Composer Hector Berlioz and tenor Enrico Caruso are to have craters on the planet Mercury named after them by the International Astronomical Union, the body in charge of naming planetary features.
They feature in a list of ten newly titled craters on the nearest planet to the sun named after ‘deceased artists, musicians, painters, and authors who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field and have been recognized as art-historically significant figures for more than 50 years’.
Among the other names being remembered are John Lennon (who already has a crater on the Moon named after him), the authors Truman Capote and Erich Maria Remarque and the sculptor Alexander Calder.
More than 120 craters on Mercury have been named since the first flyby of the planet in 2008 by the Messenger spacecraft, 46 of which now bear the names of composers and musicians, including Beethoven, Bartók, Purcell and Wagner. The medieval music theorist Guido of Arezzo has also been commemorated.