The Name a Crater on Mercury Competition is closed and the submissions are in! According to Bob Hirshon, Program Director at AAAS, the MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach team received over 3500 entries from 110 countries around the world. (MESSENGER is the NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of Mercury.) So what happens next?
Since the International Astronomical Union—the group in charge of naming space objects—will make the final decisions about these five craters' names, the MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach team's goal is to provide the IAU with a list of ten potential names. Right now, the 3500 entries are being reviewed and judged by a panel of experts.
Hirshon says that the announcement of the winners will be made as part of the MESSENGER spacecraft's end of mission events, which will occur when the spacecraft impacts the surface of Mercury. Currently this is expected to be between the end of March and the end of April.
Did you enter the Name a Crater on Mercury Competition?
IMAGE CREDIT: NASA/JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY/CARNEGIE INSTITUTION OF WASHINGTON
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON AAAS SCIENCE NETLINKS.