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Hokusai (crater)

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Subject: List of craters with ray systems
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Hokusai (crater)

Hokusai (crater)
Planet Mercury

58°18′N 342°18′W / 58.3°N 342.3°W / 58.3; -342.3Coordinates: 58°18′N 342°18′W / 58.3°N 342.3°W / 58.3; -342.3

Diameter 95 km
Eponym Katsushika Hokusai[1]

Hokusai is a rayed impact crater on Mercury, which was discovered in 1991 by ground-based radar observations conducted at Goldstone Observatory.[2] The crater was initially known as feature B. Its appearance was so dissimilar to other impact craters that it was once thought to be a shield volcano. However improved radar images by the Arecibo Observatory obtained later in 2000–2005 clearly showed that feature B is an impact crater with an extensive ray system. The bright appearance of rays in the radio images indicates that the crater is geologically young; fresh impact ejecta has a rough surface, which leads to strong scattering of radio waves.[2]

Hokusai is named after Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), a Japanese artist and printmaker of the Edo period.[1] The name Hokusai was suggested by radar astronomer John K. Harmon.[3] The crater has a diameter of about 100 km; the rays extend for thousands kilometers, covering much of the northern hemisphere.[4]


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