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International Astronomical Union

(association of professional astronomers)

The International Astronomical Union (IAU or UAI) is an association of professional astronomers. Among their activities are standardizing the designations of bodies and standardizing recommended values of measurable quantities, e.g., the radius of the Sun. As such, it assists communication and collaboration among researchers regarding observation data, modeling, etc. Thus, for example, two researchers each modeling the Sun would not find divergence merely from using different measures of its radius.

They famously redefined the definition of Planet in a way that relegated Pluto to be a Dwarf Planet.


Referenced by:
Galactic Coordinate System
Minor Planet Center (MPC)