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Matthias
2009-Aug-12, 02:07 PM
How does the IAU work when it comes to deciding when it should give an official name to a planetoid that so far has only a provisional name, such as in the cases of 2004 XR190 ('buffy'), 2002 TX300, and 1996 TL66?

Does it wait until it's a meeting year (such as this year) to get together and name a whole bunch of planetoids at once, or does the IAU name objects any time the object's orbital and physical characteristics have been nailed down with sufficient accuracy & precision?

thoth II
2009-Aug-12, 05:03 PM
it's a continuing process of naming minor objects throughout the year. It wouldn't be practical to wait until the meetings to name them all. I think most are just named by the IAU minor planet center (http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/MPCStatus.html)

matthewota
2009-Aug-12, 05:48 PM
Proposed names for asteroids are submitted by the discoverer(s) and approved by the IAU. Since there are so many asteroids, most are still unnamed. I am not sure of the approval process by the IAU. The CBAT/MPC center does not grant formal approval of asteroid names.