Concept

Astronomical naming conventions

Résumé
In ancient times, only the Sun and Moon, a few stars, and the most easily visible planets had names. Over the last few hundred years, the number of identified astronomical objects has risen from hundreds to over a billion, and more are discovered every year. Astronomers need to be able to assign systematic designations to unambiguously identify all of these objects, and at the same time give names to the most interesting objects, and where relevant, features of those objects. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the recognized authority in astronomy for assigning designations to celestial bodies such as stars, planets, and minor planets, including any surface features on them. In response to the need for unambiguous names for astronomical objects, it has created a number of systematic naming systems for objects of various sorts. Stars Stellar designation There are no more than a few thousand stars that appear sufficiently bright in Earth's sky to be visible to t
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