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As pop art icon Andy Warhol said, “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes,” and so here’s an image of the crater on Mercury that now bears his name, set up in the style of one of his multicolored silkscreens.
Warhol is one of 23 craters on Mercury to be recently approved for names by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), joining other notable artists, authors and musicians like Gustav Holst, Rene Magritte and Dr. Seuss who now have craters named in their honor on the first rock from the Sun.
95 km (59 miles) in diameter, Warhol crater features a large, elongated central peak, stepped walls and many of the curious erosions known as hollows.
The original image, seen at top left, was acquired by NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft on October 21, 2011, using its Wide-Angle Camera Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) instrument.
With the new list of 23 named craters, there are now 76 officially (and artistically) titled craters on Mercury since MESSENGER’s first pass of the planet in January 2008.
See the original release by the MESSENGER mission team here.
“I’m bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is “In 15 minutes everybody will be famous.”
– Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987)
Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington