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Mercury’s Firdousi Crater Honors the Persian Poet

Monday 11 October 2010

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/CIW

Mission: MESSENGER

Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera of the Mercury Dual Imaging System.

The crater in the center of the image was named Firdousi in March 2010 in honor of Hakim Abu’l-Qasim Firdawsi Tusi(940-1020), a revered Persian poet and author of the Shahname, the national epic of the Persian people. MESSENGER imaged this crater at an oblique angle as the spacecraft approached Mercury for its third flyby. The view shown here is a cylindrical reprojection. Firdousi is notable for the distinctive chains of small secondary craters that radiate outward from the main impact site. That these chains of secondary craters can still be seen and have not been obliterated by subsequent impact events indicates that Firdousi is a relatively young crater on Mercury’s surface.

Université Paris-Sud 11 Faculté des Sciences GEOPS CNRS
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