Name Those Craters

One of the craters on Mercury needing a name. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
One of the craters on Mercury needing a name. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The image above is one of FIVE craters on Mercury needing a name. The MESSENGER mission team is seeking suggestions from the public – you and me!

The contest runs until 15 January 2015.

There are rules though, not just any name will do:

Impact craters are named in honor of people who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to the Arts and Humanities (visual artists, writers, poets, dancers, architects, musicians, composers and so on). The person must have been recognized as an art-historically significant figure for more than 50 years and must have been dead for at least three years. We are particularly interested in submissions that honor people from nations and cultural groups that are under-represented amongst the currently-named craters.

Be sure to read the rules section carefully and good luck!

MESSENGER Crater Naming Contest website.

About the image above from MESSENGER:

his image was acquired as part of MDIS’s high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence-angle base map complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER’s primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map was acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.

Date acquired: July 23, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 251543770
Image ID: 2254442
Instrument: Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
WAC filter: 7 (748 nanometers)
Center Latitude: 47.62°
Center Longitude: 326.8° E
Resolution: 212 meters/pixel
Scale: The large crater towards the decanter of the image is approximately 105 km (65 mi.) in diameter.
Incidence Angle: 86.9°
Emission Angle: 50.2°
Phase Angle: 137.2°

The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft’s seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System’s innermost planet. During the first two years of orbital operations, MESSENGER acquired over 150,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

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