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Rachmaninoff in Concert with Recently Named Craters on
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Rachmaninoff in Concert with Recently Named Craters on Mercury

May 20, 2010

Of Interest: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved the name Rachmaninoff for an intriguing double-ring basin on Mercury. This basin, first imaged in its entirety during MESSENGER's third Mercury flyby, was quickly identified as a feature of high scientific interest, because of its fresh appearance, its distinctively colored interior plains, and the extensional troughs on its floor. At the NASA science update to the media on November 3, 2009, this then-unnamed basin featured prominently in the imaging results presented, with both an enhanced-color image and a reprojected mosaic released and discussed. The basin's name honors the Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943). Rachmaninoff joins ten other names for Mercury craters approved this month.