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15 votes
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Why doesn't the IAU consider Quaoar to be a dwarf planet?

It probably is a dwarf planet. (It almost certainly is a dwarf planet.) The naming procedures at the IAU are that "Objects that have an absolute magnitude (H) less than +1 [...] are overseen by two ...
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6 votes
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How did Biden become VP? (naming of 2012 VP113)

This has to do with how minor planets obtain provisional names (see also Wikipedia). The year is divided into 24 half months, with a particular letter associated with each one. Each of these half-...
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4 votes
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How many members of the IAU typically attend votes?

One of the talking points of people how think that the definition of a planet should include Pluto is that during the 2006 vote on the definition of a planet, only a small percentage of the members of ...
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4 votes
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Are there recommendations to use "Hubble-Lemaître constant" instead of "Hubble constant"?

No, only the Hubble law was recommended to have its name changed (I'm a member of the IAU, so hopefully I'd have known if there were more votings). However, several astronomers (including myself) ...
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4 votes

How does one go about submitting a name for a newly-discovered lunar crater?

You use this from https://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/FeatureNameRequest. You need to follow the rules as set out in https://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Page/Rules as well as following the themes for ...
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3 votes
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Epsilon Eridani and Sadira

All star names are unofficial. A few stars have ancient names (such as Sirius) all other stars are referred to by their position in a catalogue or star atlas. As well as I can tell, Al Sadira means "...
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3 votes
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IAU 2018 Exoplanet definition

"What" is straightforward: L4 and L5 are two points on an orbit that are 60 degrees ahead and 60 degrees behind the planet, and so move as the planet orbits. If the planet is less than ...
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2 votes
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What happened to the 2017 proposal on redefining planethood? Is this information available?

In the linked article by A. Bouchard and another by J. Daley, the words "in the journal Lunar and Planetary Science" link not to a journal article but to a poster in a K-12 education session ...
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2 votes
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Why are only some of the geologic features in Mars' Noctis Labyrinthus region named?

Nomenclature on planetary bodies is meant to ease and standardize communication. If an object is referred to often, or if it is important for someone's research, then the scientist(s) involved can ...
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2 votes
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How does one go about submitting a name for a newly-discovered lunar crater?

To directly answer your question, the other answer is correct: The United States Geologic Survey's Astrobiology office handles ad hoc US submissions to the International Astronomical Union's ...
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1 vote

When will 2002 MS4 be named?

Actually anyone can name this Dwarf Planet at this point, it just has to follow the guidelines specified in the link above.. Dr. Jan Ticha at the IAU is the one that receives the submissions.
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1 vote

When will 2002 MS4 be named?

If the discoverers don't propose a name (and they have a 10 year interval in which to do so) then the object remains unnamed. This minor solar system body has a permanent designation, "307261&...
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1 vote
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How are the three character IAU Minor Planet Center's Observatory Codes assigned? Why are some letters so popular?

I asked the at the minor planet center how the codes were decided, and the answer was Historically, the observatory codes were assigned ascending by longitude toward east (from prime meridian): 360 ...
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1 vote

IAU rotation model

The values $$\alpha_0 = 0.00 - 0.641 T$$ $$\delta_0 = 90.00 - 0.557 T$$ provide a first-order estimate of the movement of the right ascension ($\alpha_0$) and declination ($\delta_0$) of the ...
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1 vote

Protocol for establishing longitudinal meridians on other heavenly bodies

As an example consider the prime meridian for Vesta. Based on Hubble images, the IAU had established a prime meridian based on the observation of the Obler's regio (a dark region). The prime ...
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