Division C WG Star Names


The Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) consists of an international group of astronomers with expertise in stellar astronomy, astronomical history, and cultural astronomy that 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

(1) establish IAU guidelines for the proposal and adoption of names for stars,

(2) search the international astronomical history and astronomical culture literature for star names,

(3) drawing upon this literature, adopt unique names for stars of scientific and historical value for community use following agreed upon guidelines,

(4) assemble, maintain, publish, and disseminate an official IAU star name catalog of names for stars and exoplanets.

While the first triennium will focus on incorporating “past” names (from astronomical history and culture) into modern usage, in future triennia the WGSN will 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 is specifically for stars, substellar objects, and stellar remnants, but 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.


Working Group Web Page

Working Group Members (11)


Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage

Eric E. Mamajek

Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech
Astrophysics & Space Sciences Section
M/S 321-100
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena 91109
California (CA)
United States

Phone: +1 818-354-2153
Personal website: https://sites.google.com/site/mamajeksstarnotes/
Organization website: https://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/Mamajek/

Last updated:
December 19, 2016

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