Can we name?

Is there any way to name a object that’s not identified yet ?

1 Like

I don’t think so but you could probably say that you “discovered it”.


this tells you about naming things.

1 Like

Stars and nebulae are named after the discoverer, if the discoverer is the only author of this work and if nobody else did mention the nature of this object previously. This does not happen often and usually astronomers don’t name objects after themself, but give it a catalog name or a name that describes the features of the object.

Some “modern” examples of objects discovered by volunteers and named after them or the name was choosen by said volunteers:

  • McNeil’s nebula (named after the discoverer Jay W. McNeil)
  • Pea Galaxies (named after their small size and green color in SDSS, volunteers called themself Pea Corps)
  • Voorwerpjes (Dutch for “small objects”)
  • Kronberger 61 (named after discoverer Matthias Kronberger)
  • Peter Pan Disks (named after the book “Peter Pan”, like the “lost boys” these disks don’t seem to grow up)
  • STEVE (named after a scence in the movie “Over the hedge”, where one character is not sure what they see, so they name it “Steve”)
  • Kojima-1Lb (named after the discoverer Tadashi Kojima)

An exeption is Boyajian’s Star. The paper about KIC 8462852 (Boyajian et al. 2016) contains many authors and there were Planet Hunters volunteers that discussed this object long before it was published.

Comets are traditionally named after the discoverer(s) or the sky survey

Exoplanets and their host stars are sometimes given alternative names by the IAU. In such a program everyone can suggest and vote for a name:

1 Like

And amusingly, galaxies don’t get names, but clusters do, so two of my colleagues have dwarf galaxy / star clusters named after them: and


Thanks for the info guys :pray::heart:

1 Like

A cluster of stars or galaxies?

I meant star clusters. Large galaxy clusters usually get named after the constellation they’re in (Perseus cluster, Virgo cluster). I’m not sure about smaller clusters.


Many “smaller” galaxy clusters are named after George O. Abell, but SIMBAD prefers ACO after the extended catalog, which includes Corwin and Olowin.