The International Astronomers Union (IAU) approved a proposal put forth by scientists working with NASA’s Messenger mission to name a crater on the face of Mercury after Icelandic writer Halldór Kiljan Laxness.
The Laxness crater is situated toward the northern point of the planet and is nearly 26 kilometers in diameter, RÚV reports. Laxness’ crater joins a series of other Mercurial depressions named for significant people from creative fields, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Honoré de Balzac, Ernest Hemingway, and Kandinsky, to name a few.
IAU rules stipulate that all new craters on Mercury must be named after artists who have been dead for at least three years and have experienced at least 50-years of fame.
Laxness penned the popular Icelandic novel “Independent People” and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955. To date he is the sole Icelandic laureate of the Nobel Prize.
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