Curiosity rover's Mars landing area named Yellowknife

Yellowknife is now not only the capital of the Northwest Territories, it is also a small chunk of land on Mars.

NASA said Thursday it has named the spot on Mars where the Curiosity rover landed Aug. 5 after the city on Great Slave Lake.

“Yellowknife is the city in northern Canada that was the starting point for many of the great geological expeditions to map the oldest rocks in North America,” said a NASA news release.

Before landing, the mission's science team began creating a geological map of about 390 square kilometres within Gale Crater, including the landing area.

The mapping project divided the area into 151 quadrangles of about 2.6 square kilometres each. Curiosity landed in the quadrangle called Yellowknife.