International Astronomical Union

The International Astronomical Union or IAU (Union astronomique internationale or UAI, in French) is a collection of professional astronomers, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy. It acts as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) and any surface features on them.The IAU is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). Its main objective is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation.
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