Naming Astronomical Bodies?

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Naming Astronomical Bodies?

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Posts: 231
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 12:29 pm
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Naming Astronomical Bodies?

Post by fred8615 »

When William Herschel first discovered Uranus, he named it after the then ruling British monarch, George III. The planet was called other names by other astronomers rather than "honor" a monarch not their own, and even went through several name changes before everyone finally settled on Uranus. Asteroids originally could be named anything as well, but when the International Astronomical Union found out one was named after an observatory's resident cat, they clamped down, and now all names for astronomical bodies (except comets, which are always named after the discoverer[s]) or locations on them must be approved by the IAU. Do you agree with this?
Frederick J. Barnett
"Someone's got to take the responsibility if the job's going to get done!! Do you think that's easy?!" Gregory Peck - The Guns Of Navarone

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Re: Naming Astronomical Bodies?

Post by Christopher K. »

Well, the two questions I suppose are "Should the IAU approve all names?" and "Do you agree with the guidelines currently set by the IAU?".

I don't think there's anything wrong at all sending all approvals through the IAU. It's an international organization that represents multiple subdivisions of astronomy and physics, as well as multiple cultures. I also think the current guidelines in place are reasonable (what I've seen of them, anyway).

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