MISAO Project

Japanese version       Home Page       Updated on March 11, 2003

March 11, 2003

    What the acronym of a star name means?    

MISAO Project Announce Mail (March 11, 2003)

Hello. I am Seiichi Yoshida working on the MISAO project.

When looking our pictures, sometimes we come to find a very red star, or a variable star.

When guiding the telescope towards a comet or a galaxy, sometimes we come to find a star not drawn on a chart, or cannot find a star drawn on a chart.

If you search about such a "special" star, you sometimes find that the star has various names.

In the case of the MISAO Project, we have a star database containing about 1.5 million remarkable objects, variable stars, clusters and nebulae, infrared or ultraviolet stars, emission stars, large proper motion stars, etc. So we can easily search about such a "special" star.

For example, let's suppose that we find a variable star at R.A. 07h27m04s.6, Decl. -09o09'09".

After searching the star database of the MISAO Project, we found that the star has the following five names.

  • IRAS 07246-0903
  • MSX5C G225.1540+03.6430
  • CGCS 1720
  • CGCS J0727-0909
  • ISV 0724-09

Well, what do those names mean?

Basically, the thing a star has various names implies that the star has been researched and observed in various view points.

The acronyms of star names often means the research contents, researchers' names, or paper titles. So we can suppose what kind of star it is only based on the name.

But when the star has a name we have never seen, what can we do? In this example case, what do the acronyms "CGCS" or "ISV" mean?

In order to investigate the meanings of acronyms or find literatures on the acronyms, the following web page is convenient.

Dictionary of Nomenclature of Celestial Objects

For example, please input the "CGCS" and search. Then you can see it stands for "Cool Galactic Carbon Stars". So we can see the star is a carbon star.

In the same way, the acronyms "IRAS" and "MSX5C" mean that the star was observed in infrared, that is, the star is a red star.

Therefore, the star in this example case seems a red variable like Mira.

However, there are many unofficial acronyms in the world. We cannot search for those unofficial acronyms using this web page. In this example case, this web page outputs nothing for the acronym "ISV".

In fact, we cannot search for the acronym "MisV", assigned to the MISAO Project new variable stars, using this web page.

Especially, many new variable stars have been discovered, and many new acronyms have been created on and on these days. In this March, Ondrej Pejcha has started to report new variable stars using a new acronym "Pej".

Therefore, I listed up all acronyms in the star database of the MISAO Project, and created a web page which shows the original names, literatures, data resources, etc., for all those acronyms.

Supported Catalogues

Looking this web page, we can see the acronym "ISV" stands for "Iida Suspected Variables". That is, the star in this example case has been already discovered as a variable star by Japanese amateur Iida.

Many stars with unofficial acronyms like "ISV" are included in "newvar.cat", compiled by Taichi Kato.

When a new variable star is posted to vsnet-newvar, Seiichi Yoshida gets the data, changes the format and send it to Kato to be added to "newvar.cat". The recent new variable stars reported by Klaus Bernhard, Katsumi Haseda, John Greaves have been added to "newvar.cat" in this way.

In recent years, Brian Skiff has been working on a research to revise the positions of stars in old catalogs. The results have been posted to vsnet-id. Those data have been added to "newvar.cat" in this way, too.

If you search about a "special" star, the following web page is also convenient.

SIMBAD: Query by identifier, coordinates or reference code

Please input R.A. and Decl., then you can search various names of the star at the position. However, you cannot search for recent new variable stars discovered by amateurs.

So I recommend you also search "newvar.cat". And if you find a name you have never seen, please see the table in the following page.

Supported Catalogues

The past MISAO project announce mails are available at:


Seiichi Yoshida

Copyright(C) MISAO Project (comet@aerith.net). All rights reserved.