IAU Logo IAU Working Group
on Star Names (WGSN)

The following is an abbreviated summary of the terms of reference for the Division C IAU Working Group on Star Names approved by the IAU Executive Committee at the EC98 meeting 6 May 2016 for period 2016-2018.

The Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) will consist of an international group of astronomers with expertise in stellar astronomy, astronomical history, and cultural astronomy. The group will catalog and standardize proper names for stars for the international astronomical community. Names will first be drawn upon the extensive historical and world-wide cultural astronomy literature. The WGSN will:

The first triennium will focus on incorporating "past" names (from astronomical history and culture) into modern usage, and it is anticipated that in future triennia the WGSN would act as the IAU WG responsible for defining the rules and enabling the process by which new names for stars and substellar objects of scientific significance can be proposed by members of the international astronomical community.

The naming purview for the WGSN will specifically be for stars, substellar objects, and stellar remnants, and specifically excludes exoplanets (purview of EC WG Public Naming of Planets and the Planetary Systems), interstellar medium features (nebulae), and extragalactic objects. Exoplanet names will be catalogued as well so as to avoid duplication with star names.

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