Posted on November 15, 2023

Galaxies Dedicated to ‘Colonist’ Explorer Must be Renamed, Demand Academics

National Pulse, November 13, 2023

Astronomers have advocated for a renaming of two galaxies, currently named the Large and Small Megellanic Clouds after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, due to his record of “violent colonialism”. Astronomer Mia de los Reyes of Amherst College in Massachusetts expressed this viewpoint in the journal APS Physics, noting Magellan’s acts allegedly committed on “indigenous populations” during his 1519 voyage. She argued such historical figures should not be honored in astronomical nomenclature, suggesting that continuing this practice could somehow harm people today.