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New Names for Features on Mercury
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New Names for Features on Mercury

August 21, 2008

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved new names for features on Mercury that were all seen for the first time in images taken by MESSENGER during the spacecraft's first flyby of the planet. Read the full press release for additional details about the naming process and the origin of the names, and visit the U.S. Geological Survey website, the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, to learn about all of the named planetary features in the Solar System.

This image, produced by mosaicking many Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images together, shows the locations of the newly named features, along with the craters Basho, Mozart, and Tolstoj, first seen by the Mariner 10 mission. Close-up views of many of these features are available in the MESSENGER website image gallery. In particular, look at these previous releases for NAC high-resolution images of Apollodorus, Beagle Rupes, Eminescu, Mozart, Neruda, Pantheon Fossae, Raditladi, and Sander.