Daedalia Planum (Released 13 August 2004)

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

On Earth, landforms like rivers and mountains are given names. Thenames identify a specfic location and also tell the type of landform;for example: Mount Everest, the Amazon River, the Pacific Ocean.Landforms on other planets and large moons of our solar system arealso given names that denote the type of feature and the individuallocation. It is much easier to discuss the largest volcano inour solar system by using its name (Olympus Mons) rather than its map coordinates (Mars, 32N latitude, 135W longitude).There are strict rules and conventions for assigning landformnames to solar system bodies. The International AstronomicalUnion (IAU) is in charge of approving or disapproving submittednames. The online directory of all (non-Earth) planetary namesis located at http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov. The directorycontains information on feature descriptors (Mons = mountain)and categories of names for feature types (valleys on Mars arenamed for the word "mars" in different languages). The listof descriptor terms can be found at http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/append5.html. Mythologies of different cultures are often used in selecting names; names on Mars are primarily from Greek/Roman mythology, while names on Callisto (a large moon of Jupiter) are from Norse mythology.As new data is collected for a planetary body, old names mayundergo change. Location names like Olympus are retained, although the lat/long location may be shifted. The usual changeis in the descriptor type. Better images may show that a differentdescriptor gives more accurate information about the landformtype; for example, what previously looked like a featurelessplain (planitia) in higher resolution is shown to be a hugeset of lava flows (fluctus). The THEMIS images shown here willillustrate how some Mars names may need to be updated, whileothers are still very accurate descriptors of the landforms.Daedalia Planum

  • Planum: plateau or high plain
  • Daedalia: Daedalus was a famous inventor, architect, and craftsman. He designed the Labyrith at Knossos (the Minotaur's prison), and the wings that caused the death of his son, Icarus.

Daedalia Planum is located south of Arsia Mons. Topographically, this area appeares to be a relatively featureless plain (as can be seen in the MOLA context image to the right).However, the daytime IR image shows multiple lava flows and small craters. The descriptor "fluctus" may be a better term to use now that we have better images of this region.Nomenclature Fact of the Day: Small craters on Mars are named for towns and villages from all over the world with populations less than 100,000.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
I01578002 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2002-04-23 03:50
Fri, 9999-12-31
320 pixels (30 km)
3600 pixels (364 km)
0.101286 km/pixel
0.095474 km/pixel


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