of celestial nomenclature to prevent confusion.

About Statio Shiv Shakti’

  • Prime Minister announced the name ‘Shiv Shakti’ for the Chandrayaan-3 landing site in August, 2023, reflecting the significance of Indian mythology and cultural heritage.
  • It is located at the co-ordinates 69.373°S 32.319°E and lies between the lunar craters Manzinus C and Simpelius N.
  • The name ‘Shiv Shakti’ symbolizes the masculine-feminine duality of nature, embodying strength and resolution, with a profound connection to India’s diverse cultural landscape.

PM previously named the Chandrayaan-2 crash site ‘Tiranga point’, while former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam suggested ‘Jawahar Point’ for the Chandrayaan-1 impact probe landing site, reflecting a tradition of honoring national figures and symbols.



2021: Which one of the following is a reason why astronomical distances are measured in light-years?​

  1. Distances among stellar bodies do not change.​
  2. Gravity of stellar bodies does not change.​
  3. Light always travels in straight line.​
  4. Speed of light is always same.​


Practice MCQ:

Consider the following statements about International Astronomical Union (IAU):

  1. It aims for promoting and safeguarding astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation.
  2. India is represented by the ISRO in the IAU.

Which of the given statements are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

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