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The CSBN meeting held in Rio de Janeiro on August 11 was attended by just six members, including Pam Kilmartin as the acting chair, and several visitors. Since there was not a quorum of members, it was not possible to make any decisions. But there was a good discussion on many topics, from which several points emerged that should be more fully discussed by the whole committee during the next few months:
The meeting was opened by Ted Bowell, president, at 11 am. The 2006 Division III meetings were reviewed by Guy Consolmagno, secretary; as the minutes of those meetings have already been published, they were assumed to be approved.
The Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature (WG-PSN) develops, maintains and publishes guidelines for naming natural satellites of planets and surface features on all solar system bodies except Earth. When required the WG approves lists of new nomenclature, with accompanying explanatory notes, based on the established guidelines. Approved names are immediately added into the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. Objections based on significant, substantive problems may be submitted within a 3-months period, and will be ruled on by Division III.
A total of 701 comets received names between July 2005 and June 2008. Comets observed only from the SOHO and STEREO missions, as well as further comets recognized from the long-defunct SOLWIND satellite, accounted for 520 of these names.
A total of 16 among the new IAU members have asked to join Commission 20; they are: Jerome Berthier, Nicholas J. Cooper, Marco Delbò, Romina P. Di Sisto, Michael W. Evans, Tetsuharu Fuse, Ludmila Hudkova, Yurij N. Krugly, Elena N. Polyakhova, Zhanna Pozhalova, Alessandro Rossi, Qi Rui, Jonathan D. Shanklin, Slawomira E. Szutowicz, Gino Tuccari and Hong-Suh Yim. Moreover, two requests to join the Commission have been received by astronomers that are already IAU members: Peter De Cat and Ricardo A. Gil-Hutton.
The Working Group was formed at the request of the Board of DivisionIII and approved by the IAU Executive committee in March 2004. This was in recognition of the fact that discoveries in the Trans Neptunian region were repeatedly raising the question of “what is a planet”. The task of the WG was to investigate the options available and give indications of the level of support and opposition for each if more than one option was emerging.
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