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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.


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]

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

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 what is now Syrtis Major Planum) but there was no overall system.

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 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.

Note that the pronunciation refers to English pronunciation, not Latin or Italian.


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 /ˌækˈɔːrəm ˈpɔːrtəs/ "Harbor of the Achaeans"
Acherusia Palus /ˌækɪˈrʒiə ˈpləs/ "Marsh of Acherusia", named after the legendary swamps in Greek mythology
Achillis Pons /əˈkɪlɪs ˈpɒnz/ "Bridge of Achilles"
Mare Acidalium /ˈmɛər ˌæsɪˈdliəm/ "Sea of Acidalia", named for the fountain Acidalia where the Graces bathed Acidalia Colles, Acidalia Mensa, Acidalia Planitia
Æolis /ˈəlɪs/ 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 /ɪˈθɪəriə/ – the land of the living, as referred to in Virgil's Aeneid Aetheria, IAU recognized albedo feature
Æthiopis /ɪˈθəpɪs/ 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 /ˌælsiˈniə/ Land of kingfishers.
Amazonis /əˈmæzənɪs/ "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
Mare Amphitrites /ˈmɛər ˌæmfɪˈtrtz/ "Sea of Amphitrite", a Greek sea-goddess Amphitrites Patera
Lucus Angitiæ /ˈljkəs ænˈɪʃɪ/ "Grove of Angitia", named after the snake goddess
Depressiones Aoniæ /dɪˌprɛʃiˈnz ˈnɪ/ "Lowlands of the Muses", who came from Helicon in Aonia[citation needed]
Aonius Sinus /ˈniəs ˈsnəs/ "Bay of the Muses"[citation needed] Aonia Mons, Aonia Planum, Aonia Terra, Aonia Tholus
Aponi Fons /ˈæpən ˈfɒnz/ Roman name for the Bagni d'Abano, warm-water baths near Padua
Aquæ Apollinares /ˈkw əˌpɒlɪˈnɛərz/ "Apollo's Waters"; Roman name for the Bagni di Stigliano baths in Canale Monterano, Tuscany[citation needed]
Aquæ Calidæ /ˈkw ˈkælɪd/ "Hot spring"
Aquarii Depressio /əˈkwɛəri dɪˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of Aquarius"
Arabia /əˈrbiə/ Arabian peninsula Arabia Terra
Arachoti Fons /ˌærəˈkt ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of Arachotus", a river in Afghanistan[citation needed]
Aram /ˈɛərəm/ Aram, Biblical land of the Aramaeans Aram Chaos
Arcadia /ɑːrˈkdiə/ From Arcadia, a region of the central Peloponnesus Arcadia Chaos, Arcadia Dorsa, Arcadia Planitia
Arduenna /ˌɑːrdjuˈɛnə/ Latin names for the Ardennes forests
Arethusa Fons /ˌærɪˈθjzə ˈfɒnz/ "Arethusa's Fountain", after the Greek nymph
Argyre I /ˈɑːrər 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 /ˈɑːrər sɪˈkʌndə/ "Second Silver Land" (see above)
Argyroporos /ˌɑːrɪˈrɒpərɒs/ "Silver Strait"
Ariadnes Depressio /ˌæriˈædnz dɪˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of Ariadne", a Greek heroine Ariadnes Colles
Aromatum Promontorium /əˈrɒmətəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "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 dɪˈprɛʃi/ 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 /ˈɛərɪn ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of Aryn"
Fastigium Aryn /fæsˈtɪiəm ˈɛərɪn/ "Summit of Aryn"
Ascræus Lacus /æˈskrəs ˈlkəs/ "Ascraeus Lake", a poetic paraphrase 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]
Atalantes Depressio /ætəˈlæntz dɪˈprɛʃi/ Lowland of Atalanta, Greek heroine
Nix Atlantica /ˈnɪks ætˈlæntɪkə/ "Snows of Atlas",[citation needed] a Titan in Greek mythology
Atlantidum Sinus /ætˈlæntɪdəm ˈsnəs/ "Bay of the Atlantises" (just south of Atlantis I and II, see below)
Atlantis I /ætˈlæntɪs ˈprmə/ "First Atlantis", mythical drowned land Atlantis Chaos
Atlantis II /ætˈlæntɪs sɪˈkʌndə/ "Second Atlantis" (see above) Atlantis Chaos
Augila /ˈɔːələ/ Awjila, a city in Cyrenaica
Aurea Cherso /ˈɔːrə ˈkɜːrs/ "Golden Peninsula", ancient name for the Malay Peninsula
Aureum Cornu /ˈɔːrəm ˈkɔːrnj/ "Golden Horn", inlet dividing Constantinople Aureum Chaos
Auroræ Sinus /ɔːˈrɔːr ˈsnəs/ "Bay of the Dawn" Aurorae Planum, Aurorae Chaos
Ausonia /ɔːˈzniə/ 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


Name Pronunciation Meaning Modern name(s)
Baltia /ˈbælʃiə/ From a name for the regions near the Baltic Sea Baltia, IAU recognized albedo feature
Bandusiæ Fons /bænˈdjʒɪ ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of Bandusia", title of a poem by Horace
Bathys Portus /ˈbθɪs ˈpɔːrtəs/ "Deep Harbor", the port of Aulis in Boeotia[citation needed] Bathys Planum, changed to Icaria Planum
Benacus Lacus /bɪˈnkəs ˈlkəs/ "Lake Benacus" (Lago di Garda in northern Italy)
Biblis Fons /ˈbɪblɪs ˈfɒnz/ "Biblis Fountain", a Carian well near Miletus[citation needed] Biblis Patera, Biblis Tholus
Bosporium Promontorium /bɒsˈpɔːriəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of the Bosphorus"
Bosporus/Bosphorus Gemmatus /ˈbɒspərəs, ˈbɒsfərəs ɪˈmtəs/ "Bejewelled Bosphorus" Bosporos Planum, Bosporus Regio, Bosporos Rupes
Brangæna /brænˈnə/
Capri "Isle of Capri" Capri Chasma, Capri Mensa
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/ "Castalian Springs"
Cebrenia /sɪˈbrniə/ Land of Cebrenia near Troy Cebrenia quadrangle
Cecropia /sɪˈkrpiə/ "Land of Cecrops"
Ceraunius /sɪˈrɔːniəs/ Ceraunius Catena, Ceraunius Fossae
Chalce /ˈkæls/ Chalce Montes
Charitum Promontorium /ˈkærɪtəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of the Graces" Charitum Montes
Chironis Fretum /kˈrnɪs ˈfrtəm/ "Strait of Chiron"
Mare Chronium /ˈmɛər ˈkrniəm/ Planum Chronium, Chronius Mons
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 Chaos, Chryse Colles, Chryse Planitia
Chrysokeras /krɪˈsɒkərəs/ The Golden Horn
Cimmeria Insula /sɪˈmɪəriə ˈɪnsjʊlə/ "Cimmerian Island"
Mare Cimmerium /ˈmɛər sɪˈmɪəriəm/ "Cimmerian Sea", named after an ancient Thracian seafaring people Terra Cimmeria
Circaeum Promontorium /sərˈsəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of Circe"
Claritas Latin for "bright" Claritas Fossae, Claritas Rupes
Clepsydra Fons /klɛpˈsdrə ˈfɒnz/ "Water-clock fountain", a well in the Athenian acropolis.
Coprates /ˈkɒprətz/ River Coprates, now called the Dez, in modern Iran Coprates Chasma
Coracis Portus /ˈkɒrəsɪs ˈpɔːrtəs/ "Haven of Corax"
Cyane Fons /ˈsən ˈfɒnz/ "Cyane fountain", a spring in Sicily from which the Cyane river sprang, named for a nymph. Cyane Catena, Cyane Fossae
Cydonia /sˈdniə/ poetic name for Crete Cydonia, Cydonia Mensae, Cydonia Labyrinthus, Cydonia Colles
Cynia Lacus
Danaïdum Depressio /dəˈnədəm dɪˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of the daughters of Danaüs"
Daphne /ˈdæfn/ From Daphne ("bay laurel"), a nymph pursued by Apollo.
Deucalionis Regio /djˌkliˈnɪs ˈri/ "Region of Deucalion"
Dia /ˈdə/ An island north of Crete
Diacria /dˈkriə/ Diacria highlands around Marathon Diacria quadrangle
Dioscuria /ˌdəsˈkjʊəriə/ "Land of the Dioscuri"
Eden /ˈdən/ From Eden, the biblical paradise Eden Patera
Edom /ˈdəm/ From Edom, an ancient kingdom in modern Jordan
Edom Promontorium /ˈdəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of Edom"
Electris /ɪˈlɛktrɪs/ The principal island of the "Electrides", islands said to produce amber. Electris Mons
Elysium /ɪˈlɪʒiəm/ From Elysium, the Greek land of dead heroes Elysium Planitia, Elysium Mons, Elysium Fossae, Elysium quadrangle
Eridania /ˌɛrɪˈdniə/ Land of the River Eridanus Eridania Mons, Eridania Planitia, Eridania quadrangle, Eridania Scopulus
Mare Erythræum /ˈmɛər ˌɛrɪˈθrəm/ "Red Sea" Erythraea Fossae


Name Pronunciation Meaning Modern name(s)
Famæ Depressio /ˈfm dɪˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of Fame"
Ferentinæ Lucus /ˌfɛrɪnˈtn ˈljkəs/ "Grove of Ferentina"
Lucus Feronia "Grove of Wild Beasts"
Flevo Lacus /ˈflv ˈlkəs/
Gallinaria Silva /ˌɡælɪˈnɛəriə ˈsɪlvə/
Mare Hadriaticum /ˈmɛər ˌhdriˈætɪkəm/ "Adriatic Sea" Aka Hadriaticum Mare Hadriacus Mons, Hadriaca Patera
Hammonis Cornu /həˈmnɪs ˈkɔːrnj/ "Horn of Ammon"
Hellas /ˈhɛləs/ "Greece" Hellas Planitia, Hellas Montes, Hellas quadrangle
Heræum Promontorium /hɪˈrəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of Hera"
Hercynia Silva /hɜːrˈsɪniə ˈsɪlvə/ Hercynian Forest
Herculis Columnæ /ˈhɜːrkjʊlɪs kɒˈlʌmn/ "Pillars of Hercules"
Herculis Pons /ˈhɜːrkjʊlɪs ˈpɒnz/ "Bridge of Hercules"
Hesperia /hɛsˈpɪəriə/ "Land of the Setting Sun" Hesperia Dorsa, Hesperia Planum
Hesperidum Lacus /hɛsˈpɛrɪdəm ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Hesperides
Hibe /ˈhb/
Hippocrene Fons /ˌhɪpəˈkrn ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of Hippocrene", near Mount Helicon
Hipponitis Palus
Horarum Promontorium /hɒˈrɛərəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of the Hours" Horarum Mons
Hypelaus /ˌhɪpɪˈləs/ A fountain in Ephesus.
Hyperboreus Lacus Greek/Latin: Far Northern Lake Hyperboreae Undae
Iapygia /ˌəˈpɪiə/ Salento in Italy, ancient home of the Iapyges Iapygia quadrangle
Icaria /ˈkɛəriə/ Icaria Fossae, Icaria Planum
Mare Icarium /ˈmɛər ˈkɛəriəm/
Ierne /ˈɜːrn/ A name for Ireland
Isidis Regio /ˈɪsɪdɪs ˈri/ "Region of Isis" Isidis Planitia
Ismenius Lacus /ɪzˈmniəs ˈlkəs/ The Ismenian Spring near Thebes where Cadmus slew the guardian dragon Ismenia Patera, Ismeniae Fossae Ismenius Cavus, Ismenius Lacus quadrangle
Jani Fretum /ˈn ˈfrtəm/ "Strait of Janus" Iani Chaos
Juventæ Fons /ˈvɛnt ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of Youth" a.k.a. Fons Juventæ Juventae Chasma, Juventae Dorsa
Labeatis Lacus /læbˈtɪs ˈlkəs/ Lake of the Labeates, a people of Illyria
Lausonius Lacus /lɔːˈsniəs ˈlkəs/
Lemuria /lɪˈmjʊəriə/ From Lemuria, a fictional sunken land in the Pacific or Indian Ocean
Lerne /ˈlɜːrn/
Libya /ˈlɪbiə/ "Libya" Libya Montes
Lucrinus Lacus The Lucrine Lake in Roman Italy
Lunæ Lacus /ˈljn ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Moon" a.k.a. Lacus Lunæ Lunae Palus quadrangle, Lunae Planum


Name Pronunciation Meaning Modern name(s)
Mæisia Silva
Mareotis /ˌmærˈtɪs/ "Land about Mareota", in Lower Egypt. Mareotis Fossae
Margaritifer Sinus /ˌmɑːrɡəˈrɪtɪfər ˈsnəs/ "Pearlbearing Bay" Margaritifer Terra, Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle
Lucus Maricæ /ˈljkəs məˈrs/ "Grove of Maríca", a nymph of Latium. Lucus Planum
Memnonia /mɛmˈnniə/ "Land of Memnon" Memnonia Fossae, Memnonia quadrangle
Meroë Insula /ˈmɛr ˈɪnsjʊlə/ "Island of Meroe" Meroe Patera
Messeis Fons
Lacus Mœris /ˈlkəs ˈmɪərɪs/ Lake Moeris, a lake in the Egyptian Fayum
Mons Argenteus /ˈmɒnz ɑːrˈɛntəs/ "Silver mountain" Dorsa Argentea, Argentea Planum
Neith Regio /ˈnθ ˈri/ "Region of Neith"
Nepheles Depressio /ˈnɛfɪlz dɪˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of cloud"
Nereïdum Promontorium /nɪˈrɪdəm ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of the Nereids Nereidum Montes
Nerigos /ˈnɛrɪɡɒs/ Name of a fictional country, supposedly in or near Scandinavia
Nessonis Lacus
Niliacus Lacus /nɪˈləkəs ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Nile" Colles Nili
Nilokeras "Horn of the Nile" Nilokeras Fossae, Nilokeras Mensae
Nitriæ /ˈntrɪ/
Nix Atlantica /ˈnɪks ætˈlæntɪkə/ "Atlantic Snow"
Nix Olympica /ˈnɪks ɒˈlɪmpɪkə/ "Olympian Snow" Olympus Maculae, Olympus Mons, Olympus Patera, Olympus Rupes
Noachis /ˈnəkɪs/ "Land of Noah" Noachis quadrangle, Noachis Terra
Nodus Gordii /ˈndəs ˈɡɔːrdi/ "Gordian Knot" Gordii Dorsum
Noti Sinus /ˈnt ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Notus"
Novissima Thyle /nˈvɪsəmə ˈθl/ "Newest Thule"
Nuba Lacus /ˈnjbə ˈlkəs/


Name Pronunciation Meaning Modern name(s)
Mare Oceanidum /ˈmɛər ʃˈænɪdəm/ "Sea of the Oceanids" Oceanidum Fossa, Oceanidum Mons
Octantis Depressio /ɒkˈtæntɪs dɪˈprɛʃi/ "Lowland of Octans" Octantis Cavi, Octantis Mons
Œnotria /ɪˈntriə/ Oenotria Plana, Oenotria Scopuli
Ogygis Regio /ˈɒɪɪs ˈri/ "Region of Ogyges" Ogygis Rupes, Ogygis Undae
Ophir /ˈfər/ From Ophir, a biblical land of gold Ophir Catenae, Ophir Cavi, Ophir Chasma, Ophir Planum
Ortygia /ɔːrˈtɪiə/ Ortygia Colles
Oxia Palus /ˈɒkʃiə ˈpləs/ Oxeia, a Greek Island in Ionian Sea Oxia Chaos, Oxia Colles, Oxia Palus quadrangle
Palicorum Lacus /ˌpælɪˈkɔːrəm ˈlkəs/
Palinuri Fretum /ˌpælɪˈnjʊər ˈfrtəm/ "Strait of Palinurus"
Palinuri Sinus /ˌpælɪˈnjʊər ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Palinurus"
Pallas Lacus /ˌpæləs ˈlkəs/ "Lake of Pallas"
Panchaia /pæŋˈkə/ From the name of an island supposed to be in South Arabia Panchaia Rupes
Phaëthontis /ˌf.ɪˈθɒntɪs/ "Land of Phaethon or Phaethon (son of Eos)" Phaethontis quadrangle
Phlegra /ˈflɡrə/ From a district in Macedonia. Phlegra Montes
Campi Phlegræi /ˈkæmp flɪˈɡr/ "Fields of Phlegra" Phlegra Montes
Phœnicis Lacus /fɪˈnsɪs ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Phoenix" a.k.a. Lacus Phœnicis Phoenicis Lacus quadrangle
Phrixi Regio /ˈfrɪks ˈri/ "Region of Phrixus" Phrixi Rupes
Piscis Depressio /ˈpsɪs dɪˈprɛʃi/ "Depression of the Fish"
Depressio Pontica /dɪˈprɛʃi ˈpɒntɪkə/ "Lowland of Pontus"
Promethei Sinus /prˈmθ ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Prometheus" Promethei Terra
Propontis /prˈpɒntɪs/ From an old name for the Sea of Marmara
Protei Regio /ˈprt ˈri/ "Region of Proteus"
Pyrrhæ Regio /ˈpɪr ˈri/ "Region of Pyrrha" Pyrrhae Chaos, Pyrrhae Fossae
Rupes Tenuis Latin: "Thin Cliff" Tenuis Mensae, Rupes Tenuis
Sinus Sabæus /ˈsnəs səˈbəs/ "Bay of Sheba" Aka Sabaeus Sinus Terra Sabaea, Sinus Sabaeus quadrangle
Scandia /ˈskændiə/ From a name for Skåne or Scandinavia Scandia Cavi, Scandia Colles, Scandia Tholi
Scheria Insula /ˈskɪəriə ˈɪnsjʊlə/ "Scheria Island"
Semiramidis Lacus /ˌsɛmɪˈræmɪdɪs ˈlkəs/ "Lake of Semiramis"
Simoëntis Sinus /ˌsɪmˈɛntɪs ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Simois" Simois Colles
Sirbonis Palus The army-swallowing Serbonian Bog near Mt Casius in Egypt
Mare Sirenum /ˈmɛər sˈrnəm/ "Sea of Sirens" Terra Sirenum
Socratis Promontorium /ˈsɒkrətɪs ˌprɒmənˈtɔːriəm/ "Cape of Socrates"
Solis Fons /ˈslɪs ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of the Sun" Obsolete
Solis Lacus /ˈslɪs ˈlkəs/ "Lake of the Sun" Solis Planum
Stygis "Styx River", Greece Stygis Catena, Stygis Fossae
Syrtis Major /ˈsɜːrtɪs ˈmər/ a Libyan gulf, now Gulf of Sidra Syrtis Major Planum, Syrtis Major quadrangle
Syrtis Minor /ˈsɜːrtɪs ˈmnər/ now Gulf of Gabès in Tunisia. a.k.a. Syrtis Parva


Name Pronunciation Meaning Modern name(s)
Tempe /ˈtɛmp/ Vale of Tempe, Greece Tempe Fossae, Tempe Terra
Tharsis /ˈθɑːrsɪs/ "Tarshish" ancient source of ship-loads of silver. Possibly Tartessos or Sardinia Tharsis Montes, Tharsis quadrangle
Thaumasia /θɔːˈmʒə/ "Land of Wonders" Thaumasia Planum, Thaumasia quadrangle
Thyle I /ˈθl ˈprmə/ "First Thule" Thyles Montes, Thyles Rupes
Thyle II /ˈθl sɪˈkʌndə/ "Second Thule"
Thyles Collis /ˈθlz ˈkɒlɪs/ "Hill of Thule"
Thyles Mons /ˈθlz ˈmɒnz/ "Mountain of Thule"
Thymiamata /ˌθɪmiˈæmətə/ "Incenses"
Tiphys Fretum /ˈtfɪs ˈfrtəm/
Titanum Sinus /tˈtnəm ˈsnəs/ "Bay of the Titans"
Tithonius Lacus /tɪˈθniəs ˈlkəs/ Tithoniae Catenae, Tithoniae Fossae, Tithonium Chasma
Trivii Fons /ˈtrɪvi ˈfɒnz/ "Fountain of the Crossroads" (east of Trivium Charontis)
Trivium Charontis /ˈtrɪviəm kəˈrɒntɪs/ "Crossroads of Charon"
Mare Tyrrhenum /ˈmɛər tɪˈrnəm/ "Tyrrhenian Sea" Mare Tyrrhenum quadrangle, Tyrrhenus Mons, Tyrrhena Terra
Uchronia /jˈkrniə/ "Nowhen"
Ulyxis Fretum /jˈlɪksɪs ˈfrtəm/ "Strait of Ulysses" Ulyxis Rupes
Utopia /jˈtpiə/ "Nowhere, Utopia" Utopia Planitia
Vulcani Pelagus /vʌlˈkn ˈpɛləɡəs/ "Sea of Vulcan"
Xanthi Sinus /ˈzænθ ˈsnəs/ "Bay of Xanthus" Xanthe Dorsa, Xanthe Terra
Xisuthri Regio /zɪˈsθr ˈri/ "Region of Xisuthrus"
Yaonis Regio /ˈjənɪs ˈri/ "Region of Emperor Yao"
Zephyria /zɪˈfɪriə/ "Land of the West Wind (Zephyr)" Zephyria Planum, Zephyria Mensae

See also[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[permanent dead link].
  4. ^ Frey, Herbert (1974). "Surface Features on Mars: Ground-Based Albedo and Radar Compared With Mariner 9 Topography". Journal of Geophysical Research. 79 (26). Journal of Geophysical Research: 3907–3916. Bibcode:1974JGR....79.3907F. doi:10.1029/JB079i026p03907. hdl:2060/19740005454. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014.

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