Imagine a crater named John Lennon – it’s easy if you try

The 59-mile-wide John Lennon crater on Mercury photographed by the orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The International Astronomical Union, the final authority on the names of planets and satellites in the solar system since 1919, recently approved 10 new names for craters on the planet Mercury. All the crater names are in keeping with the established theme of naming features 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 Mercury MESSENGER spacecraft science team proposed the latest bunch, one of which will go to John Lennon (1940-1980), who helped found the Beatles, the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in the history of popular music.

Other craters named in the recent update include Capote after Truman Capote (1924-1984), author of “In Cold Blood” and other books, and Caruso, for the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), whose incredible voice resounded in opera houses across Europe and the Americas.


John Lennon – Imagine video 

Lennon Crater is 59 miles (95 km) in diameter and located in Mercury’s southern hemisphere. The crater is filled with melted rock from the impact and displays a central peak and lovely terraced walls. You can imagine being there by reading by clicking this whimsical version of Lennon’s “Imagine” lyrics that appears on the MESSENGER website:

Imagine some ejecta
It isn’t hard to do
Terraced walls and impact melt
Secondary craters too
Imagine central peaks
Rising above the floor…

You may say I’m a complex crater
But I’m not the only one
Someday more will join us
On the planet closest to the sun.

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

5 thoughts on “Imagine a crater named John Lennon – it’s easy if you try

  1. Craters named after musicians. How about Guiseppi Verdi. The little town of Verdi was named after this famous Italian composer. My family has quite a history in little Verdi, MN.

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