General Questions

Q: What is the purpose of this website?  Is it primarily for the NameExoWorlds contest registration, or is it primarily for a long-term global directory of all types of astronomical organisations?
A: Both. The two initiatives have combined to establish this directory.  Due to time limitations, the first phase of the website, which you see now, is oriented towards the NameExoWorlds contest. But the second phase of development will shift the focus to the directory itself.

Q: Don't IAU have a complete list of astronomical institutions? Why are you asking the institutions to register again?
A: Contrary to the popular belief, IAU don't already have a global list of astronomical institutions. Moreover, in the future the directory will build-in a global events calendar. Every organizations should create a user ID/password to login to the system to enter their events. In addition, maintaining up-to-date information on this website is another important motivation behind enlisting individual institutions to provide their own details.

Q: Why do you use the names "China Nanjing" and "China Taipei" in this site?
A: The denominations ("China-Nanjing" and "China-Taipei") used in the IAU Directory of World Astronomy are referring to the seats of the respective astronomical societies. Astronomers (including amateurs) in both geographical areas follow the official agreement on these denominations, which was signed by both parties and approved by the IAU General Assembly in 1982.


Q: What kinds of organisations are eligible to register through on this website?
A: There are many possibilities, here are some examples:

[ Regular Organisations (members meet/interact face to face) ]

Professional Astronomical Bodies

  • Societies of Professional Astronomers
  • Research Institutes/Universities/Colleges (Astronomy, Physics or related Departments)
  • Space Agencies
  • Research Astronomical Observatories/Facilities

Public Astronomical Organisations

  • Planetariums, Museums or Science Centres
  • Astronomical Observatories for Public Use
  • Societies for Space Studies
  • Societies of Astronomy Educators and Communicators
  • Societies of Amateur Astronomers
  • University Students' Astronomy Clubs
  • High School Students' Astronomy Clubs
  • Other Kinds of Astronomy Clubs

Astronomy-Interested Organisations

  • Primary Schools
  • Middle Schools
  • High Schools
  • Universities/Colleges without Astronomy/Physics Programmes
  • Cultural Clubs
  • Community Groups (e.g. Boy Scouts/Girl Guides/Local Community Centres)
  • Societies of Artists/Authors/Composers/Performers/Photographers/Sci-fi Fans
  • Societies for General Sciences
  • Societies for Archeology/Geology/Engineering/Meteorology/Physics
  • Environmental Groups
  • Others

[ Virtual Organisation (online interactions only) ]

  • Discussion Forum
  • Astronomy Projects
  • Social Media Pages
  • Others

Q: Can I register without a website?
A: No, a website is required. It is very easy to create a simple website/blog nowadays, for example you can use http://www.wordpress.com/ to make a page for your organisation and share your stories with the world.

Q: Does my website need to be written in English?
A: No, any language is fine.

Q: Can I register if I am a sub-organisation?
A: Yes.

Q: What should I do if my organisation don't have a logo?
A: You can type your organisation's name and save it as an image.

Q: I cannot receive any verification email after I have registered, what's the problem?
A: We have noticed a system problem that some email server rejected our emails, please contact us if you did not receive our emails within 5 minutes, the problem will be solved by an alternative email.



Q: If we find that we registered in the wrong category, can we change the category after the registration?
A: No, unfortunately the category cannot be updated after the registration process. Instead, please contact us to cancel your account and then re-register.

Q: I have received the approval email but I cannot see my organisation on the list, why?
A: Probably you didn't verify your email address.



Q: What is NameExoWorlds contest?
A: You can refer to the IAU press releases
and NameExoWorlds website http://nameexoworlds.org/

Q: Are all registered organisations on the IAU Directory of World Astronomy eligible to propose names for the NameExoWorlds contest?
A: No. Only "Public Astronomical Organisations", non-profit "Astronomy-Interested Organisations" and membership-based Virtual Organisations are eligible. In other words, "Professional Astronomical Bodies" and non-membership based Virtual Organisations are not eligible. If you notice you were registered in an incorrect category, please contact us.

Q: Although we are "Professional Astronomical Societies", but we conduct a lot of astronomical education and outreach and activities, can we join the contest?
A: By rules, if your organisation belongs to "Professional Astronomical Societies", that means you are professional astronomers, is not allowed to join the contest. However, if your organisation have a specialized Education and Outreach Department/Session/Team, or you have a staff association or relevant, you can then register another account as a sub-organization of your organisation and select "Public Astronomical Organization" / "Astronomy-Interested Organisations" as your category, then you would be able to join the contest.

Q: I have already registered in the IAU Directory of World Astronomy. How can I propose names for the NameExoWorlds contest?
A: The account you created on this website can be used to log into the NameExoWorlds platform to propose names.

Q: Are we, as members of the astronomy-related media, allowed to suggest names?
A: No, unfortunately. As media, by proposing names yourselves, you would be in a position of conflict of interests (i.e., reporting on a contest while competing).