Nobbys Head/Whibayganba on Mars

Location of Nobbys Head on Mars – Courtesy of NASA

Exciting news from Col Maybury, President of the Astronomical Society of the Hunter, with the inclusion of the name ‘Nobbys Head’ on a geological feature on the planet Mars.

Col wrote to the NASA team for naming rights a year or so ago as the little Mars Rover Opportunity trundled its way across the Martian desert. He asked that they consider naming a small prominence on Mars located at the aptly named Endeavour Crater after Captain Cook’s sighting of Nobbys by moonlight, while traveling up our coast on the 10th of May 1770.

He wrote that Captain Cook:

recorded its co-ordinates in his journal, marvelously accurately, as behooves a scientist of his stature. The ” Small round rock or island,” still marks the entrance to the Hunter River and Port of Newcastle and, as you can see by the accompanying picture, is loved by Novocastrians which us residents of Newcastle call each other.

NASA replied that  they would look at the request when Opportunity arrived at the Endevour. He again wrote to them recently and sent a letter to the editor published from the Newcastle Herald from Elaine Street with Brett Whitely’s painting of Nobbys Head, and was thrilled to announce yesterday that it did it!

Nobbys Head is immortalised on Mars and in Captain Cooks Journal. The area is reminiscent of the original drawing of Nobbys by Barrallier in 1801.

And here is its location.

Location of the rim of the Endevour Crater on Mars

Here is a closer look.

Closeup of Nobbys Head on Mars

Email from Ray Arvidson (NASA) to Col Maybury:

Attached is a jpeg showing part of a HiRISE orbital image and covering the part of Endeavour’s rim that we named Knobbys Head. On Mars the central bumpy part is about 100 m wide and a few meters tall. The surrounding flat bench extends out to a diameter of about 200 m. The bumpy parts are part of Endeavour’s rim and the surrounding bench is made of sedimentary rocks that embay the rim. Knobbys Head is south of Cape York and Sutherland Point.

Thanks to Col Maybury for placing Newcastle and its iconic Nobbys on the intergalactic map.

2016 Update

Col Maybury, the fellow responsible for getting Nobbys Head recognised as a geographical feature on the planet Mars, went back to NASA following news of the dual naming, and got them to recognise Nobbys’ Aboriginal name as well.

The media stories are here:

Sky Watch: A new twist to Nobbys on Mars By Col Maybury (Maitland Mercury SEPTEMBER 24 2015 – 2:27PM)

A place on Mars has been named Nobbys Head/Whibayganba (AUGUST 17 2016 – 8:30PM) Newcastle Herald

Gionni Di Gravio

3 thoughts on “Nobbys Head/Whibayganba on Mars

  1. I am still amazed that Nobbys on Mars came off and so pleased that it fits in with Gionni’s aims for the Coal River Working Party. Perhaps it will be the DiGravio Hills of Pluto when Clyde Tombaugh’s express arrives there in 2015 aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. There is a small vial of Clyde’s ashes attached to the camera ship. Ashes that will be jettisoned as it passes the lonely little planet. Drawn by the planet’s gravity Clyde’s remains will rest forever on the balmy slopes of that enigmatic dwarf planet at -228 degrees or sometimes dropping to a bracing -238 degrees. But it is so fitting that the youthful discoverer of Pluto in 1930 will get to reside there on the surface of Pluto in fact for all the time left to our solar system. Col.

  2. Thanks Col, banished to the ninth ring of the Solar System I will be on the Di Gravio Hills of Pluto. We should seek Dante’s advice with all this, Regards G.

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