India's Gagan Toor suggests winning name for Mercury crater

India's Gagan Toor suggests winning name for Mercury crater

Enheduanna, the name suggested by Gagan Toor of India, is one of the winners of a contest to name five new craters on the planet Mercury.

Toor chose the name after Enheduanna, a princess of the Sumerian city of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Kuwait), the first known poet and author, according to The other four winning crater names are: Carolan, Karsh, Kulthum and Rivera.

They are named after:

* Turlough O'Carolan, an Irish composer in the late 16th and early 17th centuries;

* Yousuf Karsh, an Armenian-Canadian, who was a famous portrait photographer in the 20th century;

* Umm Kulthum, an Egyptian singer, songwriter and film actress, who was known for her work between the 1920s and the 1970s; and

* Diego Rivera, a Mexican painter and muralist, who was active between the 1920s and 1950s.

The winners were announced just hours before NASA's Messenger spacecraft was expected to crash onto the surface of Mercury, ending the probe's four-year observation of the rocky planet.

The names were selected by the public outreach team for the spacecraft out of thousands of submissions to an open competition that closed in January.

Messenger, which captured stunning images of Mercury's cratered surface, crashed into the surface of the planet at 1926 GMT on April 30.

The new crater names have been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The rules of the IAU state that Mercury features must be named after an artist, composer or writer who was famous for more than 50 years and died at least three years ago.

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