Mountain ranges

Mountain ranges

. Venus and Earth are the only planets in our solar system that have mountain belts. The highland massif of Ishtar Terra in the northern hemisphere of Venus includes a huge plateau, named Lakshmi Planum. It is about the size of Africa, rises 3.5 thousand meters above the surrounding terrain, and is bordered by the Akna, Danu, Freyja and Maxwell mountains, each about one million meters in extent. Maxwell Montes stands 11 thousand meters above the mean radius. Akna and Freyja are the respective names of the Yucatan goddess of birth and the Norse mother of Odin. Danu is the Celtic mother of god. Maxwell is named after the British physicist James Clerk Maxwell, while Cleopatra is the Egyptian queen who had affairs with Julius Ceaser and Mark Anthony. The Blackfoot Indian woman, Sacajawea, guided the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Northwest, and Claudine Collette was a French novelist. (Adapted from a USGS map using Arecibo, Pioneer Venus and Venera 15 and 16 radar data.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University