The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the organization tasked since 1919 with bringing order to astronomical chaos, reviews the names proposed for features in the Solar System. Names must follow established themes. On the Moon, craters are mostly named for lunar scientists, physicists, and astronomers. For example, William Herschel, who discovered Uranus and coined the term "asteroid," has a crater, as does his sister and research partner Caroline Herschel, who discovered eight comets. There are craters named for Albert Einstein, Johannes Kepler, Nicolaus Copernicus, Max Planck, Aristarchus, and many other famous scientists.
Living scientists are not commemorated on the Moon. Before a scientist’s name can be applied to a crater, she or he must have been deceased for at least two years. This permits a period of calm reflection, during which the community of scientists can consider whether their colleague deserves a place among the immortals.
The IAU announced on 16 March 2018 that it had approved the name Hawke for a 13.2-kilometer diameter crater on the lunar farside. Hawke crater, blasted in the rim of Grotrian crater on the ejecta blanket of the vast and ancient Schrödinger basin, displays obvious signs of impact melt and bright rays, lunar features of great interest to Dr. Hawke. Schrödinger basin includes halo craters. These are places where impacts have excavated ancient, buried volcanic deposits known as cryptomare, another subject of B. Ray’s wide-ranging research.
Below you can explore the geologically complex region adjacent to Hawke crater. You can also learn more about B. Ray’s research interests by looking at a sampling of his many papers. Don’t be intimidated by their titles and terminology – that’s the last thing B. Ray would have wanted.
A Sampling of Dr. B. Ray Hawke's Many Lunar Papers