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New Names for a Second Set of Craters on Mercury
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New Names for a Second Set of Craters on Mercury

November 29, 2008
  • Date Acquired: January 14, 2008
  • Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
  • Scale: Mercury's diameter is 4880 kilometers (3030 miles)

Of Interest: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER team to name 15 craters on Mercury. Read the full news story for additional details about the naming process and the new names. All of the 15 newly named craters were imaged during the mission's first Mercury flyby in January 2008, and the crater locations are shown here on two NAC mosaics. The new crater names are (with links to previously released close-up views of the craters when available):

  • Amaral, for Tarsila do Amaral, Brazilian painter (1886-1973)

  • Beckett, for Clarice Beckett, Australian painter (1887-1935)

  • Dali, for Salvador Dali, Spanish painter (1904-1989)

  • Enwonwu, for Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu, Nigerian sculptor and painter (1921-1994)

  • Glinka, for Mikhail Glinka, Russian composer (1804-1857)

  • Hovnatanian, for Hakop Hovnatanian, Armenian painter (1806-1881)

  • Moody, for Ronald Moody, Jamaican sculptor and painter (1900-1984)

  • Munch, for Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter, printmaker, and draftsman (1863-1944)

  • Navoi, for Alisher Navoi, Uzbek poet (1441-1501)

  • Nawahi, for Joseph Nawahi, Native Hawaiian painter (1842-1896)

  • Oskison, for John Milton Oskison, Cherokee author (1874-1947)

  • Poe, for Edgar Allan Poe, American poet, critic, editor, and author (1809-1849)

  • Qi Baishi, for Qi Baishi, Chinese painter (1864-1957)

  • Raden Saleh, for Raden Saleh, Javanese painter (1807-1880)

  • Sher-Gil, for Amrita Sher-Gil, Indian painter (1913-1941)

The addition of these newly named craters, along with the 12 features named in April, brings the total to 27 newly named surface features for Mercury in 2008. A complete list of named features on Mercury, as well as other bodies in the Solar System, can be found at the U.S. Geological Survey website, the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.


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