If those craters could talk, they would have one heck of a hot party on Mercury. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) -- the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919 -- recently approved 10 new names for impact craters on the planet Mercury.
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The new named craters include singer/songwriter John Lennon and author Truman Capote who join existing named crater-holders Bach, Beethoven, Salvador Dali, Victor Hugo and Mark Twain. In all there are now 124 named crater on Mercury. For a complete list look here.
The IAU said that in keeping with the established naming theme for craters on Mercury, all of the newly designated features 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 newly named craters:
* Barney, for Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972), an American-French playwright, poet, and novelist.
* Berlioz, for Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), a French Romantic composer best known for his compositions "Symphonie fantastique" and "Grande messe des morts."
* Calder, for Alexander Calder (1898-1976), an American sculptor best known as the originator of the mobile, a type of kinetic sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended components that move in response to motor power or air currents.
* Capote, for Truman Capote (1924-1984), an American author whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction include the novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and the true-crime novel "In Cold Blood."
* Caruso, for Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), an Italian tenor who sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas and appeared in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic.
* Ensor, for James Sidney Ensor (1860-1949), a Belgian painter and printmaker, considered an important influence on expressionism and surrealism.
* Giambologna, for Jean Boulogne Giambologna (1529-1608), a Dutch sculptor known for his marble and bronze statuary in a late Renaissance or Mannerist style.
* Lennon, for John Winston Ono Lennon (1940-1980), 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.
* Remarque, for Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970), a German author best known for his novel "All Quiet on the Western Front," which depicted the horrors of war from the viewpoint of young German soldiers.
* Vieira da Silva, for Maria Elena Vieira da Silva (1908-1992), a Portuguese-born French painter of intricate, semiabstract compositions.
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