Planetary nomenclature

Planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is a system of uniquely identifying features on the surface of a planet or natural satellite so that the features can be easily located, described, and discussed. Since the invention of the telescope, astronomers have given names to the surface features they have discerned, especially on the Moon and Mars. To found an authority on planetary nomenclature, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) was organized in 1919 to designate and standardize names for features on Solar System bodies.[1]

A map of the Moon from Andrees Allgemeiner Handatlas, 1st edition (1881), predating IAU conventions