Nomenclature for Fundamental Astronomy (NFA)

(20 November 2007)

The Working Group on “Nomenclature for Fundamental Astronomy” (NFA) of Division 1 was formed at the 25th IAU GA in 2003 in order to provide proposals for the new nomenclature associated with the implementation of the IAU 2000 resolutions on reference systems and to educate the large community of scientists about these issues.

The activities of the NFA WG, from October 2003 to July 2006, consisted of questionnaires to a number of astronomers and to the almanac offices, detailed e-mail discussions, newsletters, and the preparation of the WG recommendations together with various explanatory documents. These NFA documents and recommendations were discussed during international meetings in 2004 and 2005.

A WG report was published in the IAU Transactions A (2006) before the 26th IAU General Assembly where a Joint Discussion was held on “Nomenclature, precession and new models in fundamental astronomy: Applications and scientific contribution to astronomy”, with a final discussion on the WG proposals. The WG proposed 2 IAU Resolutions, made 14 recommendations, and produced the IAU 2006 Glossary including an explanation of their decisions.

The two Resolutions proposed by the WG, Supplement to the IAU 2000 Resolutions on reference systems and Re-definition of Barycentric Dynamical Time, were endorsed by the 26th IAU General Assembly (Prague) as IAU 2006 Resolutions B2 and B3, respectively.