NASA's MESSENGER mission and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) are giving schools the chance to officially name five scientifically significant craters on Mercury. The deadline for submission is 2015 January 15.
Schools and school districts can participate by visiting the contest website:
Link >>> http://namecraters.carnegiescience.edu
and filling out the online form. Submissions must be in accordance with IAU rules, which require Mercury's impact craters be named in honor of people who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to the arts and humanities; who have been recognized as historically significant figures for more than 50 years; and who have been dead at least three years. Learn more about the IAU's naming conventions and read the official rules, here:
Link >>> http://namecraters.carnegiescience.edu/rules-for-naming-craters-on-mercury
The entries will be reviewed by MESSENGER team representatives and expert panels, and 15 finalists' names will be submitted to the IAU for selection of the 5 winners. Winning submissions will be announced in late March / April 2015.
While only a few submissions will be selected, teachers should consider the myriad teachable moments afforded by this competition in terms of researching important persons in the arts and humanities; learning about Mercury, planetary science and the MESSENGER spacecraft.
The MESSENGER spacecraft arrived at Mercury in March 2011 and became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet, returning thousands of images and yielding a high-resolution global map. This spring, the historic planetary mission will come to its planned mission end as the tiny craft succumbs to gravity and impacts Mercury. It is the goal of the MESSENGER education and public outreach team to celebrate this remarkable story of human exploration with the public in order to foster awareness of the mission and planetary science, and to recognize that human exploration over the ages has been undertaken across a trans-disciplinary tapestry of the arts and sciences.
Learn more about the MESSENGER mission at:
Link >>> http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/index.php
MESSENGER was designed and built by the Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md. The lab manages and operates the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The mission is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed for the directorate by the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
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