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An Introduction to the Nomenclature Problem

  • Brian D. Mason (a1) and William I. Hartkopf (a1)

Abstract

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.

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Copyright

References

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Dickel, H.R. & Malkov, O.Y. New IAU Concepts of Binary/Multiple Star Designations, 2000, in IAU Symposium 200, BIRTH AND EVOLUTION OF BINARY STARS, Potsdam, Germany, Reipurth, B. and Zinnecker, H., editors, 22018
Genova, F. Commission 5 Report, 2001, Transactions of the IAU, XXIV, 237
Hartkopf, W.I., & Mason, B. D. Addressing confusion in double star nomenclature: The Washington Multiplicity Catalog, 2004, IAU Colloq. 191, THE ENVIRONMENTS AND EVOLUTION OF DOUBLE AND MULTIPLE STARS, Mérida, Yucatán, México, Allen, C. and Scarfe, C., editors, RevMexAA(SC)
Kovaleva, D. & Malkov, O. KoMa – a scheme for the designation of multiple objects, 2000, in IAU Symposium 200, BIRTH AND EVOLUTION OF BINARY STARS, Potsdam, Germany, Reipurth, B. and Zinnecker, H., editors, 223
Urban, S.E. & Corbin, T.E. The Urban/Corbin Multiple System Designation Method, 2000, in IAU Symposium 200, BIRTH AND EVOLUTION OF BINARY STARS, Potsdam, Germany, Reipurth, B. and Zinnecker, H., editors, 225

An Introduction to the Nomenclature Problem

  • Brian D. Mason (a1) and William I. Hartkopf (a1)

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