Classical albedo features on Mars

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Mars, as seen through a small telescope in 2003, showing the patterns of brightness and color known as albedo features.

The classical albedo features of Mars are the light and dark features that can be seen on the planet Mars through an Earth-based telescope. Before the age of space probes, several astronomers created maps of Mars on which they gave names to the features they could see. The most popular system of nomenclature was devised by Giovanni Schiaparelli, who used names from classical antiquity. Today, the improved understanding of Mars enabled by space probes has rendered many of the classical names obsolete for the purposes of cartography; however, some of the old names are still used to describe geographical features on the planet.

History[edit]

Observing albedo features[edit]

Richard A. Proctor's map of Mars, which named albedo features after astronomers. North is at the bottom, as seen through an inverting telescope.

Early telescopic astronomers, observing Mars from a great distance through primitive instruments (though they were advanced for their day), were limited to studying albedo contrasts on the surface of the planet. These lighter and darker patches rarely correspond to topographic features and in many cases obscure them. The origins of the albedo contrasts were a mystery. The lighter patches at the poles were correctly believed to be a frozen substance, either water or carbon dioxide, but the nature of the dark patches seen against the general reddish tint of Mars was uncertain for centuries. When Giovanni Schiaparelli began observing Mars in 1877, he believed that the darker features were seas, lakes, and swamps and named them accordingly in Latin (mare, lacus, palus etc.). Within a few decades, however, most astronomers came to agree that Mars lacks large bodies of surface water. The dark features were then thought by some to be indications of Martian vegetation, since they changed shape and intensity over the course of the Martian year. They are now known to be areas where the wind has swept away the paler dust, exposing a darker surface, often basaltic rock; so their borders change in response to windstorms on the Martian surface that move the dust around, widening or narrowing the features.

The dust-storms themselves also appear as light patches, can cover vast areas and sometimes last for many weeks; when Mariner 9 arrived in Martian orbit in November 1971 the entire planet was covered by a single enormous dust-storm, with only the peaks of the four or five highest mountains showing above it. This variability may explain many of the differences between telescopic observations over the years.

Early non-classical names[edit]

The first map of Martian albedo features was published in 1840 by Johann Heinrich Mädler and Wilhelm Beer, but they simply labelled the features a, b, c ... without giving them names. Over the next two decades the most prominent features picked up various informal names (such as the Hourglass Sea for our Syrtis Major Planum) but there was no overall system.

Nathaniel Green's 1877 Mars map, which used many of Proctor's names. North is at the bottom.

The first astronomer to name Martian albedo features systematically was Richard A. Proctor, who in 1867 created a map (based in part on the observations of William Rutter Dawes) in which several features were given the names of astronomers who had been involved in mapping Mars. In some cases, the same names were used for multiple features. Proctor's names remained in use for several decades, notably in several early maps drawn by Camille Flammarion in 1876 and Nathaniel Green in 1877.

Schiaparelli's classical names[edit]

Early Schiaparelli map, from an 1888 encyclopedia.

However, within a few decades Proctor's names were superseded by a new scheme devised by Giovanni Schiaparelli, whose observations differed from Proctor's, and who used this difference to justify drawing up an entirely new system of nomenclature. Schiaparelli was an expert on ancient astronomy and geography, and used Latin names, drawn from the myths, history and geography of classical antiquity; dark features were named after ancient seas and rivers, light areas after islands and legendary lands.

Early map by Flammarion and Antoniadi. North is at the bottom.

When E. M. Antoniadi took over as the leading telescopic observer of Mars in the early 20th century, he followed Schiaparelli's names rather than Proctor's, and the Proctorian names quickly became obsolete. In his encyclopedic work La Planète Mars (1930) Antoniadi used all Schiaparelli's names and added more of his own from the same classical sources. However, there was still no 'official' system of names for Martian features.

In 1958, the International Astronomical Union set up an ad hoc committee under Audouin Dollfus, which settled on a list of 128 officially recognised albedo features. Of these, 105 came from Schiaparelli, 2 from Flammarion, 2 from Percival Lowell, and 16 from Antoniadi, with an additional 3 from the committee itself. This involved a considerable amount of pruning; Antoniadi's La Planète Mars had mentioned 558 named features.[1][2][3]

The pictures returned by interplanetary spacecraft, notably the observations made from Martian orbit by Mariner 9 over the course of 1972, have revolutionized the scientific understanding of Mars, and some of the classical albedo features have become obsolete as they do not correspond clearly with the detailed images provided by the spacecraft. However, many of the names used for topographic features on Mars are still based on the classical nomenclature for the feature's location; for instance, the albedo feature 'Ascraeus Lacus' provides the basis of the name of the volcano Ascraeus Mons in roughly the same position.

In addition, since most Earth-based amateur telescopes are not powerful enough to resolve the topographic surface features of Mars, amateur astronomers still use many of the old feature-names to orient themselves and record their observations.

Mars Géolocalisation.jpg
Mars albedo features after the 1958 official list of names, but before the 1972 observations of Mariner 9.

Common feature names[edit]

Classical albedo features on Mars, whose names date back to Schiaparelli (1888 map above) share some boundaries with more recent satellite observations.[4]

Several Latin words involved here are common nouns. These are generally, but not always, second in the name, but are usually ignored in alphabetizing below:

List of albedo features[edit]

Not listed here are the "canals" also observed and named by Schiaparelli, for which see the article Martian canals.

A[edit]

Name Pronunciation Meaning Modern name(s)
Abalos /ˈæbəlɒs/ A no-longer existent island in the North Sea, east of Heligoland Abalos Colles, Abalos Mensa, Abalos Scopuli, Abalos Undae
Achæorum Portus /ˌækˈɔərəm ˈpɔːrtəs/ "Harbor of the Achaeans" Obsolete
Acherusia Palus /ˌækˈrʒiə ˈpləs/ "Marsh of Acherusia", named after the legendary swamps in Greek mythology Obsolete
Achillis Pons /əˈkɪls ˈpɒnz/ "Bridge of Achilles" Obsolete
Mare Acidalium /ˈmɛər ˌæsˈdliəm/ "Sea of Acidalia", named for the fountain Acidalia where the Graces bathed Acidalia Colles, Acidalia Mensa, Acidalia Planitia
Æolis /ˈəls/ a modification of Aeolia, the name of the floating western island of Aiolos, the ruler of the winds Aeolis Mensae, Aeolis Planum
Aëria /ˈɪəriə/ From a poetic name for Egypt Aeria, IAU recognized albedo feature
Ætheria /ˈθɪəriə/ – the land of the living, as referred to in Virgil's Aeneid Aetheria, IAU recognized albedo feature
Æthiopis /ˈθəps/ Land of the Ethiopians Aethiopis, IAU recognized albedo feature
Aganippe Fons /ˌæɡəˈnɪp ˈfɒnz/ "Aganippe's Fountain", legendary home of a Greek naiad Aganippe Fossa
Alcyonia /ˌælsˈniə/ Land of kingfishers. Obsolete
Amazonis /əˈmæzəns/ "Land of the Amazon", legendary warrior women Amazonis Mensa, Amazonis Planitia, Amazonis Sulci
Amenthes /əˈmɛnθz/ Alternate name for Duat, the Egyptian land of the dead Amenthes Cavi, Amenthes Fossae, Amenthes Planum, Amenthes Rupes
Ammonium /əˈmniəm/ Ancient name for the Siwa Oasis Obsolete
Mare Amphitrites /ˈmɛər ˌæmfˈtrtz/ "Sea of Amphitrite", a Greek sea-goddess Amphitrites Patera
Lucus Angitiæ /ˈljuːkəs ænˈɪʃɪ/ "Grove of Angitia", named after the snake goddess Obsolete
Depressiones Aoniæ /dˌprɛʃˈnz ˈni/ "Lowlands of the Muses", who came from Helicon in Aonia[citation needed] Obsolete
Aonius Sinus /ˈniəs ˈsnəs/ "Bay of the Muses"[citation needed] Aonia Planum, Aonia Terra
Aponi Fons /ˈæpən ˈfɒnz/ Roman name for the Bagni d'Abano, warm-water baths near Padua Obsolete
Aquæ Apollinares /ˈkw əˌpɒlˈnɛərz/ "Apollo's Waters"; Roman name for the Bagni di Stigliano baths in Canale Monterano, Tuscany[citation needed] Obsolete
Aquæ Calidæ /ˈkw ˈkæld/ "Hot spring" Obsolete
Aquarii Depressio /əˈkwɛəri dˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of Aquarius" Obsolete
Arabia /əˈrbiə/ Arabian peninsula Arabia Terra
Arachoti Fons /ˌærəˈkt ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of Arachotus", a river in Afghanistan[citation needed] Obsolete
Aram /ˈɛərəm/ Aram, Biblical land of the Aramaeans Aram Chaos
Arcadia /ɑːrˈkdiə/ From Arcadia, a region of the central Peloponnesus Arcadia Dorsa, Arcadia Chaos
Arduenna /ˌɑːrdjuːˈɛnə/ Latin names for the Ardennes forests Obsolete
Arethusa Fons /ˌærˈθjuːzə ˈfɒnz/ "Arethusa's Fountain", after the Greek nymph Obsolete
Ariadnes Depressio /ˌæriˈædnz dˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of Ariadne", a Greek heroine Ariadnes Colles
Argyre I /ˈɑːrr ˈprmə/ One of a pair of legendary islands, Chryse and Argyre, located in the Indian Ocean and said to be made of gold and silver Argyre Cavi, Argyre Planitia, Argyre Rupes, Argyre quadrangle
Argyre II /ˈɑːrr sˈkʌndə/ "Second Silver Land" (see above) Obsolete
Argyroporos /ˌɑːrˈrɒpərɒs/ "Silver Strait" Obsolete
Aromatum Promontorium /əˈrɒmətəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of Fragrant Spices"[citation needed] Aromatum Chaos
Arsia Silva /ˈɑːrʃiə ˈsɪlvə/ Arsia Silva, forest northwest of Rome where the Tarquinii were defeated Arsia Chasmata, Arsia Mons, Arsia Sulci
Arsinoës Depressio /ɑːrˈsɪnz dˈprɛʃi/ Lowland of Arsinoë, the name of various Greek and Egyptian figures Arsinoes Chaos
Artynia Fons /ɑːrˈtɪniə fɒnz/ "Artynia's Fountain", referring to Lake Artynia in Asia Minor Artynia Catena
Aryn Promontorium /ˈɛərn ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of Aryn" Obsolete
Fastigium Aryn /fæsˈtɪiəm ˈɛərn/ "Summit of Aryn" Obsolete
Ascræus Lacus /æsˈkrəs ˈlkəs/ "Ascraeus Lake", a poetic paraphase of "heliconian" or "rural"[citation needed] Ascraeus Chasmata, Ascraeus Mons, Ascraeus Sulci
Astræ Lacus /ˈæstr ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Astra", Greek star-gods[citation needed] Obsolete
Atalantes Depressio /ætˈlæntz dˈprɛʃi/ Lowland of Atalanta, Greek heroine Obsolete
Nix Atlantica /ˈnɪks ætˈlæntkə/ "Snows of Atlas",[citation needed] a Titan in Greek mythology Obsolete
Atlantidum Sinus /ætˈlæntdəm ˈsnəs/ "Bay of the Atlantises" (just south of Atlantis I and II, see below) Obsolete
Atlantis I /ætˈlænts ˈprmə/ "First Atlantis", mythical drowned land Atlantis Chaos
Atlantis II /ætˈlænts sˈkʌndə/ "Second Atlantis" (see above) Atlantis Chaos
Augila /ˈɔːlə/ Awjila, a city in Cyrenaica Obsolete
Aurea Cherso /ˈɔːriə ˈkɜːrrs/ "Golden Peninsula", ancient name for the Malay Peninsula Obsolete
Aureum Cornu /ˈɔːriəm ˈkɔːrnjuː/ "Golden Horn", inlet dividing Constantinople Aureum Chaos
Auroræ Sinus /ɒˈrɔər ˈsnəs/ "Bay of the Dawn" Aurorae Planum, Aurorae Chaos
Ausonia /ɒˈzniə/ From a poetic name for Italy Ausonia Cavus, Ausonia Mensa, Ausonia Montes
Mare Australe /ˈmɛər ɒsˈtrl/ "Southern Sea" Chasma Australe, Australe Lingula, Australe Mensa, Australe Montes, Planum Australe, Australe Scopuli, Australe Sulci, Mare Australe quadrangle

B-E[edit]

Name Pronunciation Meaning
Baltia /ˈbælʃiə/ From a name for the regions near the Baltic Sea Baltia, IAU recognized albedo feature
Bandusiæ Fons /bænˈdjuːʒɪ ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of Bandusia", title of a poem by Horace Obsolete
Bathys Portus /ˈbθs ˈpɔːrtəs/ "Deep Harbor", the port of Aulis in Boeotia[citation needed] Bathys Planum, changed to Icaria Planum
Benacus Lacus /bˈnkəs ˈlkəs/ "Lake Benacus" (Lago di Garda in northern Italy) Obsolete
Biblis Fons /ˈbɪbls ˈfɒnz/ "Biblis Fountain", a Carian well near Miletus[citation needed] Biblis Patera, Biblis Tholus
Bosporium Promontorium /bɒsˈpɔəriəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of the Bosphorus"
Bosporus/Bosphorus Gemmatus /ˈbɒspərəs, ˈbɒsfərəs ˈmtəs/ "Bejewelled Bosphorus" Bosporos Planum, Bosporus Regio, Bosporos Rupes
Brangæna /brænˈnə/ Obsolete
Casius Mt Casius in Egypt, famous in antiquity for the nearby coastal marshes in which whole armies were reputed to have drowned Casius quadrangle
Castalia Fons /kæsˈtliə fɒnz/
Cebrenia /sˈbrniə/ Land of Cebrenia near Troy Cebrenia quadrangle
Cecropia /sˈkrpiə/ "Land of Cecrops"
Ceraunius /sˈrɔːniəs/
Chalce /ˈkæls/
Charitum Promontorium /ˈkærtəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of the Graces"
Chironis Fretum /kˈrns ˈfrtəm/ "Strait of Chiron"
Mare Chronium /ˈmɛər ˈkrniəm/
Chryse /ˈkrs/ One of a pair of legendary islands, Chryse and Argyre, located in the Indian Ocean and said to be made of gold and silver Chryse Planitia
Chrysokeras /krˈsɒkrəs/ The Golden Horn
Cimmeria Insula /sˈmɪəriə ˈɪnsjᵿlə/ "Cimmerian Island"
Mare Cimmerium /ˈmɛər sˈmɪəriəm/ "Cimmerian Sea", named after an ancient Thracian seafaring people Terra Cimmeria
Circaeum Promontorium /sərˈsəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of Circe"
Clepsydra Fons /klɛpˈsdrə ˈfɒnz/ "Water-clock fountain", a well in the Athenian acropolis.
Coprates River Coprates, now called the Dez, in modern Iran Coprates quadrangle
Coracis Portus /ˈkɒrəss ˈpɔːrtəs/ "Haven of Corax"
Cyane Fons /ˈsən ˈfɒnz/ "Cyane fountain", a spring in Sicily from which the Cyane river sprang, named for a nymph.
Cydonia /sˈdniə/ poetic name for Crete Cydonia, Cydonia Mensae, Cydonia Labyrinthus, Cydonia Colles
Cynia Lacus
Danaïdum Depressio /dəˈnədəm dˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of the daughters of Danaüs"
Daphne /ˈdæfn/ From Daphne ("bay laurel"), a nymph pursued by Apollo.
Deucalionis Regio /ˌdjᵿklˈns ˈri/ "Region of Deucalion"
Dia /ˈdə/ An island north of Crete
Diacria /dˈkriə/ Diacria highlands around Marathon Diacria quadrangle
Dioscuria /ˌdəsˈkjᵿəriə/ "Land of the Dioscuri"
Eden /ˈdən/ From Eden, the biblical paradise
Edom /ˈdəm/ From Edom, an ancient kingdom in modern Jordan
Edom Promontorium /ˈidəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of Edom"
Electris /ˈlɛktrs/ The principal island of the "Electrides", islands said to produce amber.
Elysium /ˈlɪʒiəm/ From Elysium, the Greek land of dead heroes Elysium Planitia, Elysium Mons, Elysium Fossae, Elysium quadrangle
Eridania /ˌɛrˈdniə/ Land of the River Eridanus Eridania quadrangle
Mare Erythræum /ˈmɛər ˌɛrˈθrəm/ "Red Sea"

F-L[edit]

Name Pronunciation Meaning
Famæ Depressio /ˈfm dˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of Fame"
Ferentinæ Lucus /ˌfɛrnˈtn ˈljuːkəs/ "Grove of Ferentina"
Lucus Feronia "Grove of Wild Beasts"
Flevo Lacus /ˈflv ˈlkəs/
Gallinaria Silva /ˌɡælˈnɛəriə ˈsɪlvə/
Mare Hadriaticum /ˈmɛər ˌhdrˈætkəm/ "Adriatic Sea" Aka Hadriaticum Mare
Hammonis Cornu /həˈmns ˈkɔːrnjuː/ "Horn of Ammon"
Hellas /ˈhɛləs/ "Greece" Hellas Planitia, Hellas Montes, Hellas quadrangle
Heræum Promontorium /hˈrəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of Hera"
Hercynia Silva /hɜːrrˈsɪniə ˈsɪlvə/ Hercynian Forest
Herculis Columnæ /ˈhɜːrrkjᵿls kɒˈlʌmni/ "Pillars of Hercules"
Herculis Pons /ˈhɜːrrkjᵿls ˈpɒnz/ "Bridge of Hercules"
Hesperia /hɛsˈpɪəriə/ "Land of the Setting Sun" Hesperia Planum
Hesperidum Lacus /hɛsˈpɛrdəm ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Hesperides
Hibe /ˈhb/
Hippocrene Fons /ˌhɪpəˈkrn ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of Hippocrene", near Mount Helicon
Hipponitis Palus
Horarum Promontorium /hɒˈrɛərəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of the Hours"
Hypelaus /ˌhɪpˈləs/ A fountain in Ephesus.
Iapygia /ˌəˈpɪiə/ Salento in Italy, ancient home of the Iapyges Iapygia quadrangle
Icaria /ˈkɛəriə/ Icaria Fossae, Icaria Planum
Mare Icarium /ˈmɛər ˈkɛəriəm/
Ierne /ˈɜːrrn/ A name for Ireland
Isidis Regio /ˈɪsds ˈri/ "Region of Isis" Isidis Planitia
Ismenius Lacus /zˈmniəs ˈlkəs/ The Ismenian Spring near Thebes where Cadmus slew the guardian dragon Ismenius Lacus quadrangle
Jani Fretum /ˈn ˈfrtəm/ "Strait of Janus" Iani Chaos
Juventæ Fons /ʊˈvɛnt ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of Youth" a.k.a. Fons Juventæ Juventae Chasma
Labeatis Lacus /lbˈts ˈlkəs/ Lake of the Labeates, a people of Illyria
Lausonius Lacus
Lemuria /lˈmjʊəriə/ From Lemuria, a fictional sunken land in the Pacific or Indian Ocean
Lerne /ˈlɜːrrn/
Libya /ˈlɪbiə/ "Libya" Libya Montes
Lucrinus Lacus The Lucrine Lake in Roman Italy
Lunæ Lacus /ˈljuːn ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Moon" a.k.a. Lacus Lunæ Lunae Palus quadrangle

M-N[edit]

Name Pronunciation Meaning Modern name(s)
Mæisia Silva
Mapharitis
Mareotis /ˌmærˈts/ "Land about Mareota", in Lower Egypt.
Margaritifer Sinus /ˌmɑːrɡəˈrɪtfər ˈsnəs/ "Pearlbearing Bay" Margaritifer Terra, Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle
Lucus Maricæ /ˈljuːkəs məˈrs/ "Grove of Maríca", a nymph of Latium.
Memnonia /mɛmˈnniə/ "Land of Memnon" Memnonia quadrangle
Meroë Insula /ˈmɛr ˈɪnsjᵿlə/ "Island of Meroe"
Messeis Fons
Lacus Mœris /ˈlkəs ˈmɪərs/ Lake Moeris, a lake in the Egyptian Fayum
Mons Argenteus /ˈmɒnz ɑːrˈɛntiəs/ "Silver mountain"
Neith Regio /ˈnθ ˈri/ "Region of Neith"
Nepheles Depressio /ˈnɛflz dˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of cloud"
Nereïdum Promontorium /nˈrdəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of the Nereids
Nerigos /ˈnɛrɡɒs/ Name of a fictional country, supposedly in or near Scandinavia
Nessonis Lacus
Niliacus Lacus /nˈləkəs ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Nile"
Nitriæ /ˈntrɪ/
Nix Atlantica /ˈnɪks ætˈlæntkə/ "Atlantic Snow"
Nix Olympica /ˈnɪks ɒˈlɪmpkə/ "Olympian Snow" Olympus Mons
Noachis /ˈnəks/ "Land of Noah" Noachis quadrangle, Noachis Terra
Nodus Gordii /ˈndəs ˈɡɔːrdi/ "Gordian Knot"
Noti Sinus /ˈnt ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Notus"
Novissima Thyle /nˈvɪsmə ˈθli/ "Newest Thule"
Nuba Lacus /ˈnjuːbə ˈlkəs/

O-S[edit]

Name Pronunciation Meaning
Mare Oceanidum /ˈmɛər ˌʃˈændəm/ "Sea of the Oceanids"
Octantis Depressio /ɒkˈtænts dˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of Octans"
Œnotria /ˈntriə/
Ogygis Regio /ˈɒs ˈri/ "Region of Ogyges"
Ophir /ˈfər/ From Ophir, a biblical land of gold
Ortygia /ɔːrˈtɪiə/
Oxia Palus /ˈɒkʃiə ˈpləs/ Oxeia, a Greek Island in Ionian Sea Oxia Palus quadrangle
Palicorum Lacus /ˌpælˈkɔərəm ˈlkəs/
Palinuri Fretum /ˌpælˈnjʊər ˈfrtəm/ "Strait of Palinurus"
Palinuri Sinus /ˌpælˈnjʊər ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Palinurus"
Pallas Lacus /ˌpæləs ˈlkəs/
Panchaia /pæŋˈkə/ From the name of an island supposed to be in South Arabia
Phaëthontis /ˌfˈθɒnts/ "Land of Phaethon or Phaethon (son of Eos)" Phaethontis quadrangle
Phlegra /ˈflɡrə/ From a district in Macedonia.
Campi Phlegræi /ˈkæmp flˈɡr/ "Fields of Phlegra"
Phœnicis Lacus /fˈnss ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Phoenix" a.k.a. Lacus Phœnicis Phoenicis Lacus quadrangle
Phrixi Regio /ˈfrɪks ˈri/ "Region of Phrixus"
Piscis Depressio /ˈpss dˈprɛʃi/ "Depression of the Fish"
Depressio Pontica /dˈprɛʃi ˈpɒntkə/ "Lowland of Pontus"
Promethei Sinus /prˈmθi ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Prometheus" Promethei Terra
Propontis /prˈpɒnts/ From an old name for the Sea of Marmara
Protei Regio /ˈprti ˈri/ "Region of Proteus"
Pyrrhæ Regio /ˈpɪri ˈri/ "Region of Pyrrha"
Sinus Sabæus /ˈsnəs səˈbəs/ "Bay of Sheba" Aka Sabaeus Sinus Terra Sabaea, Sinus Sabaeus quadrangle
Scandia /ˈskændiə/ From a name for Skåne or Scandinavia
Scheria Insula /ˈskɪəriə ˈɪnsjᵿlə/ "Scheria Island"
Semiramidis Lacus /ˌsɛmˈræmds ˈlkəs/ "Lake of Semiramis"
Serapium
Simoëntis Sinus /ˌsɪmˈɛnts ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Simois"
Sirbonis Palus The army-swallowing Serbonian Bog near Mt Casius in Egypt Obsolete
Mare Sirenum /ˈmɛər sˈrnəm/ "Sea of Sirens" Terra Sirenum
Socratis Promontorium /ˈsɒkrəts ˌprɒmənˈtɔəriəm/ "Cape of Socrates"
Solis Fons /ˈsls ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of the Sun"
Solis Lacus /ˈsls ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Sun" Solis Planum
Syrtis Major /ˈsɜːrrts ˈmər/ a Libyan gulf, now Gulf of Sidra Syrtis Major Planum, Syrtis Major quadrangle
Syrtis Minor /ˈsɜːrrts ˈmnər/ now Gulf of Gabès in Tunisia. a.k.a. Syrtis Parva

T-Z[edit]

Name Pronunciation Meaning
Tempe /ˈtɛmp/ Vale of Tempe, Greece Tempe Terra
Tharsis /ˈθɑːrss/ "Tarshish" ancient source of ship-loads of silver. Possibly Tartessos or Sardinia Tharsis Montes, Tharsis quadrangle
Thaumasia /θɔːˈmʒə/ "Land of Wonders" Thaumasia quadrangle
Thyle I /ˈθl ˈprmə/ "First Thule"
Thyle II /ˈθl sˈkʌndə/ "Second Thule"
Thyles Collis /ˈθlz ˈkɒls/ "Hill of Thule"
Thyles Mons /ˈθlz ˈmɒnz/ "Mountain of Thule"
Thymiamata /ˌθɪmiˈæmətə/ "Incenses"
Tiphys Fretum /ˈtfs ˈfrtəm/
Titanum Sinus /tˈtnəm ˈsnəs/ "Bay of the Titans"
Tithonius Lacus /tˈθniəs ˈlkəs/
Trinythios
Trivii Fons /ˈtrɪvi ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of the Crossroads" (east of Trivium Charontis)
Trivium Charontis /ˈtrɪviəm kəˈrɒnts/ "Crossroads of Charon"
Mare Tyrrhenum /ˈmɛər tˈrnəm/ "Tyrrhenian Sea" Mare Tyrrhenum quadrangle, Tyrrhenus Mons, Tyrrhena Terra
Uchronia /jᵿˈkrniə/ "Nowhen"
Ulyxis Fretum /jᵿˈlɪkss ˈfrtəm/ "Strait of Ulysses"
Utopia /jᵿˈtpiə/ "Nowhere, Utopia" Utopia Planitia
Vulcani Pelagus /vʌlˈkn ˈpɛləɡəs/ "Sea of Vulcan"
Xanthi Sinus /ˈzænθ ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Xanthus" Xanthe Terra
Xisuthri Regio /zˈsθr ˈri/ "Region of Xisuthrus"
Yaonis Regio /ˈjəns ˈri/ "Region of Emperor Yao"
Zephyria /zˈfɪriə/ "Land of the West Wind (Zephyr)"

Interactive Mars map[edit]

Acidalia Planitia Acidalia Planitia Alba Mons Amazonis Planitia Aonia Terra Arabia Terra Arcadia Planitia Arcadia Planitia Argyre Planitia Elysium Mons Elysium Planitia Hellas Planitia Hesperia Planum Isidis Planitia Lucas Planum Lyot (crater) Noachis Terra Olympus Mons Promethei Terra Rudaux (crater) Solis Planum Tempe Terra Terra Cimmeria Terra Sabaea Terra Sirenum Tharsis Montes Utopia Planitia Valles Marineris Vastitas Borealis Vastitas BorealisMap of Mars
Interactive imagemap of the global topography of Mars. Hover your mouse to see the names of over 25 prominent geographic features, and click to link to them. Coloring of the base map indicates relative elevations, based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. Reds and pinks are higher elevation (+3 km to +8 km); yellow is 0 km; greens and blues are lower elevation (down to −8 km). Whites (>+12 km) and browns (>+8 km) are the highest elevations. Axes are latitude and longitude; Poles are not shown.
(also see: Mars Rovers map) (viewdiscuss)


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of Planetary Nomenclature". planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov. International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN). Retrieved 3 Dec 2016. 
  2. ^ "Martian Feature Name Nomenclature". www.marsartgallery.com. Retrieved 3 Dec 2016. 
  3. ^ United States Geological Survey Astrogeology Program, "Mars Nomenclature: Albedo Feature", Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
  4. ^ "Surface Features on Mars: Ground-Based Albedo and Radar Compared With Mariner 9 Topography". 79 (26). Journal of Geophysical Research. 1974: 3907–3916. Bibcode:1974JGR....79.3907F. doi:10.1029/JB079i026p03907. 

Further reading[edit]

  • The Origins of Martian Nomenclature, T. L. MacDonald, 1971.
  • The Planet Mars: A History of Observation and Discovery, William Sheehan.

External links[edit]