Astronomical Naming Conventions – How are Objects in Space Named?

By Amrithaa Ashok Kumar

July 16, 2023
image of space with lots of stars and galaxies in the background, and edited transparent images including an asteroid, a comet, a galaxy, a supernovae, and an exoplanet with their formal names labeled

According to estimates by the European Space Agency, there are approximately 1024 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe[1].

These stars are the sources for various other interstellar phenomena such as supernovae, pulsars, black holes, and planet formations. How do you think we keep a record of all these stars including other celestial bodies in space?

In this unfathomable universe, undertaking the conduct of space exploration to deepen the knowledge of humankind could quickly go wrong with miscommunication.

Since the beginning of human history, language has played a phenomenal role in the development of our civilizations, concurrently for the same reason, how we use language as a tool to identify astronomical objects like stars, galaxies, nebulae, and others is at the heart of this astronomy itself. 

Similarly, in today’s world, concise names play a significant role in astronomical pursuits.  

The responsibility of assigning these names cannot be authorized to an individual country or group since this would lead to an unequal representation of international interests.  

Sounds like a job for a neutral entity; enters International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Who Names the Objects in Space? – International Astronomical Union (IAU)

Founded in 1919, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is an intergovernmental organization with a total of 12783 members.[2]

IAU’s mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education, and development, through international cooperation.

The Individual and Junior Members Directory of IAU contains 12411 names in 93 countries worldwide, these members are labeled as active members, which means they are actively involved in activities with the IAU.

The primary activity of the IAU is organizing scientific meetings.

Among the other tasks of the IAU are the definition of fundamental astronomical and physical constants; unambiguous astronomical nomenclature and informal discussions on the possibilities for future international large-scale facilities.

The IAU serves as the international authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and surface features on them, it was recognized by the United Nations in 1982 in UN Resolution 13 on Extraterrestrial feature names (p.33).

Difference between IAU and NASA

IAU is not NASA, Don’t be misled. 

The responsibility of naming space objects is given to IAU and not NASA because the latter represents an individual nation and not the international community.

However, NASA may be given priority to suggest a name if it played a significant role in the discovery of the object of interest. 

So in this vast void of space, what rules and procedures are followed to decide the name of celestial objects? 

To understand this intricate process, let us first explore the origins of the designations system for objects in the night sky.


History of Stellar Nomenclature and Catalogs

Ptolemy’s Almagest (circa. 150 CE) is one of the earliest surviving examples of Astronomical catalogs. The book contains several sky maps with measurements of star and planetary motion. Credits: Mathematical Association of America.

Our ancestors looked up at the heavens to name what they observed readily, so only a few stars and the nearest planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, & Saturn) had names besides the Sun and the Moon. 

As time progressed, new inventions such as the telescope enabled us to observe features beyond what is visible to the naked eye, for example, Galileo’s telescopes allowed him to observe the Moons of Jupiter. 

This led to some notable maps of the night sky such as the Hipparchus Catalog (oldest surviving catalog), as well as Ptolemy’s Almagest (circa. 150 CE), and Al-Sufi’s Book of Fixed Stars (circa. 964 CE) which assigned random combination of numbers to observed objects.

Although the above catalogs are long-standing, they are outdated for our current knowledge of the billions of stellar objects. 

This brings us to the Bayer and Flamsteed designation systems; under the provisions of these catalogs, thousands of stars have been identified and are still in use today.  

Bayer’s Designation System

The Bayer catalog in the Greek star atlas Uranometria (trans. ‘Measuring the heavens’) by lawyer and hobbyist astronomer Johann Bayer. Uranometria was the first atlas known to consist of objects from the entire celestial sphere. Credits: University of Glasgow Archives

The Uranometria (1603 CE) by Johann Bayer consisted of the Bayer catalog, which mapped 51 constellations and all stars visible to the naked eye[3].

Bayer’s map had a level of accuracy and artistry considered profound for his time. 

To identify stars in this system, Bayer assigned a Greek letter and the Latin name of the parent constellation in the order of decreasing brightness[4].

For instance, the brightest star in the constellation of Andromeda is called Alpha-Andromedae, the second brightest is Beta-Andromedae, and so on.

When all the 24 Greek letters are exhausted, lower and upper case Latin alphabets (a, b, c…A, B, C…) are used to visualize the 25th brightest star in the Centaurus constellation called a-Centauri, followed by b-Centauri, etc.

The naming system underwent further changes after discovering that some stars were more than a single object (binary stars), therefore superscript numbers differentiate between these stars.

An example was the Delta-Lyrae from the constellation of Lyra was distinguished as Delta1-Lyrae and Delta2-Lyrae

Flamsteed’s Star Catalog

Some stars are named using Flamsteed numbers which rank these stars based on how close they are to the western end of the parent Constellation[5]


For example, the 51st closest star to the western edge of the Pegasus constellation is called 51-Pegasi

This designation method is preferred for simplicity, especially as an alternative to the confusing superscripts in Bayer; Delta2-Lyrae is also called 12-Lyrae for this reason.  

However, the discovery of celestial objects skyrocketed with technological developments, outnumbering the possible alpha-numeric combinations and making the entire process time-consuming. 

These problems were addressed following IAU’s formation in 1919.  

Modern Naming Conventions in Astronomy 

The IAU has designated specialized Working Groups to different aspects of the naming process, such as the group for the nomenclature of planets, small bodies, near-earth objects, etc. 

The recommendations made by IAU are by no means enforceable by the international community or any nation, for that matter, because of the organization’s intermediary nature[6]

However, there is no prominent opposition to the naming conventions since the policies make space exploration easier. 

The process follows such that an object is given a provisional designation immediately upon its discovery, and a permanent designation is assigned once there is more information regarding the object of interest.

In astronomy, provisional designations are given immediately upon discovery using a string of numbers or letters, and once additional observations confirm that these objects exist, proper names are assigned. 

Guidelines for Naming Objects in Space

At the heart of IAU’s mission is to represent all competing interests equitably and ensure the promotion of science, therein lies some rules that ought to be followed. 

The guidelines are such that names must be:

  • Non-offensive (sure but Uranus?), 
  • Easy to pronounce, 
  • Unique from and not easily confused with existing names, 
  • 16 characters or less, 
  • Preferably one-worded, 
  • Based on scientifically attestable facts (for example, a planet in the Pegasus constellation cannot be named in such a manner that it identifies its location in a foreign constellation), and 
  • Relevant to the name theme of neighboring celestial objects[7]

The name of individuals or socio-political events is dismissed until after 100 years of the death of that person or occasion, and the object being named must be of significant size to avoid falling into the problem of documenting every inch of space. 

Names from different languages are allowed, given that transliteration is given; no translation is needed. 

Transliteration vs Translation

Transliteration refers to the literal letter equivalent of the name in English alphabets while translation is the contextual meaning behind the name. 

In all cases, priority is given to the discoverer of any object to assign or suggest a name to the respective object.


Naming Objects within the Solar System

Natural Satellites

The Working Group Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) is responsible for naming the natural satellites, which are celestial bodies that revolve around planets. 

Once a natural satellite is reported to the IAU, a provisional designation is given by assigning the letter S, followed by the year and order of discovery – then, the IAU takes permanent name ideas from groups of interest and prioritizes suggestions from the discoverer[8]

To illustrate, the smallest satellite known to humanity (diameter: 2 km) was the second of its kind to be discovered in 2010 and hence given the name S/2010 J2, here J stands for Jupiter.

For satellites orbiting minor planets, there is a particular preference for names of mythological characters that are closely related to the parent object. 

For example, Pluto is a dwarf planet named after the Greek god of the underworld, while the names of its Moons Charon, Kerberos, Styx, and Nix, are characters associated with the underworld[9]

Naming Planets and Their Geographical Features

The Martian Map contains major regional features such as basins, low and high lands, mountains, etc. Olympus Mons on Mars is the tallest mountain in the Solar System. IAU is also responsible for naming these land features. Source: The Planetary Society

The names of major planets were already in common use when the IAU was formed in 1919. 

Therefore, the organization has officially recognized the eight major planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) and the Moon by existing names. 

But planetary nomenclature goes beyond the mere exterior form of a planet this sub-geography nomenclature is used to identify surface features so that they can be easily discussed and located during science expeditions. 

Under the delegation of WGPSN, the characteristic feature of a planetary landscape is given names that closely follow a theme for that type of object in that planet – a crater in Mercury, for instance, should be given the name of artists, musicians, painters, and authors who have made a significant contribution to the arts and had been recognized for over 50 years.[10]

Some craters on Mercury are Mark Twain, Michelangelo, Mozart, Picasso, Shakespeare, Sophocles, Thoreau, etc[11] – sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it (?).

But as much as naming a crater after Harry Styles will be appreciated, we will have to wait for about two to three centuries as names of individuals are dismissed during the 100-year window (recall general conventions). 

Also, the theme for surface features varies on different planets i.e. not all craters get artist names, and the convention only applies to Mercury. 


Naming Minor Planets 

Minor planets primarily consist of asteroids in the Trojan and Kuiper Belt, such as Pluto and Eris, these are small, rocky, or icy bodies that orbit the Sun but are not considered planets because they have not cleared their neighborhood of other objects

Why Pluto is not a planet but a minor planet?

Minor planets are small celestial bodies in our solar system that are neither classified as planets nor comets by IAU. Pluto is not a planet because it does not fulfill one of the criteria to be a planet, which is that it has not cleared its neighboring region of other objects

The provisional designation follows the formula of 4 digits denoting the year of discovery, a letter to mark the half-month, and another letter to show the discovery order (first – A, second B, etc).[12]

For example, the following object 1989 AC, was the third minor planet (so C) discovered in the first half of January (so A) in 1989. 

The Trojan asteroids, trans-jovian planets, near-Earth asteroids, and objects near Neptune have been given relevant mythological names.[13]

For instance, the closest minor planet to Earth, Ceres, is named after the Roman goddess of harvest as it resides in the main asteroid belt between Mars (Roman god of war) and Jupiter (Roman god of sky, rain, and thunder); coincidentally, Ceres is also the largest minor planet in our solar system.[14]

Objects identified under the four surveys: Palomar-Leiden and First, Second, and Third Trojan, are named using the order of discovery and the suffix P-L, T-1, T-2, and T-3, respectively, for example, 1010 T-2 and 2040 P-L

How are Comets Named?

The Working Group on Small Body Nomenclature (SBN) assigns names for Comets, the following prefixes are assigned to identify Comet type: 

  • P/ — periodic
  • C/ — non-periodic 
  • X/ — the orbit of such comets is documented poorly
  • D/ — periodic, disappeared

Following this prefix is the year of discovery, one uppercase letter for half-month, and numerical for order of discovery. 

The most-talked-about comet from last year, C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS), boasts a glowing green head and is the second comet discovered in the second half of May 2017 and is also nonperiodic[15].

Nonetheless, Halley’s Comet stands as our all-time favorite, being featured in numerous works of story tales, art, poems, music, science fiction, etc; the periodic comet had the provisional name 1P/Halley – notice that this object was discovered more than 300 years ago which explains it’s inconsistency with modern nomenclature[16].  

Naming Objects Outside the Solar System 

The procedures for fixating on names for objects beyond our Solar system are quite similar, yet this is a whole different division under the discipline of Astronomical nomenclature because of the numerous celestial objects beyond home[17].

Naming of Stars (Stellar Nomenclature)

A plethora of catalogs exist today, most of which are made possible with the help of advanced computer-based telescopes with high resolution.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is one well-known example of a technology-aided catalog[18]

The Henry Draper (HD), Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), Bonner Durchmusterung (BD), and Bright Star (Harvard Revisited Photometry: HR) are some of the other most used catalog systems in Astronomical Research, which means that objects found by these surveys would consist an abbreviated letter prefix and a string of numbers. 

Instead of these chains of numbers and letters, stars are sometimes given proper ‘cool’ names depending on how bright they appear in the night sky. 


The IAU Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) catalogs have standardized proper names such as Sirius, Betelgeuse, Vega, and Rigel, which are also, visibly, some of the brightest stars. 

Proper names also include those named in honor of people, such as Copernicus’ star, which also goes by Rho1Cancrii (Bayer), 55-Cancri (Flamsteed), HR 3522, and HD 75732.

Variable Stars

Stars with fluctuating brightnesses – called variable stars – are named interestingly. 

The formulation is such that the first variable star found in a constellation is identified as R, followed by the Latin name of the constellation, and succeeding variable stars in that constellation get the name S, T…Z[19]

After Z, the pattern goes such that: RS, RT…RZ, SS…SZ, TT…TZ until the list exhausts at ZZ and the system returns to AA where the pattern repeats AB, AC, AD; if the list exceeds these letters, the object gets the letter V followed by a number. 

J is omitted in this system to reduce confusion with the letter I. 

Examples of stars that follow this system include R Andromedae, RS Puppis, and SS Cygni

The variable star UY Scutti, found in the Scutum constellation, is also a remarkable example of this naming system in practice as it also happens to be the largest known star to humankind with a volume that is 20 billion times greater than that of the Sun (that could fit 5 billion Suns)[20].  

Such a unique pattern to naming variable stars may spark the question: Why so intricate? The IAU describes that this would enable room for 334 unique combinations of names for variable stars within a single constellation which is quite a lot.

In a sense, this convention is analogous to area codes for cell/telephone numbers which provide many combinations of digits, and prevent us from running short of possible numbers within an area. 

Variable stars skip this system if it is already given a Bayer name or are classified based on well-known prototype classes (such as Mira and Cepheids). 

Naming of Supernovae and Novae

These series of images taken between 1994 and 2016 show the brightening of the ring of gas around the exploded star as a result of SN1987A, which was the brightest and closest supernova observed in over 400 years.  Credits: Hubble Space Telescope, NASA

The provisional designation for Supernovas is based on simple coordinates of the discovery and the permanent designation encompasses the prefix SN, year of discovery, and the Latin letter denoting the order of occurrence in that year – SN 1987A was the first supernova in that year. 

Some other historical supernovae are known simply by their year of occurrence, such as SN 1572, also called Tycho’s Nova. 

The initial designations for Novae are as follows: 

Nova, constellation, and year of occurrence, then they are assigned a name that follows the variable star designation system.

For Example, Nova Centauri 2013, which is the same as V1369 Centauri, while the first refers to the sudden outburst and the latter indicates the star[21].

How are Exoplanets Named?

The naming convention for exoplanets consists of a noun or abbreviation (accompanied by numbers sometimes), and a lowercase letter[22]

Most exoplanets reflect the catalog name of their host star, followed by a letter like HD 209458 b, some get informal nicknames as permanent designations, such as Osiris, and others inherit the historical naming convention of their parent stars such as planet 51 Pegasi b and 55 Cancri e (Flamsteed). 

Notably, the discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet broke the internet in 2014 – it lies in the habitable zone of the Kepler-186 star system, inheriting the name of its host-star along with the alphabet ‘f’ to denote its fifth order of distance, Kepler-186f[23]

Naming Galaxies and Other Objects in Space

These are all the 110 objects in the Messier Catalog, here 31 are Andromeda Galaxy (M31). As observable, the Messier Catalog has several galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Several catalogs contain a myriad of galaxies, including the Messier Catalog and the New General Catalog (NGC), which contains M31, aka Andromeda, and NGC 4029, respectively. 

Pulsars, neutron stars with rapid spins, are given the PSR prefix which is followed by the right ascension and degrees of declination while non-pulsating neutron stars are given the RX J or 1E prefix followed by their cataloged number.

What are Pulsars and Neutron stars?

Pulsars are highly magnetized and rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit beams of electromagnetic radiation with a period that ranges from milliseconds to a few seconds while Neutron stars are immensely dense stellar remnants which mainly compose of neutrons. 

Not all neutron stars exhibit pulsar characteristics as some neutron stars do not emit regular pulses of radiation.

Dubbed the “heaviest neutron star” and nicknamed Black Widow, the pulsar star had the provisional designation PSR J0952-0607 and later received the current nickname because of its nature to feed on a companion star like a spooky widow spider (this spider is radioactive because it is, duh, a neutron star – totally not an allusion to MCU)[24]

As a general rule of thumb for other objects, names must consist of two parts: an acronym and a sequence value

The acronym may refer to the catalog and must be unique, consisting of at least three letters but not redundantly lengthy, and sequence value identifies the source within the catalog (usually coordinates)[25]

Dealing with Confusion in Capitalization and Spelling

There has been confusion around the necessity to capitalize initials for which the IAU recommends – “. . .the initial letters of the names of individual astronomical objects should be printed as capitals.”[26]

Although the IAU works in the best interest of the global public, some names may be difficult to spell so the IAU has discouraged words that are not “simple, clear, [and] unambiguous,” as a result of this, names must be spelled correctly and can be cross-referenced using the IAU Gazeteer’s Search Function.  

The spelling preferred by the person or group could be used when there is more than one possible way to pronounce the name.


“Boring Names”

Let’s confront the elephant in the room – if you ever came across some names of some exoplanets, you did not immediately go, “KIC 123454613, what an exotic name!

If you have read through so far, you certainly know that this is due to the guideline requirements which require giving credits to certain groups, telescopes, or host stars before giving the public any voice on the matter. 

With the number of discoveries within a year skyrocketing due to powerful telescopes of late, assigning cool names like in science-fiction for every object is tedious while maintaining scientific standards.

IAU has given room for some unofficial names within the Astronomical community, such as Methulesah for PSRB162-26b which is an extremely old planet, or Bellerophon for 51-Pegasi b, which inhabits the constellation by the same name[27]

Why are there Mythological Figures in the names of Stars?

Methulesah is a biblical figure who is believed to have the longest life span. Bellerophon is a Greek hero who is known for taming Pegasus, a winged horse. 

With growing concerns over the unwieldy, dull names, the IAU announced in July 2013 that it is willing to take name suggestions from the public which serve as complementary names to the pre-existing scientific designation.  

So far, the practice has taken place every four years in 2015, 2019, and 2022 – and astronomical organizations or clubs from academic institutions are welcome to register and suggest through this website (must be simple and appropriate) from April through June; voting will take place consecutively in July.

Can you Purchase or Name any Object in Space?

All the different types of objects in space – stars, planets, asteroids, comets, etc., has different naming system and authority; the International Astronomical Union is the only official body that can assign names to celestial objects.

The names of any celestial bodies are confirmed by rigorous criteria and observations.

If you have ever stumbled upon one of those businesses offering to name a star in exchange for a couple of pennies – that’s cute, but neither the scientific community nor IAU recognizes such names[28].

They are only symbolic and have no legal or scientific value, If you want to purchase or name an object in space, you should be aware of these facts and not be misled by false advertising or claims.

A company called Lunar Embassy Corp. claims to sell land on the moon and other celestial bodies.

The company was founded by Dennis Hope, who says he owns the moon and other planets by sending a declaration of ownership to the United Nations in 1980.

However, this company and others like it have no legal basis to sell land on the moon, because the 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibits any nation or individual from claiming sovereignty or ownership over any celestial body.

The treaty also applies to private citizens and companies, not just governments.

So buying land on the moon from these companies is not a valid or official purchase, but only a symbolic gesture with no scientific or legal value.

The only authority that can name objects in space is the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which does not recognize or endorse these companies or their deeds


  1. European Space Agency, ‘How many stars are there in the Universe?’, “There are something like 1011 to 1012 stars in our Galaxy, and there are perhaps something like 1011 or 1012 galaxies. With this simple calculation, you get something like 1022 to 1024 stars in the Universe.”,[]
  2. International Astronomical Union, ‘About the IAU[]
  3. University of Glasgow, ‘Archives and Special Collections‘, “This collection of engraved illustrations of constellations (…) groupings of stars which are not officially recognised as constellations.”,[]
  4. University of Rochester, ‘Naming the Stars‘, “One more systematic method is the Bayer system, which names the brighter stars by assigning a constellation (using the Latin possessive of the name) and a greek letter (…) positions on the celestial sphere, and spectral class”,[]
  5. University of Rochester, ‘Naming the Stars‘, “The Flamsteed naming system can in principle be used to name any number of stars. In this system one uses (…) 61-Cygni denotes the star that is the 61st closest to the western edge”,[]
  6. International Astronomy Union, ‘Naming of Astronomical Objects | IAU’, “decisions and recommendations are not enforceable by any national or international law; rather they establish conventions that are meant to help our understanding of astronomical objects and processes. Hence, IAU recommendations should rest on well-established scientific facts and have a broad consensus in the community concerned.”,[]
  7. Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, ‘Planetary Names‘, “1. Nomenclature is a tool and the first consideration should be to make it simple (…) In addition to these general rules, each task group develops additional conventions as it formulates an interesting and meaningful nomenclature for individual planetary bodies.”,[]
  8. International Astronomical Union, ‘Naming of Astronomical Objects | IAU‘, “The WGPSN is responsible for naming of satellites of planets (…) priority given to the ones proposed by the discoverers.”,[]
  9. NASA Solar System Exploration, ‘In Depth | Pluto Moons‘, “The known moons of Pluto are: (…) Charon: Discovered in 1978, this small moon is almost half (…) potential hazards to the New Horizons spacecraft Pluto flyby in July 2015.”,[]
  10. International Astronomical Union, ‘Planetary Names‘, “Craters: Artists, musicians (…) for more than 50 years”,[]
  11. Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, ‘List of Craters on Mercury‘, “This is a list of named craters on Mercury. Most Mercurian craters are named after famous writers (…)  Emile Zola, French novelist”,[]
  12. International Astronomical Union, ‘New and Old-Style Minor Planet Designations‘, “The Minor Planet Center assigns new provisional designations when it is in possession of at least two nights (…) Example designations are 2040 P-L, 3138 T-1, 1010 T-2 and 4101 T-3.”,[]
  13. International Astronomical Union, ‘New and Old-Style Minor Planet Designations‘, “The Minor Planet Center assigns new provisional designations when it is in possession of at least two nights (…) Example designations are 2040 P-L, 3138 T-1, 1010 T-2, and 4101 T-3.”,[]
  14. Nola, T. ‘Ceres: The Smallest and Closest Dwarf Planet’, 22 May 2018, “Ceres is a dwarf planet, the only one located in the inner reaches of the solar (…) was named for the Roman goddess of corn and harvests.”,’[]
  15. International Astronomical Union, ‘Naming of Astronomical Objects | IAU‘, “A comet is a body made of rock and ice, typically a few kilometres in diameter, which orbits the Sun (…) Examples of complete titles for comets (whether provisional or final) are 119P/Parker-Hartley, C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) or 146P/Shoemaker-LINEAR”,[]
  16. NASA Solar System Exploration, 1P/Halley’, “Halley is often called the most famous comet because it marked the first time (…) The letter “P” indicates that Halley is a “periodic” comet”,[]
  17. International Astronomical Union, ‘Naming Objects Outside the Solar System’, “The designation of astronomical objects beyond the Solar System should consist of at least two parts — a leading acronym and a sequence value”,[]
  18. International Astronomical Union, Naming Stars’, “The first star catalogs we are aware of were made in the ancient Greek and (…) WGSN has officially approved the names of roughly 449 stars, with more underway”,[]
  19. International Astronomical Union, ‘Naming Stars’, “The first star catalogs we are aware of were made in the ancient Greek and (…) WGSN has officially approved the names of roughly 449 stars, with more underway”,[]
  20. Nola, T., ‘What is the biggest star in the universe?’, 08 May 2023, “The biggest star in the universe (that we know of), (…) 30 times the mass of the sun, but far greater in volume”,[]
  21. International Astronomical Union, ‘Naming Stars’, “The first star catalogs we are aware of were made in the ancient Greek and (…) WGSN has officially approved the names of roughly 449 stars, with more underway”,[]
  22. International Astronomical Union, ‘Naming of Astronomical Objects | IAU‘, “The scientific nomenclature for the designations of exoplanets usually consists of two elements: (1) a proper noun or abbreviation, sometimes with associated numbers (…) an exoplanet orbits both of the stars in a binary system, its designation can be, for example, Kepler-34(AB)b”,[]
  23. NASA,NASA’s Kepler Discovers First Earth-Size Planet In The ‘Habitable Zone’ of Another Star’, 17 Apr 2014, “NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star (…) which orbit a star half the size and mass of our sun”,[]
  24. Jennifer, O. ‘“Black widow” neutron star devoured its mate to become heaviest found yet’, Ars Technica, 4 Aug 2022, “How did it get so large? Most likely by devouring a companion (…) and 5,700 light-years away from Earth”[]
  25. International Astronomical Union, ‘Naming of Astronomical Objects | IAU‘, “The designation of astronomical objects beyond the Solar System should consist of at least two parts — a leading acronym and a sequence value (…) always be preceded by J if they are for the standard equinox of J2000.0”,[]
  26. Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, ‘Planetary Names‘, “All official IAU nomenclature should be capitalized (…) terms are not intended to imply any specific geological process or formation process; they are strictly morphological in nature”,[]
  27. Joseph, S. ‘Why New Planets Always Get Such Boring, Terrible Names‘, Vox, 9 Jan 2015, “Earlier this week, scientists announced the discovery of eight potentially-habitable exoplanets (…) And we can’t wait to say goodbye to HD 178911 B b forever”[]
  28. American Astronomical Society, ‘Can I buy a star‘, “There is no place where you can purchase a star (…) nothing stopping them from “selling” the same star over and over again”,[]