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Venus Unveiled: A Gazetteer
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USING THIS LIST
- FINDING NAMES: Ignore words like "the", "Mt.", or "Lake." Mt. Hathor is under H, Cape Juno is under J.
- EACH ENTRY: the title links to a tour with local maps. Links inside an entry get you simple definitions.
- CAPITALS--Large or famous places are in CAPITALS.
- EAST AND WEST: on Venus, longitude is always measured east, from 0 right up to 359.
Vacuna Gulf: 60 N, 95 E
- a triangular gulf about 1200 km long, between the two great terras (islands over a million square km) east of Ishtar: Meskhent to the north, and Tethus to the south and east. Vacuna Gulf, named for a drowned corona, merges with Audra Gulf off Ishtar to the west and the Sea of Ops to the northwest, between Ishtar and Meskhent. In the northeast, Vacuna narrows to Melia Strait then opens into the Nightingale Sea. The Boadicea Islands stud the western Gulf; Mediterranean in climate, they range up to 180 km wide.
VAIDELUTE CLIFFS: 40 S to -50 S, 10 to 25
- A series of cliffs dropping into the sea, running some 2000 km along the east coasts of Selu and Astkhik, in the southern Alpha Islands. The cliffs continue underwater as there's a deep channel offshore for most of Vaidelute's length. The black and red cliffs, capped with emerald rainforest and reflected in azure water, are the chief scenic attraction of these two wide, flat islands.
Vako-nana Islands: 25 N, 35 E
- Islands about the size of Hawaii, in the Bereghinya Sea south of Ishtar, The Vako-nanas are the flyway between Pavlova and Kruchina. Cape Madron, Kruchina's southern tip, is some 300 km north; the crater island of Karo and Cape Didilia on Pavlova are just over the southern horizon. The Vako-nanas are rugged--a tessera field. They're hot and rainy, densely wooded by Earth standards, but not Megazoic like Kruchina to the north.
Vako-nana Bay: 33-35 N, 44-47 E
- A sound cutting deep into the west coast of Bell, nearly cutting the great island in two. The shores are dense rainforest; the climate, steamy. Just to the north rises
Nefertiti Corona; to the south, the Nyx Range. The coast north of the bay is cut by many small cliffwalled sounds, the Felesta Fjords.
Valkyrie: 55 N,-60, 0 E
- a large (Alaska-sized) region south of the Maxwell Mts on Ishtar. In the north, just under the mountains, the Rangrid River drains the chilly Valkyrie Lakes west into Neago Bay. South of the alpine lake-valley, the Valkyrie Mts have smaller east-west fossae (cracks) which now look almost like glacial canyons, as they hold rivers and finger lakes. But the fossae run across the slope, not down it, so the lakes spill over and zigzag south toward Lake Muta and
[Belisama Gulf. The ridge-tops are alpine, the slopes coniferous; the warmer valleys support hardwood forests, bogs and meadows.
Vallija: 28 N, 121 E
- A scalloped island 190 km long in the Niobe Ocean. Vallija and its big sister MacDonald dominate the northern Gegute islands. The southern Gegutes, off the Hassttse-baad Desert, resemble southern Arizona, but Vallija gets more rain. Its topography is as steep and surreal as a Roadrunner cartoon, for Vallija's a tessera field--a two-level maze of deep, winding, densely forested canyons below open-wooded mesas. Clouds and ferns cling to the cliffs, small storms bring rainbows. Polynesian coral reefs ring Vallija, protecting its beaches from high waves. To the northwest over a 20-km sound lies MacDonald. Nintu, bigger than Vallija but drier, is 200 km south; the "Arizona" Gegutes lie beyond.
Var: 2 N, 315 E
- Var, 300 km wide, is the southernmost of the Central Navka Islands, off Phoebe. Var looks like an octopus amputee, with half a dozen capes and not much central body. It's right on the equator, under the rings, so its climate is mild. The cool equatorial air creates a dry, high-pressure zone, so Var's mostly prairie--only the hills and riverbanks are wooded. It's herbivore heaven; as well as prezebras, the first test-herds of licornes (an experimental new species) live here (see Peoples of Venus). To the northeast are the Tingoi Islands, along Tingoi Trench, leading to Madderakka Hole; just to the north are small Nang-byon and Kala (no more than 75 km across), modest Potter (named for Beatrix, not Harry, and now inhabited mostly by giant intelligent rabbits), then the much larger Atanua. Due east is a wide, low, nameless island, a stepping stone to the East and South Navka Islands like Vasilisa. To the south is nearly 1000 km of open sea, the Navka Sea.
Vashti Islands: 9 S, 40 E
- The Vashti group, off Cape Salus (the western tip of Aphrodite), is a group of volcanic islands, 700 E km long, linking Dzalarhons Island to the mainland. The largest and easternmost, Vashti, is a squarish island 200 km across. All the isles are subtropical, and typically savanna and open woods. The higher mountain-slopes are cooler, denser forests, though none are high enough to see frost.
VASILISA: 12 S, 335 E
- a subtropical island the size of England, east of Phoebe and north of Dione, in the Guinevere Sea. The largest and southernmost of the Navka Islands, Vasilisa is fairly dry for Venus; its inland saddle and much of the east coast are prairies broken by vast redrock fins and crags, while the forests of the west and north are open and sunny. Its highest peaks sustain cloud forest, though. Their eastern faces have microdeserts with red canyons rivaling the Waimea Gorge on Kauai. The lee side of the island has several volcanoes offshore: the Chernava Islets, larger Zorya beyond them, and tall Shamiram in the north. L-shaped Cape Khadre, at the south tip of Vasilisa, shelters a pleasant sound 120 km long, dotted with islands. Off the west coast is Katieleo, as big as Crete. Vasilisa links the Navkas to the continents of Dione and Themis via the islands of Pugos and Astrid to the south, and to Alpha and Eistla in the east via the Blue Hole of Bhumidevi.
Ved-Ava Islands: 31-35 N, 142 E
- Slender islands up to 150 km long, in the heart of the Niobe Ocean. The Ved-Avas' west end blends into the Cauteovan Is. The islands are fertile, with a mild climate, but are about the loneliest in the Northern Hemisphere; the shortest flyway is 700 km from the last tiny islets of the Kamadhenu Islands far to the south. Dolphins hunt offshore, and octopi have settled the coasts, but the land is mostly empty. Solitary orangutans do live here--though the forest's a bit thin for them, they can practice their ecological religion without distractions: contemplating speciation. And hidden in the hills are several villages of winged coyotes, whose choral howls to the rings have already diverged from mainland musical styles.
VEDEN-EMMA DESERT: 15 S, 140 E
- a desert basin in central Aphrodite, in southern Thetis, over 1000 km east to west and half that north to south. High ridges cut it off from sea winds in all directions, and as a result it's one of the few such basins without a really large lake in it.
Cape Veleda: 15 S, 215 E
- a narrow, forked peninsula some 400 km long, off the southeast coast of Aphrodite. Along with Cape Onenhste just to the south, it shelters Veleda Bay, a winding sound some 600 km long and about 100 wide. It's a low, dry, narrow, grassy tongue, with few streams or trees.
Verdandi Corona: 8 S, 68 E
- a smooth dome rising over Manatum in west Aphrodite. Verdandi is aptly named--it's quite verdant, featuring lush cloud forests. It's a break in the endless mesas of Manatum--though another gap was blasted out just to the northwest, by Joliot-Curie Crater.
Veriko Coast, Veriko Bay: 20 N, 350 E
- The southwest coast of Eistla, between Cape Audrey and the Olosa Hills in the south, is a rugged set of capes and bays--huge lava flows from Mt. Sif. Veriko Bay, 160 km deep and 40 wide, and Cape Veriko just to the south, are the largest examples, but the whole coast resemble Iceland's fjords--except it's subtropical. The rough lava ridges are wooded; inland, the trees thin into something much like African savanna.
Lake Veronica, Veronica Passage: 30 S, 130 E
- One of the largest lakes on Venus, Veronica fills southern Artemis Corona in south Aphrodite. An even larger lake to the north, Britomartis, may be linked to Veronica through one or more straits around hilly Bonnevie Isthmus. Veronica's shores are forested, for though the lake is cut off from sea winds by the Artemis ranges to the south, it's so big it creates its own rain. Due east is piny Behn Plateau. Northwest is drier Maltby Plateau, much of it prairie. Veronica Passage, at the mouth of the lake, is the outlet for the whole Britomartis complex--pouring into Artemis Deep so strongly it turns the sound brackish. The "passage" is either a wide, short river or a narrow strait with a strong current--neither Terran term quite fits.
Vesta Rupes, Vesta Cliffs: 60 N, 325 E
- on Ishtar, a western extension of the Danu Range, hemming in Lakshmi Plateau. Vesta drops abruptly several kilometers to the Sedna Sea. The slopes are dense temperate forest; though the rise squeezes much of the moisture from the air, this is Venus--enough clouds climb over the lip to make this the greenest part of the Lakshmi Plateau.
Vesuna Is.: 67 S, 277 E
- An island chain off Neringa's west coast. Vesuna itself is 160 km across, a hilly land resembling northern Spain or California--foggy, rather windy, from warm to chilly, but never freezing. Light night rains support conifers on the hills, meadows and oaks on the drier slopes. The next largest island is Lyon, to the south.
Viardot: 7 S, 255 E
- A volcanic island with a cluster of little cones (the Grechukhas) following it like baby ducks. Viardot's part of the Javine Islands in the Hecate Sea. It's mostly grass, but wooded in valleys and on the windward, rain-catching slopes. The southeast face has a pocket desert.
Vibert-Douglas Range: 10 S, 200 E
- a long mountain range due south of Mt Maat, in southeast Aphrodite. Vibert-Douglas is the front range dividing the low plain of the Jokwa Desert to the east from the rugged mountains south of Mt Maat: the Zeminas in the west, the O Range in the north, and the Dzyzlans in the southwest. The Vibert-Douglas front captures some rain from rare storms off the Wawalag Sea, supporting sparse pine forests--lush only compared to the dusty plains below.
Vigee-Lebrun: 18 N, 140 E
- A big name for a small, lonely island. Vigee-Lebrun, in the middle of the Niobe Ocean, is only 65 km long--a mere rock! It's fertile enough--a mild warm climate, open forest, mostly. But it's thinly settled and little visited, for the only land within 1000 km is the Kamadhenu Archipelago, itself hardly a major flyway.
Villepreux: 23 S, 210 E
- Rugged Villepreux is a half-drowned patera off southeast Aphrodite, just east of long, skinny Loretta. Villepreux is cross-shaped, 200 km long. The north and west arms are the clifflike walls of a flooded caldera; the south and east are rough lava flows from it. Open woods cling to the steep slopes and rocks. The climate's as mild as the land is rough. Olives, figs and dates do well. Northwest 150 km sprawls long Loretta, and to the northeast is smaller Inacho. South and east is only the Wawalag Sea.
VINMARA SEA: 35 N, 210 E
- a sea off eastern Aphrodite, separating northern Ulfrun and Atla. Vinmara narrows at its south end and becomes the long, winding Ozza Sound.
VIRAVA CHASMA: 15 S, 120 E
- now filled by lakes, this rift complex cuts deep into southern Thetis, in Aphrodite. The slopes are dry, often bare red rock. Cut off from sea winds by high ridges in all directions, the climate should be harsh and continental, with hot days and chilly nights. However, landlocked Lake Virava, fed by streams from the uplands of Thetis, rivals Britomartis as the largest lake on Venus; along with Britomartis, Quilla, and half a dozen other Great Lakes sprawling across Artemis and south Thetis like some scattered Mediterranean Sea (adding them up, the region is half water, one-fourth desert, and one-fourth highlands), it moderates the continental climate, feeds the upland forests, and creates oases.
Lake Vires: 70 N, 348 E
- A lake in northwest Ishtar, just north of the Maxwell Mts and Lakshmi Plateau, draining into Lake Akka, and then to the North Sea. Vires is around 300 km long and 100 wide. The Vires-Akka basin is cool and rather dry--a patchwork of sparse pinewoods, oak savanna, prairie, scrub and even desert. Cold winds sometimes drop off the Maxwell Range and Lakshmi Plateau to the south and west.
Virga Sound, Virga Island: 25 S, 7 E
- The largest bay in eastern Alpha. Virga Sound is cross-shaped, deep and narrow. The region is a steep, scenic, chaotic maze of ridges, valleys, lakes and fjords. The foothills are subtropical, the uplands cool and mild. Western slopes are forested, while eastern ones are savanna and open woods. To the south are the Nadia Mts, to the west is long winding Peggy Sound. To the north is Dudumitsa Sound. East of the sound's mouth is Virga Island, some 200 km long and 40 wide.
Virilis Islands: 57 N, 240 E
- A tight group of small (for Venus--four of them are at least 100 km long) islands south of Metis--part of the ridge complex at the scorpion's tail. See "Tail Islands." Though they're 60 degrees north, they're mild and rainy, with tall forests.
Viriplaca Basin: 25 S, 110 E
- A great landlocked plain in southwest Aphrodite, north of Cape Juno, west of Artemis. Cut off from sea winds by the ridges of Juno Chasma and Boszorkany Dorsa, Viriplaca resembles Texas--800 km of wide, dry, grassy plains. The ridges are sparsely forested, but Viriplaca Basin itself is treeless, except a few thickets in the south around shallow, marshy Lake Morongo, 350 km long and 150 wide.
Cape Virtus: 15 N, 22 E
- The eastern tip of Sappho, in central Eistla. Cape Virtus is a tongue sticking 200 km east from Sappho's mainland. The twin ridges forming its spine are Virtus Chasma, possibly another segment of Guor Chasma near Mt. Gula, 1500 km to the west.
Lake Vishera: 30 S, 160 E
- Lake Vishera, nearly the shape and size of Earth's Lake Victoria, lies near the south coast of Aphrodite, around 1200 km east of Artemis. Wide grassy plains surround the marshy shores of the lake. The coastal strip, between the lake and the Aino Sea, is a mix of woods and meadows, but inland, the land grows scrubby and dry, rising to ridges that are the bent-back tail end of Dali Chasma, where it twists around the hills of Bona Carona. Behind the first ridge, in the rift valley, lies narrow, deep Lake Bona, nearly 300 km long. Though it's much smaller, it holds nearly as much water as wide, shallow Vishera. To the east is the long gentle Austen Coast.
Cape Vlasta: 27 N, 251 E
- A hook 200 km long in the Ul'yana Gulf west of Asteria (western Beta). Cape Vlasta is on the south side of the long Sudenitsa Peninsula--Vlasta runs southeast, back toward the mainland, like the barb on a fishhook. Actually there's a northern cape too--together they form a sort of crossbar. Vlasta's mostly open woods--the weather's warm and fairly rainy, but not hot. I'm not sure if Vlasta has tessera or not. Certainly the Sudenitsa Peninsula does--ridges running in two directions intersect, making a mesh of raised veins. In flatter lands like Tellus this creates a grid of lakes and ponds in the basins between ridges, but on this already tilted, rugged ground, the effect is partly masked, and on Vlasta, I'm just not sure.
von Paradis Isthmus: 30 S, 316 E
- Von Paradis is a curved neck 4-500 km long in northern Dione (east of Themis), linking two of Dione's regions: Nepthys to the west and larger Ushas in the north. They land's warm and mostly wooded, but not as hot, jungly or rugged as southern Dione.
Mt. Vostruka: 6 S, 298 E
- Mt Vostruka is part of the eastern spur of the Devana Range that's the spine of eastern Phoebe. In a generally semi-arid, grassy region, Mt Vostruka's a cool ecological island, supporting pine forests and alpine meadows. The peak even sees occasional snow, though it's no more than 3000 meters, and practically on the equator. But Venus's equatorial rings cool this zone enough to make it subtropical, not tropical.
Cape Vovchok: 36, 307 E
- Vovchok Patera is a large mountain on the east coast ofThemis, which forms a peninsula dividing the Gulf of Persephone in the northeast from Vovchok Bay to the south. The south shore of the cape is a spectacular cliff hundreds of km long: Vovchok Scarp. At Vovchok's summit, an oval lake now fills the cliffwalled caldera.
Mt. Vupar: 13 S, 306 E
- A low but massive shield volcano in southeast Phoebe, by the shore of Lake Emma. Across the lake is taller, elegant Mt. Ilga. Veldt lowlands surround Vupar and the lake, fraying to desert on the east side where rains are blocked by both Vupar and the high (snowy at times) Iweridd Mountains. To the south, Cape Vupar is a low twisting mass winding 160 km into the Dzerassa Sea. If it's a lava flow, it's not from Vupar--a lower unnamed shield volcano rises over the shore. If this peak acquires an official name, the cape will probably change with it.
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