Kuiper (Mercurian crater)

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Kuiper (MESSENGER) bright.png
Kuiper photographed by MESSENGER
Planet Mercury
Coordinates 11°21′S 31°14′W / 11.35°S 31.23°W / -11.35; -31.23Coordinates: 11°21′S 31°14′W / 11.35°S 31.23°W / -11.35; -31.23
Diameter 60 km
Eponym Gerard Kuiper

Kuiper is a moderate-size crater with a central peak cluster located at 11°21′S 31°14′W / 11.35°S 31.23°W / -11.35; -31.23 on Mercury. It is 60 km in diameter and was named after Gerard Kuiper in 1976.[1] It is one of very few Mercurian craters which are named not after artists, and one of very few cases when the same name is used for 3 craters (there are also Kuiper craters on Mars and on the Moon).

Kuiper crater has the highest recorded albedo of any region on the planet's surface and has a prominent ray system, suggesting that it is one of the youngest craters.[2]

Kuiper overlies the northern rim of the larger crater Murasaki.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kuiper". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  2. ^ De Hon, R.A.; D.H. Scott & J.R. Underwood, Jr. (1981). "Geologic Map of the Kuiper (H-6) Quadrangle of Mercury".  (Description)