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New Name for a Fossa on Enceladus

Monday, July 21, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Samaria Fossa for a feature on Enceladus. For more information, see the map of Enceladus in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Three New Crater Names Approved for Mercury

Monday, June 23, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for three craters on Mercury: Aneirin, Hafiz, and Sanai. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Name for a Crater on the Moon

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Malinkin for a crater on the Moon. For more information, see the map of the Moon quadrangle LAC-144 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Name for a Tholus on Mars

Friday, May 9, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Nili Tholus for a feature on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-13 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Name for a Dorsum on Mars

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Aram Dorsum for a feature on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-11 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Crater on Mars Named Istok

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Istok for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the map of Mars quadrangle MC-25 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Crater on Mars Named Magong

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Magong for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the map of Mars quadrangle MC-10 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Crater on Mercury Named Kuniyoshi

Friday, March 14, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Kuniyoshi for a crater on Mercury. For more information, see the map of Mercury quadrangle H-11 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Can I Pay a Fee and Officially Name a Crater or Other Type of Surface Feature on Mars and Other Solar System Objects?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Official names for planetary surface features are not for sale. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature provides a unique system of official names for planetary surface features, natural satellites, dwarf planets, and planetary rings for the benefit of the international science community, educators, and the general public. A single system of official names is critical for effective scientific communication. The IAU first became involved with planet and satellite nomenclature in 1919 to standardize the multiple, confusing systems of nomenclature for the Moon that were then in use. Since that time, the IAU has provided the single, reliable, official catalog of surface feature names, thus enabling successful international communication. The IAU names surface features only when they have special scientific interest and the names are needed for communication; features that do not need to be named now are left to be named by future generations.

Names purchased through a commercial enterprise (1) have no formal or official status, (2) will not be added to the official database or maps, and (3) carry the potential to create confusion within the broader science community and the public. The IAU dissociates itself entirely from the commercial practice of selling names. Please visit the Mars portion of the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature for the official list of named features on Mars. 

Name Approved for a Mountain on Mars

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Argyre Mons for a mountain on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-26 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Two New Rupes Names Approved on Mercury

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved two new rupes names on Mercury: La Dauphine Rupes and Paramour Rupes. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Names for Features on Vesta

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for 34 craters, 1 fossa, 2 dorsa, and 1 rupes on Vesta. For more information, see the Vesta portion of the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Name for a Fluctus on Mars

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Zephyria Fluctus for a flow feature on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-15 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Ten New Crater Names Approved on Mercury

Monday, December 16, 2013

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for ten craters on Mercury: Barney, Berlioz, Calder, Capote, Caruso, Ensor, Giambologna, Lennon, Remarque, and Vieira da Silva. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Name Approved for Use on Mars - Simois Colles

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Simois Colles for a group of small hills on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-24 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.