Mercury Craters named after world renowned artists, musicians and authors

Adapted from MESSENGER Mission News (March 26, 2013)

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) — the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919 — recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to assign names to nine impact craters on Mercury. In keeping with the established naming theme for craters on Mercury, all of the newly designated features are named after famous deceased artists, musicians, or authors or other contributors to the humanities.

Global map of Mercury recently released by the NASA Messenger team. The globe on the left was created from the MDIS monochrome surface morphology base map campaign. The globe on the right was produced from the MDIS color base map campaign. Portraits of the nine artists, musicians and authors honored with the name of a crater on the planet. (adapted from NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington & Wikipedia by F. Marchis)

Giant crayons on Mars

A piece of Mars: There are vast plains on Mars that display criss-crossing streaks like this. These are ~5 m (~16 feet) across, give or take. Did an alien drive a dune buggy all over, leaving behind tracks? Nope. These are the distinctive trails made by the passage of dust devils, which act like huge