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Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature

Name Request Instructions

Features are named only when they have special scientific interest, and when the naming of such features is useful to the scientific and cartographic communities at large (see IAU Rules and Conventions). The IAU name proposal review process takes a minimum of one month for straightforward requests; 2-3 months may be required for complicated proposals or for multiple names.

Members of the professional science community who have a specific scientific need to name a planetary surface feature may submit a name proposal by emailing the following information to Tenielle Gaither. A template is available via email for multiple name requests.

  1. Proposer name, institutional affiliation, and position
  2. Name of body that the feature is located on
  3. Database information in this list format, one feature per page:
    1. name suggestion (not required)
    2. center latitude and longitude of feature in decimal degrees, in approved IAU coordinate system for that body
    3. northernmost latitude, southernmost latitude, westernmost longitude, and easternmost longitude of feature in decimal degrees, in approved IAU coordinate system for that body
    4. feature size, longest dimension in km
    5. feature type, see list of approved descriptor terms
    6. continent that name comes from; see abbreviations list
    7. country or ethnicity that name comes from; see abbreviations list
    8. quadrangle in which feature is located (if applicable)
    9. reference for suggested name (print or reliable internet reference, no Wikipedia or Google Maps, see examples here:
    10. origin: if you suggested a name, please provide a short description of the name. Ensure that proposed names fit the theme for that descriptor type:
  4. Justification for naming – 3-4 sentence scientific justification statement, preferably in terms that an international audience can understand. Include a morphologic and geologic description of the feature, why it’s a focus of the research (i.e., its potential geologic importance), and a timeline for publication in a peer-reviewed journal of a manuscript or map that discusses the feature
  5. An image of the feature with no annotation
  6. An image of the feature with annotation (boundary or outline)
  7. If you are a MS or PhD student, we will need a letter of support from your advisor; email to Tenielle Gaither
  8. Optional – if feature outlines were digitized in shapefile format, please provide those in addition to the above material – it will streamline proposal preparation and assure that the features are defined exactly as you intended