When astronomers and planetary geologists first see a new terrain feature on Venus, they typically assign both a descriptive term (like "crater," "corona" or "mons") as well as a particular name. Since Venus was the Roman goddess of love, scientists have decided to name its features after famous females throughout history. Most of the large features, like the Venusian land masses Aphrodite Terra and Ishtar Terra, have been named for love goddesses from other cultures. Although names for many of the craters have already been proposed, the International Astronomical Union, which is the sole authority for assigning names to celestial bodies and the surface features on them, will not meet to make these names official until 1993. The Magellan Project Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is now open to other name suggestions.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 1991 by the Iowa Academy of Science
"Science Notes - Student Opportunities to Name Features on Venus,"
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 28
, Article 11.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol28/iss3/11