Friday, October 3, 2014

The International Astronomical Union

The International Astronomical Union (IAU; French: Union astronomique internationale, UAI) is a collection of professional astronomers, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy. It acts as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) and any surface features on them.

Two pressing questions

1.  How does one name a "planet" when it is actually an evolving star? I guess they would have to make the determination between young star and old star. This should be easy I'd go ahead and hand it to them:

           A. Old star: A star that does not possess a spectrum in the visible frequencies

                      I. Stellar remnant: a piece of interstellar dust varying in size from a dust particle to any moon sized object which is undifferentiated and does not possess a spherical iron/nickel core.

           B. New star, or "nova": A star that possesses a visible spectrum

2. What if ET already named them?

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