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53

To add to Rob's answer, I wanted to expand on where this naming convention comes from. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the organization which generally sets conventions and definitions. They're the ones who demoted Pluto to being a dwarf planet in 2006. Anyway, before any exoplanets were found, there existed a convention for naming multiple-...


39

The convention for planetary naming is that the closest planet to the star (if multiple planets are found at the same time) is named "star"b, then "star"c and so on. As correctly pointed out by Zephyr, if the discoveries are more haphazard, the order of discovery takes precedence over distance from the star). So, there is no Trappist-1a. Or you can think of ...


13

There is no close connection. Planet is from Greek asteres planetai meaning wandering stars (via Latin and French). Plane is from Latin planus meaning "level or flat". It is possible that both words are derived from the proto-indo-European root *pele-, (flat) However the evidence linking *pele to planetai is weak. Thus there is no more connection between ...


11

It's just called "the Solar System". (Plenty of places and objects have names like that; it's no different from "the Arctic" or "the Moon" or "the Sun".) ("Sol system" is an invention of science fiction writers; it has no general use outside some science fiction contexts. Anything else is going to be something similar, or general crackpottery of one kind or ...


9

There are a thousand or so stars within 50 light years, most are very dim red dwarfs, and most are unexceptional. If we invent "names" then we would have to learn the names of all the stars. If we want to name all the stars that can be seen with a telescope, we would have to come up with a billion or so names. The idea of naming stars rapidly becomes ...


9

The original paper ( and a version on arXiv ) which this relates to does not seem to identify any actual planets. It's clear from the abstract that it is simply suggesting there is evidence that what they describe as unbound planets seem to exist as an inference of the spectral data they have gathered. They are not identifying any individual planets at all....


9

The number refers to the number in the catalog compiled by Frank Elmore Ross. From the Wikipedia article on Ross At Yerkes Observatory he was the successor to the late E. E. Barnard, inheriting Barnard's collection of photographic plates. Ross decided to repeat the same series of images and compare the results with a blink comparator. In doing so, he ...


9

In addition to the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and the Triangulum Galaxy (M33), the Local Group includes several dwarf galaxies named after the constellations in which they appear. In most cases, nearby dwarf galaxies in the same constellation are distinguished by a letter or Roman numeral suffix.


8

The outside is also the universe, the inside is just the observable universe.


8

The resource you cite, in addition to this full list of crater's names are the official, definitive lists of named craters. Note that you have the coordinates of each crater in the complete list; I guess you could reuse these informations for your project. As for the atlas, it is specified in the "introduction" of the atlas that the list is up-to-date with ...


7

The research in other answers helped me come across the actual International Astronomical Union (IAU) standard: The north pole is that pole of rotation that lies on the north side of the invariable plane of the solar system. The north of the invariable plane is the side that Earth's North pole points to. In fact, one of our other users has observed: ...


6

The solar system was named long before we knew that other solar systems existed. Just like the Sun is not the only Sun in the universe but we still call it the Sun.


6

http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Page/MOON/target Official list endorsed by IAU


6

None of these things were named after chocolate. Milky Way The name comes from a Greek myth, at the end of which Hera - Zeus' wife - spills her breast milk. In places where the sky has not been affected by light pollution, the Milky Way looks like a milky-white streak. Hence the name. The chocolate of the same name was introduced in 1923. Apparently, it ...


6

They come from Gliese's catalog of nearby stars (various editions and co-author), the number is the star's catalog number.


6

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-months has a number of cycles of length 25 depending on how many minor planets are discovered; a minor planet is assigned a letter corresponding to its order in the ...


6

Usually, the primary host star reserves the right to have the 'a' designation. Therefore 'a' never gets assigned to a planet. Please check the following post for a detailed explanation and some examples. Where did TRAPPIST-1a go?


5

I would say that it matters not-at-all whether your name is Aardvark or Zygote. Astrophysicists are not stupid, we can see when a large author list has been alphabetised. If anything I would say it is a disadvantage, since a casual glance at an author list might lead someone to think you were the lead author of any paper, even one with just two authors, ...


5

The reason is because exoplanets orbiting a star are named in the order they were discovered, starting with the letter b. Sometimes, in a system with two stars, say Alpha Centauri, there are two stars, Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, no planes have been found in the system so far. If there were planets orbiting either one of those two stars, say for ...


5

VY Canis Majoris and UY Scuti are variable star designations. The first discovered variable star in a constellation is called R, the second, S, and then unto Z. After Z comes RR and so on. For a full description see this wikipedia page. NML Cygni is also a variable star, but its variable star designation is V1489 Cygni. The letters NML come from its ...


5

Millennia ago, when only a few thousand stars, a handful of planets and nebulae, and some transient objects like supernovae and comets, were known, people usually named these objects after gods and heros, but also after everyday objects. Stellar constellations that vaguely resembled something known, was named after this. Mars is red, so it was named after ...


5

You are correct. The AT is short for Astronomical Transient. The follows the year and an arbitary sequence of letters to uniquely identify the event, which is assigned by the Transient Name Server This is the official IAU designation for Supernova Candidates, however true supernovae will be re-designated "SN YYYYX". The neutron star merger was not a ...


5

The closest service to what you are describing is the SIMBAD Astronomical Database from the Université de Strasbourg/CNRS. At the time I write this post, it contains 10.8M objects and 35.5M identifiers. It does not have a single CSV you can download with this information (to the best of my knowledge, and I've asked), but there is an API and TAP service ...


5

This answer is conjecture, but typically when an object has a nickname that identifier is used frequently as an alternative to the index number. In that case, you would expect a brief search through a page or two of Google to find at least one instance of the object referred to by that name. As there is none, it is likely there is not a common nickname for ...


4

The cited answer is correct insofar as the IAU is not the body that makes names of celestial bodies official. However, it's authority is implicit because it is recognized by the astronomical community and the public as the foremost authority on astronomical naming, and thus the names the IAU adopts are the ones most commonly used in the scientific community (...


4

Check this wiki link out. "The name Sgr A* was coined by Brown in a 1982 paper because the radio source was "exciting", and excited states of atoms are denoted with asterisks." There is no unified naming system for black holes. They are usually named after their host galaxy. Others are identified by the name of the survey in which they were observed. A few ...


4

That is galaxy NGC 1097, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Fornax. It has been distorted by interactions with neighbouring galaxies and has a weakly active galactic nucleus, with jets coming from the nucleus. The jets contain stars from a galaxy that has recently (in astronomical terms) been cannibalized. The ring in the centre is a region of star ...


4

The short answer is that, as George notes in his answer, there is no naming system for supermassive black holes. I wouldn't say they're really "named" after their host galaxies; more that when one wants to refer one, you usually do it by using the name of the galaxy (e.g., "the SMBH in M31" or "M87's SMBH"). "Sgr A*" is actually the name of a radio source, ...


4

Herschel, the discoverer of the planet named it Georgium Sidus, "George's star" after his patron, King George III of Great Britain. The name was not popular outside of Great Britain, and there were various other proposals. It was Johann Elert Bode who proposed Uranus, the Latin form of the Greek god of the sky. It fits with the existing planets having the ...


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