n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Who owns the rights to names? : editorial

Volume 72, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0024-8266



In the past there has always been a problem with people "selling" stars - usually because there was no agreed central registry, which meant that ultimately more the one person became to sole proprietor of a star. Now with the discovery of large numbers of extrasolar planets, people are selling the rights to name these planets. But the question remains as to how you can sell, or name, something you don't own! The International Astronomical Union, IAU, has maintained that they are the only recognized international body control the naming of Moons, stars, planets etc.

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