An Indian by name Gagan Toor was among five winners who won in a contest held by NASA between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15 to name five identified craters on Mercury and the name he suggested was after Enheduanna, a princess poet of the sumerian city of Ur in ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has announced that Enheduanna and four other names — Karsh, Carolan, Kulthum and Rivera — have been selected to name five craters on Mercury. There were thousands of entries and the IAU rider was that the name should be after an artist, composer or a writer who was famous for over 50 years and died at least three years ago.
Enheduanna was an Akkadian princess who lived in ancient Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq and Kuwait), was the earliest known author and poet. Other names selected include Carolan, suggested by Joseph Brusseau and Deane Morrison from the US as well as Fergal Donnelly from Belgium.
The name Rivera was suggested by Rebecca Hare and José Martinez from the US and Ricardo Martinez and Arturo Gutierrez from Mexico. The name Karsh was suggested by Elizabeth Freeman Rosenzweig from the US and ‘Kulthum’ was suggested by Molouk Ba-Isa, a resident of Saudi Arabia, Riana Rakotoarimanana of Switzerland, Giovannelli and Matt Giovannelli from the US.
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature finalised 17 names in the semifinal round and five of them were chosen in the final round.
Carolan was named after Turlough O’Carolan, a 16th to 17th century Irish composer and Rivera was named after Diego Rivera, a Mexican painter and muralist (1920s to 1950s).
Umm Kulthum was an Egyptian singer and film actress who lived since the 1920s to 1970s. Yousuf Karsh was an Armenian–Canadian photographer famous for his contribution to the theatrical lighting techniques.
The data on these craters was sent by NASA spacecraft Messenger, which crashed last month after five years of successful orbit mission around Mercury.The names selected were revealed just hours before NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft was to crash into the surface of the planet at 3:26 p.m. EDT (1926 GMT) on April 30.