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The Women of Venus

Nearly every feature on the surface of Venus is named after a goddess, heroine or real-life famous woman. This Women’s History Month, take a deeper look at who we see when we look at the brightest planet in the sky.

Venus — Earth’s twin — may have been habitable once, but a runaway greenhouse effect transformed the planet into a literal hellscape.

Today, nearly every one of the 1,976 approved surface features on Venus is named after a famous woman, heroine or goddess. More than 400 features, mostly craters, are named after real-life famous women.

Who are the famous women we see when we look at Venus?

Most are European

Where the famous women of Venus’ surface came from

Most are writers or scientists

Professions of famous women naming features on Venus

What’s next? NASA is launching two new missions to unlock the mysteries of the planet, marking the first U.S. missions back to Venus since the 1990s. The missions will study the planet’s thick atmosphere and map its surface in the sharpest resolution yet, with the goal of understanding how Venus evolved into the inhospitable world it is today.


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