Results tagged “IAU”

Although people have been naming celestial objects for millennia, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the authority responsible for assigning official names to celestial bodies.

NameExoWorlds Contest Opens

The first ever contest allowing members of the public to name ExoWorlds begins its first round today, offering the registered clubs and non-profit organisations the chance to nominate their favourite systems to take through to the next rounds.

The IAU is pleased to announce that today it has officially recognised the names Kerberos and Styx for the fourth and fifth moons of Pluto respectively (formerly known as P4 and P5). These names were backed by voters in a recently held popular contest, aimed at allowing the public to suggest names for the two recently discovered moons of the most famous dwarf planet in the Solar System.

Name an Asteroid

"Students worldwide have an opportunity to name an asteroid from which an upcoming NASA mission will return the first samples to Earth. Scheduled to launch in 2016, the mission is called the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx). Samples returned from the primitive surface of the near-Earth asteroid currently called (101955) 1999 RQ36 could hold clues to the origin of the solar system and organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth. NASA also is planning a crewed mission to an asteroid by 2025. A closer scientific study of asteroids will provide context and help inform this mission. The competition is open to students under age 18 from anywhere in the world. Each contestant can submit one name, up to 16 characters long. Entries must include a short explanation and rationale for the name. Submissions must be made by an adult on behalf of the student. The contest deadline is Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012." More

IAU Makes Landmark Education Agreements

"The first of these pioneering agreements, concerning a coordinating centre to be established in the East Asian region (in China), was signed on Tuesday 21 August 2012 by a consortium of institutes: the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA, Peking University), Beijing Planetarium and Yunnan Astronomical Observatory. The consortium is supported in their efforts by various important partners including the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), the East Asian Core Observatories Association (EACOA), and Pyongyang Astronomical Observatory (PAO). A second regional node will be established in the South East Asian region (in Thailand) and coordinated by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT)." More

Updating Galactic Cartography

Constructing a Galactic coordinate system based on near-infrared and radio catalogs

"The definition of the Galactic coordinate system was announced by the IAU Sub-Commission 33b on behalf of the IAU in 1958. An unrigorous transformation was adopted by the Hipparcos group to transform the Galactic coordinate system from the FK4-based B1950.0 system to the FK5-based J2000.0 system or to the International Celestial Reference System (ICRS). For more than 50 years the definition of the Galactic coordinate system has remained unchanged from this IAU1958 version. On the basis of deep and all-sky catalogs, the position of the Galactic plane can be revised and updated definitions of the Galactic coordinate systems can be proposed."

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