Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature
International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN)
Planetary Names: Categories for Naming Features on Planets and Satellites

Categories for Naming Features on Planets and Satellites


Mercury

Catenae Radio telescope facilities
Craters Deceased artists, musicians, painters, and authors who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field and have been recognized as art historically significant figures for more than 50 years
Dorsa Deceased scientists who have contributed to the study of Mercury
Fossae Significant works of architecture
Montes Word for "hot" in various languages
Planitiae Names for Mercury (either the planet or the god) in various languages
Rupēs Ships of discovery or scientific expeditions
Valles Abandoned cities (or towns or settlements) of antiquity

Venus

Astra Goddesses, miscellaneous
Chasmata Goddesses of hunt; moon goddesses
Colles Sea goddesses
Coronae Fertility and earth goddesses
Craters Deceased women who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field (over 20 km); Common female first names (under 20 km)
Dorsa Sky goddesses
Farra Water goddesses
Fluctūs Goddesses, miscellaneous
Fossae Goddesses of war
Labyrinthi Goddesses, miscellaneous
Lineae Goddesses of war
Montes Goddesses, miscellaneous (also one physicist)
Paterae Famous women
Planitiae Mythological heroines
Plana Goddesses of prosperity
Regiones Giantesses and Titanesses (also two Greek alphanumeric)
Rupēs Goddesses of hearth and home
Tesserae Goddesses of fate and fortune
Terrae Goddesses of love
Tholi Goddesses, miscellaneous
Undae Desert goddesses
Valles Word for planet Venus in various world languages (400 km and longer); River goddesses (less than 400 km in length)

The Moon

Note: During the 360 year history of lunar nomenclature, various names were given that do not conform to the present naming scheme, which will be followed for future naming.

Craters Deceased scientists and polar explorers who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field. Deceased Russian cosmonauts are commemorated by craters in and around Mare Moscoviense. Deceased American astronauts are commemorated by craters in and around the crater Apollo. Appropriate locations will be provided in the future for other space-faring nations should they also suffer fatalities. First names are used for small craters of special interest.
Lacūs, Maria, Paludes, Sinūs, Oceanus Latin terms describing weather and other abstract concepts
Montes Terrestrial mountain ranges, nearby craters, and deceased scientists who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their fields
Rupēs, valles Nearby craters or other landforms
Dorsa Geoscientists
Catenae, rimae) Nearby craters
Satellite Features Craters lettered after nearby prominent named craters

Mars and Martian Satellites

Mars

Albedo Features Names from classical mythology assigned by Schiaparelli and Antoniadi
Large craters (approximately 60 km and larger) Deceased scientists, especially those who have contributed significantly to the study of Mars; writers and others who have contributed to the lore of Mars
Small craters (approximately 60 km and smaller) Small towns and villages of the world with populations of approximately 100,000 or less. This category is simply a large source of crater names. No commemoration of specific towns or villages is intended.
Large valles Name for Mars/star in various languages
Small valles Classical or modern names of rivers
Other features From a nearby named albedo feature on Schiaparelli or Antoniadi maps

Deimos

Deceased authors who wrote about martian satellites

Phobos

Deceased scientists involved with the discovery, dynamics, or properties of the martian satellites, and people and places from Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels"

Satellites of Jupiter

Amalthea

People and places associated with the Amalthea myth

Thebe

People and places associated with the Thebe myth

Io

Active eruptive centers Fire, sun, thunder, and volcano gods and heroes
Catenae Sun gods
Fluctūs Name derived from nearby named feature, or fire, sun, thunder, volcano gods, goddesses and heroes, or mythical blacksmiths
Mensae People associated with Io myth, derived from nearby feature, or people from Dante's Inferno
Montes Places associated with Io myth, derived from nearby feature, or places from Dante's Inferno
Paterae Fire, sun, thunder, volcano gods, heroes, goddesses, mythical blacksmiths, including names from the associated eruptive center
Plana Places associated with Io myth, derived from nearby feature, or places from Dante's Inferno
Regiones Places associated with Io myth, derived from nearby feature, or places from Dante's Inferno
Tholi Places associated with Io myth, derived from nearby feature, or places from Dante's Inferno
Valles Named derived from nearby named feature

Europa

Chaos Places associated with Celtic myths
Craters Celtic gods and heroes
Flexūs Places associated with the Europa myth, or Celtic stone rows
Large ringed features Celtic stone circles
Lenticulae Celtic gods and heroes
Lineae People associated with the Europa myth, or Celtic stone rows
Maculae Places associated with the Europa myth
Regiones Places associated with Celtic myths

Ganymede

Catenae Gods and heroes of ancient Fertile Crescent people
Craters Gods and heroes of ancient Fertile Crescent people
Faculae Places associated with Egyptian myths
Fossae Gods (or principals) of ancient Fertile Crescent people
Paterae Dry wadis (channels) of the Fertile Crescent region
Regiones Astronomers who discovered Jovian satellites
Sulci Places associated with myths of ancient people

Callisto

Names are drawn from myths and folktales of cultures of the Far North such as Norse, Chukchi, Inuit, Sami, etc.

Catenae Rivers, valleys, and ravines from myths and folktales of cultures of the Far North
Craters Characters from myths and folktales of cultures of the Far North
Faculae Gods and characters of frost, snow, cold, and sleet from myths and folktales of cultures of the Far North
Large ringed features Places (other than rivers, valleys and ravines) from myths and folktales of cultures of the Far North

Satellites of Saturn

Janus

People from myth of Castor and Pollux (twins)

Epimetheus

People from myth of Castor and Pollux (twins)

Mimas

Craters People from Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur legends (Baines translation), also one crater named for the discoverer of Mimas
Chasmata Places from Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur legends (Baines translation), and places from Greek myths about giants (Mimas was named for a giant)

Enceladus

People and places from Burton's Arabian Nights

Tethys

People and places from Homer's Odyssey

Dione

People and places from Virgil's Aeneid

Rhea

People and places from creation myths (with Asian emphasis)

Titan

Albedo features, terrae Sacred or enchanted places, paradise, or celestial realms from legends, myths, stories, and poems of cultures from around the world
Colles Names of characters from Middle-earth, the fictional setting in fantasy novels by English author J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
Craters and ringed features Gods and goddesses of wisdom
Facula and faculae Facula: Names of islands on Earth that are not politically independent
Faculae: Names of archipelagos
Fluctūs Gods and goddesses of beauty
Flumina Names of mythical or imaginary rivers
Insulae Names of islands from legends and myths
Lacūs and lacunae Lakes on Earth, preferably with a shape similar to the lacus or lacuna on Titan
Maria Sea creatures from myth and literature
Montes Names of mountains and peaks from Middle-earth, the fictional setting in fantasy novels by English author J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
Other features (maculae, regiones, paterae, and arcūs) Deities of happiness, peace, and harmony from world cultures
Planitiae and labyrinthi Names of planets from the Dune series of science fiction novels by American author Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986)
Undae Gods and goddesses of wind
Virgae Gods and goddesses of rain

Hyperion

Sun and Moon deities

Iapetus

People and places from Sayers' translation of Chanson de Roland (For craters, French names are generally used in the bright areas, and Saracen names are generally used in the dark areas)

Phoebe

Craters People associated with Phoebe, people from the Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius and Valerius Flaccus
Other features Places from the Argonautica

Satellites of Uranus

Puck

Mischievous (Pucklike) spirits (class)

Miranda

Characters, places from Shakespeare's plays

Ariel

Light spirits (individual and class)

Umbriel

Dark spirits (individual)

Titania

Female Shakespearean characters, places

Oberon

Shakespearean tragic heroes and places

Small Satellites

Heroines from Shakespeare and Pope

Satellites of Neptune

Proteus

Water-related spirits, gods, goddesses (excluding Greek and Roman names)

Triton

Aquatic names, excluding Roman and Greek. Possible categories include worldwide aquatic spirits, terrestrial fountains or fountain locations, terrestrial aquatic features, terrestrial geysers or geyser locations, terrestrial islands.

Nereid

Individual nereids

Small Satellites

Gods and goddesses associated with Neptune/Poseidon mythology or generic mythological aquatic beings

Pluto

Underworld deities

Asteroids

(4) Vesta

Craters Names historically associated with the Roman goddess Vesta (vestal virgins, people associated with vestal virgins) and famous Roman women. Approved names are not meant to commemorate individuals, but merely as names for surface features.
Regiones Discoverer of Vesta, and scientists who have contributed to the exploration and study of Vesta
Other features Places and festivals associated with vestal virgins

(21) Lutetia

Craters Cities of the Roman Empire and adjacent parts of Europe at the time of Lutetia (52 BC - 360 AD)
Regiones Discoverer of Lutetia, and provinces of the Roman Empire at the time of Lutetia
Other features Rivers of the Roman Empire and adjacent parts of Europe at the time of Lutetia

(243) Ida

Craters Caverns and grottos of the world
Dorsa Galileo project participants
Regiones Discoverer of Ida and places associated with the discoverer

(243) Ida I Dactyl

Craters Idaean dactyls

(253) Mathilde

Craters Coal fields and basins of the world

(433) Eros

Craters Mythological and legendary names of an erotic nature
Regiones Discoverers of Eros
Dorsa Scientists who have contributed to the exploration and study of Eros

(951) Gaspra

Craters Spas of the world
Regiones Discoverer of Gaspra, and Galileo project participants

(2867) Steins

Craters Names of gemstones
Regio Discoverer of Steins
Other features Places associated with gemstones

(25143) Itokawa

All feature types Places and features associated with astronautics and planetary sciences