Color-coded elevation map of Venus, showing the elevated "continents" in yellow: Ishtar Terra at the top and Aphrodite Terra
just below the equator to the right.
Ishtar Terra is one of two main highland regions on the planet Venus. It is the smaller of the three "continents", and is located near the north pole. It is named after the Akkadian goddess Ishtar.
The size of Ishtar Terra is roughly between the sizes of Australia and the continental United States. On its eastern edge lies the great mountain chain Maxwell Montes, which is 11 km high, compared to Mt. Everest at 8.8 km. On one side of the mountain chain is an impact crater of 100 km in diameter filled with lava.
Ishtar Terra contains the four main mountain ranges of Venus: Maxwell Montes on the east coast, Frejya Montes in the north, Akna Montes on the west coast, and Danu Montes in the southern region. These surround the lower plain of Ishtar Terra, which is named Lakshmi Planum (named after the Hindu goddess Lakshmi).
Ishtar Terra also contains volcanoes named after famous women: Sacajawea, Colette, and Cleopatra. Ishtar Terra is also the site of much tessera, which might provide evidence that the planet's surface is in motion.
- Note that Ishtar Terra is actually located near the south pole. Because the rotation of the planet is retrograde, it is usually shown at the top of the map.
- Blue, Jennifer. "Ishtar Terra". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.