Tolkien is one of the northernmost craters on Mercury, located in the Borealis quadrangle (north pole region) at 88.82 N, 211.08 W. It is 50 km in diameter. It was named after the South African born British writer J. R. R. Tolkien. The name was approved by IAU's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature on August 6, 2012. Since Tolkien is very close to the north pole, and Mercury has almost no axial tilt, Tolkien receives very little sunlight. Evidence from MESSENGER and Earth-based observations indicate that water ice deposits are present in these cold craters including Tolkien.
Photo of the northernmost part of planet Mercury, this shows the temperatures at the North Polar Region, which ranges from >400 K (red) to 50 K (purple). Tolkien is on the left of the image.
|Eponym||J. R. R. Tolkien|
- "Tolkien (crater)". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program., accessed 19 February 2019
- "Permanently Shaded Polar Craters". NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory. 15 November 2012.
- NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington (16 March 2015). "Hot and Cold".