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(glossary entry)


IAU is an abbreviation for the International Astronomical Union.

Additional Information

The IAU, founded in 1919, has been charged since its inception with overseeing astronomical nomenclature, including that for the Moon. The first completed system of IAU Nomenclature was issued in 1935. The IAU also sets standards for how astronomical observations are to be reported, including such matters as the directions used to designate north, south, east and west on the Moon. In 1961, the IAU recommended adoption of a new system of IAU Directions in which what was formerly East was changed to West.
- Jim Mosher

LPOD Articles


Whitaker, Ewen A. (1999) Mapping and naming the moon: a history of lunar cartography and nomenclature. Cambridge University Press.