I found out that pilot and horse trainer Beryl Markham (about whom I wrote <here>) has a crater named after her on Venus. Here is Magellan radar imagery with map overlay.

The impact crater and its rays lie atop a lava flow that is radar-bright, almost certainly due to its rough, rocky texture. It is a very clean crater, with a central peak. It lies off the northeastern corner of Aphrodite Terra just south of the equator.

Venusian craters larger than twenty kilometers are named after noteworthy women. Names are suggested to the International Astronomical Union, vetted, discussed, agonized over, and finally voted on and adopted. Then, miraculously in this fractious age, astronomers and planetary geologists accept the names and use them thereafter (without moaning about it or starting Twitter wars).

I am very pleased Markham is memorialized there because I am such a fan. I found five other aviators whose names have been adopted for craters on Venus, too. Perhaps I should discuss them in later posts.

Imagery from the USGS, courtesy of NASA’s Magellan mission.

2 thoughts on “Crater Markham

  1. I am actually the Venus research scientist who suggested that Beryl Markham be memorialized on Venus…I’m so glad that you and others agree!

    Noteworthy women from all cultures on Earth and from all disciplines (science, art, authors, trailblazers) can be suggested for names on Venus – the requirement is a short writeup about why these women are considered eminent and their dates of birth and death and nation or culture. They must have been deceased for at least 3 years. Real women’s names are assigned to impact craters and some volcanic features. Other categories of features are named for mythological women from all cultures. Submitted names are approved and applied to features on Venus that need to be named by the International Astronomical Union nomenclature committee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to know, Jayne! So glad you left me a note.

      I’m inspired to browse the list of crater names again and see if any of my personal heroes are missing from the list.


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