Questions tagged [nomenclature]

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Why are the W UMa variable subtypes labelled “A” and “W”?

The W Ursae Majoris variables (eclipsing contact binary stars) are divided into the A- and W-types. In systems of the A-type, the more massive component has the higher effective temperature, in ...
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2k views

The newly discovered comet NEOWISE has been given the name C/2020 F3. What is the meaning of the F3 and the C in this name?

The new comet C/2020 F3 was first spotted by NASA's NEOWISE satellite in March 2020. It is now visible in the NE sky just before dawn. The C may refer to it's non-periodic nature (so far). What does ...
23
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3k views

What would an asteroid inside of Mercury's orbit be called?

The first Vatira asteroid has been discovered. This makes me wonder if there is already a name for the hypothetical class of asteroids that orbit entirely inside of Mercury's orbit. It wouldn't be the ...
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Why was the diaeresis removed from Pasiphae?

The Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature notes that the spelling of Jupiter's moon Pasiphae was changed from Pasiphaë in July 2009, i.e. they removed the diaeresis. I've been unable to track down the ...
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57 views

Where do the symbols $\lambda$ and $\beta$ come from for celestial latitude and longitude?

I'm reading Episodes From the Early History of Astronomy, and the author mentions the system of celestial coordinates based on the ecliptic. In this system, the two coordinates are latitude and ...
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1answer
57 views

What are the correct symbols for vernal and autumnal equinox?

What are the correct symbols for vernal and autumnal equinox? I have seen people use both ♈︎ (\Aries) and $\gamma$ (\gamma) to denote vernal equinox. However, I have never seen the symbol for ...
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53 views

Why are only some of the geologic features in Mars' Noctis Labyrinthus region named?

I found this page Names Approved for Six Cavi and a Tholus on Mars which lists seven features on Mars. I'm curious about the decisions to name only these features: Dalu Cavus, Layl Cavus, Malam Cavus, ...