· · · ·

Snegurochka Planitia

North Polar Plains on Venus

The northern pole of Venus is a marked by a wide plain, nearly 3,000km across. This relatively flat region is known as Snegurochka Planitia, or informally as the North Polar Plains. Breaking the flat expanse of the plain are several long, straight ridges, notably Yumyn-Udyr Dorsa and Dennitsa Dorsa.

The plain is surrounded by highlands, generally rather small hills and mountains, but to one side is the landmass of Ishtar Terra, where the surface rises rapidly into the heights of the Maxwell Montes reaching some 10km above the level of the plain. Across the pole from Ishtar Terra, the land of Snegurochka Planitia rises to give way to a somewhat higher plain, Louhi Planitia.

The name Snegurochka comes from Russian folklore, referring to the Snow Maiden. Though the Snow Maiden's plain lies at the north pole of the planet Venus, there is no snow there, and the temperature is comparable with the rest of the planet, typically exceeding 460°C. However, recent findings suggest that in the atmosphere far above the North Polar Plains, the temperature may indeed fall low enough for crystals of carbon dioxide ice to form.


Related Entries