Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature
International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN)
Planetary Names: Introduction


Planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is used to uniquely identify a feature on the surface of a planet or satellite so that the feature can be easily located, described, and discussed. This gazetteer contains detailed information about all names of topographic and albedo features on planets and satellites (and some planetary ring and ring-gap systems) that the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named and approved from its founding in 1919 through the present time.

This edition of the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature supersedes earlier informal volumes distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1986 as Open-File Report 84-692 (Masursky, Harold and others, 1986), and in 1994 as U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2129 (Batson and Russell, editors). Named features are depicted on maps of the Moon published first by the U.S. Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) or the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center (ACIC) and more recently by the USGS; on maps of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus published by the USGS; and on maps of the Moon, Venus, and Mars produced by the U.S.S.R.

Although we have attempted to check the accuracy of all data in this volume, we realize that some errors will remain in a work of this size. Readers noting errors or omissions are urged to communicate them to the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, Attention Rosalyn Hayward, 2255 N. Gemini Drive, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001, or by e-mail: