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Working Group Designations
Minutes from Business Meeting, Sydney, July 21st, 2003

The Working Group on Designations of IAU Commission 5 clarifies existing astronomical nomenclature and helps astronomers avoid potential problems when designating their sources.

During the business meeting, Francois Ochsenbein reported that since the "Registry of new acronyms" was set up within the Working Group Designations and started accepting submissions in 1997, there have been over 85 submissions and 70 acceptances (through September 2003). The Chandra X-ray Observatory created a Source Naming Convention in 1999 with a requirement that authors should submit their acronym to the IAU registry prior to publication. 20 acceptances have been of the "CXO" type.

William Hartkopf and Brian Mason from Commission 26 (Double Stars) reported on the follow-up to the Multi-Commission meeting, namely, Special Session 3 (also co-sponsored by the Working Group Designations, Commission 5). This special session on "A New Classification Scheme for Double Stars" resulted in a C-type resolution recommending that a uniform designation scheme, based on expansion of the Washington Multiplicity Catalog (WMC) system, be developed during the next 3 years to include all types of components. The Working Group Designations endorsed this resolution.

Michelle Storey, Chairperson of the Working Group Publishing, gave a brief report on their activities. Jill Tarter gave a report of the activities of the Working Group Extrasolar Planets and said that they were willing to adopt whatever nomenclature resulted from carrying out the resolution from the Special Session 3. Hélène Dickel pointed out that this does not preclude the Working Group Extrasolar Planets from eventually creating a separate acronym, designation, and catalog for those stellar companions that are found to be bonafide extrasolar planets.

A series of short fillers called "Common Causes of Confusion" from Working Group Designations by Hélène Dickel and Marion Schmitz appeared in "The Magellanic Times" daily newspaper during the General Assembly.

One retired member, George Wilkins, requested removal from the Working Group and Marion Schmitz was unanimously voted in as the new Chairperson to replace Hélène Dickel who had chaired the Working Group Designations for the past 9 years.