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Latest International Astronomical Union Stories

Mars Craters for Cash
2014-03-12 04:14:57

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Bad news for those who spent $5 to have a Mars crater named after themselves, a significant other or a beloved pet: the International Astronomical Union (IAU) confirmed on Tuesday that those purchased names will not be allowed to appear on official maps and globes. The naming program, announced last month by science advocacy start-up Uwingu, allowed users to go online and pay $5 for the right to place a moniker on one of the...

New Project Allows Citizens To Name All Unnamed Craters On Mars
2014-02-28 12:27:52

[ Watch the Video: How Can You Leave Your Mark On Mars? ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online With a population of over 7 billion, leaving your mark on Earth it pretty difficult these days. However, leaving you mark on Mars just got a little easier. For just five bucks, the science advocacy start-up Uwingu is allowing anyone with an internet connection to name one of the 500,000 unnamed craters on Mars after themselves, their loved one, a pet or anything else....

MESSENGER Team Names Ten Major Fault Scarps On Mercury
2013-06-08 08:29:31

April Flowers for redOrbit.com -- Your Universe Online Recently, the MESSENGER Science Team proposed names for 10 rupes on Mercury. The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since 1919, approved the names. In keeping with the theme of naming rupes on Mercury, they all bear the names of ships of discovery. Rupes is the Latin word for cliff, which perfectly suits the formations on Mercury. They are long cliff-like...

Uwingu Kicking Off 'Adopt-A-Planet' Campaign
2013-05-02 17:53:25

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Uwingu announced on Wednesday the launch of the world's first "Adopt-a-Planet" campaign, allowing the public an opportunity to adopt planets. The space company's new open-ended campaign allows the public to adopt exoplanets in astronomical databases through Uwingu's website. The campaign coincides with its other campaign aimed at naming a planet. Uwingu has asked participants to vote on names for exoplanets, which costs money....

New Agreement Signed By IAU And UNESCO
2013-05-02 15:04:23

International Astronomical Union The International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding at UNESCO´s Headquarters. The agreement has been concluded in the framework of the thematic initiative Astronomy and World Heritage, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The purpose of the initiative is to reinforce the links between science and culture by highlighting the importance of heritage linked to astronomy. The participants at the...

IAU Speaks Out Against Planet Naming Site Uwingu
2013-04-15 12:01:28

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online A few months ago, a new space website opened up its doors for the public to start selecting the names of other planets. Now, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has stepped up and pointed out this isn't exactly the protocol for the scientific process of naming cosmic bodies. Over 800 planets have been detected outside the Solar System so far, and thousands more are still waiting to be confirmed. Recently, the website...

Disney Name Goes Interplanetary With Impact Crater Identity
2012-12-21 13:55:02

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Mercury has gained a little more fame in the eyes of Hollywood, after the International Astronomical Union (IAU) agreed to name nine impact craters after Walt Disney. The MESSENGER Science Team proposed nine names for impact craters on Mercury, all of which refer to either a blues singer, animation pioneer Walter Elias "Walt" Disney, or other artists. IAU has been the gatekeeper for planetary and satellite nomenclature since 1919,...

Dr. Malcolm Smith Receives IDA David Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award
2012-09-04 07:31:29

On August 29th, the lights went off and the stars turned on during a special event at Beijing Planetarium. As part of the meeting of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Dr. Malcolm Smith, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) was honored for his long and substantial contributions to light pollution abatement on behalf of astronomical observatories and the community at large. Dr. David Silva (NOAO Director) and Bob Parks (International Dark-Sky Association Executive Director)...

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope Discovers Two Planets Orbiting Binary Star System
2012-08-29 08:58:00

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers working with NASA´s Kepler mission have found the first evidence of multiple planets orbiting a binary star system. The discovery shows that planetary systems can form and survive in chaotic environments around a binary star system. Furthermore, the discovery suggests that earth-like planets can also exist in the habitable zone of their stars. The discovery was announced this week at the XXVIII General Assembly of...

UNESCO–IAU Astronomical Heritage Web Portal Launch
2012-08-24 08:39:07

Buildings and monuments relating to astronomy throughout the ages stand as a tribute to the diverse and often complex ways in which people have rationalized the cosmos and framed their actions in accordance with their understanding of it. This includes, but is by no means restricted to, the development of modern science. The importance of the sky in human heritage was recognized by UNESCO when it established its Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative in 2003, and in 2008 it signed a...