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Crater on planet Mercury newly named for a Beatle

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The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced Dec. 19 that a crater on the planet Mercury has just been named for John Lennon.

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The IAU, which describes itself as “the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature” since its founding in 1919, said it recently approved a proposal from the Messenger Science Team to assign names of a group of 10 artists, musicians, painters and authors to 10 impact craters on Mercury. One was given to Lennon, who it described in the announcement as “an English songwriter, musician, and singer who rose to worldwide fame as a founding member of the Beatles, the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in the history of popular music.”

The craters are named after "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," the group said. Others also having craters on Mercury now named after them include author Truman Capote, tenor Enrico Caruso, sculptor Alexander Calder and composer Hector Berlioz.

(Thanks to Temple Tom.)

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