Astrogeology Science Center

No More Provisional Names

6 September 2006

There has been an important change in the approval process for planetary feature names; the designation of "provisional nomenclature" is no longer used. As soon as the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) has successfully reviewed a name, it is considered approved and can be used in publications. Immediately after WGPSN approval, names are entered into the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. Any objections to these names based on significant, substantive problems must be forwarded in writing or email to the IAU Division III president within three months of the names being published in the gazetteer.

This new policy will allow for much more efficient use of planetary feature names for the scientific community, and it will streamline and simplify the use of planetary feature names in the publication process.