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[sci.astro] Solar System (Astronomy Frequently Asked Questions) (5/9)
Section - E.08 How are solar system objects and features named?

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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
	 Gareth Williams <gwilliams@cfa.harvard.edu>

Comets are named for their discoverers, up to three names per comet.

Minor planets are named by the Small Bodies Names Committee of the
International Astronomical Union Commission 20.  Discoverers of minor
planets may propose names to the SBNC and minor planets have been
named to honor all sorts of famous (and some not so famous) people and
animals in all walks of life.

Planetary satellites are named by the Working Group for Planetary
System Nomenclature of the IAU, in consultation with the SBNC (mainly
to avoid conflicts of names), and they *usually* defer to the
discoverer's wishes.  Names of satellites are usually taken from Greek
mythology or classical literature.

Features on Solar System bodies are named by the same commission, generally
following a specific theme for each body.  For instance, most features on Venus
are named in honor of famous women, and volcanos on Io are named for gods and
goddesses of fire.

For additional discussion, see
<URL:http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/billa/tnp/names.html>.

The IAU Planetary System Nomenclature Working Group's Web site,
<URL:http://wwwflag.wr.usgs.gov/nomen/nomen.html>, has an extensive
discussion, as well as lists of names.

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Top Document: [sci.astro] Solar System (Astronomy Frequently Asked Questions) (5/9)
Previous Document: E.07 Could the Sun explode?
Next Document: E.09 Where can I find pictures and planetary data?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM