The new observing and reduction techniques available to astronomers have led to remarkable changes in the field of double and multiple stars. New classes of companions, such as brown dwarfs and exoplanets, have been discovered. Binaries which previously constituted distinct classes are now observable by multiple techniques. With many long-baseline optical interferometers operational or planned, with improvements in other techniques, and with astrometric space-based missions in various states of planning and funding, the situation is likely to become more complicated. The result is greater understanding for the scientist, but greater challenges for the cataloger!
The “problem” is that purveyors of different techniques use different nomenclature, both in terms of root designation and component identifier. It is this latter inconsistency which causes the most confusion and is the topic of this Special Session.
This talk will illustrate some of the many designation ambiguities and summarize efforts made during the past few years to address this problem.