Venus

A Visual Guide to the Women Venus’s Geography Is Named For

When space tourism is in full swing, you’ll need to know how to get around foreign planets. One designer is already making maps to guide us.

Scientist and information designer Eleanor Lutz, a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Washington’s biology program, has previously mapped Mars, turned viruses into trading cards, and made an animated guide to North American butterflies. Her latest infographic is a map of Venus, but it includes more than just a guide to the second planet’s topography. Almost all the features on Venus are named after women, mythological and real, and Lutz’s map explains where these perhaps unfamiliar names come from.

Venus may have had oceans in its distant past, but if they did exist, they have long since evaporated, leaving a boiling hot world with a crushing carbon dioxide atmosphere. That leaves a lot of topography to cover—chasms, craters, mountains, plains, valleys, and more. According to the conventions adopted by the International Astronomical Union, these features are named after specific groups of women, largely mythological. (You’ll notice…