The IAU recommendations for nomenclature
are presented at the CDS site
How to refer to a source or designate a new one.
Here is a summary.
There are three basic categories of names presently in use.
- acronym + coordinate-based names
- acronym + sequential number
- special format
The "acronym" should be one which makes sense for your program so that
future researchers can easily recognize the origin. For example, the
acronym could be the
last-name initials of the first few authors, or an imaginative scheme
to indicate how or why the objects were discovered.
You should be sure to clearly define the acronym in your paper.
You may also register the acronym with the IAU at the CDS site
Proposal for Registering a New Acronym.
Coordinate-based names may be based on B1950 or J2000 coordinates.
If the latter, a "J" must precede the name. For example, a galaxy
with J2000 (or ICRS) coordinates of 12h 34m
56.7s, +76d 54m 32s
would be given a name like "GALCAT J123456.7+765432".
Note that coordinate-based names without a leading "B" or "J" are
ALWAYS interpreted as B1950, NOT J2000.
Whatever name you choose for your objects, it is vital that you
include coordinates for the objects to insure that other observers can
locate them on the sky. Positional uncertainties are helpful, too.
Q.: Some object names have the form "xxx T1-001",
but I don't see any T1 in the paper. Where does the "T1" come from?
There are instances where NED has to create a
name for an object, but two or more tables in
a reference re-use the sequential numbers. Thus,
there is ambiguity between similarly named objects
in different tables from the same paper. To provide
uniqueness, NED sometimes adds a "T1-", or "A1-"
before the number to indicate "Table 1" or "Appendix 1".
This is not done for every paper, but if there is a need
to differentiate between redundant names, this technique
is sometimes used.