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John Lennon Honored by Having a Crater Named After Him on the Planet Mercury

Image courtesy of JohnLennon.com (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of JohnLennon.com (via ABC News Radio)

Picture yourself on the planet Mercury.  If you were able to stroll on the surface of the first planet from the Sun, you'd now be able to explore a crater that's been named after late Beatles star John Lennon .  The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently announced that it has newly christened 10 impact craters on Mercury with the monikers of famous deceased artists and musicians, including one named Lennon after the Fab Four legend.

Since NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft made its first flyby of Mercury in January 2008, the IAU has named a total of 115 craters.

Columbia University professor Sean Solomon is the Principal Investigator of the MESSENGER project, and the man who suggested that a crater be named for Lennon.  He noted about the most recent list of luminaries receiving the homage, "We are particularly pleased that eight of the 10 individuals honored made all or many of their artistic contributions in the 20th Century, the same century in which the MESSENGER mission was conceived, proposed, and approved for flight.  Imagine."

Other honorees include opera singer Enrico Caruso , authors Truman Capote and Erich Maria Remarque , composer Hector Berlioz and sculptor Alexander Calder .  The IAU's criteria for honorees is that they are "deceased artists, musicians, painters and authors who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field and have been recognized as art historically significant figures for more than 50 years."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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