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Send astronauts to Zappafrank

Exploring how we name the universe.
RELATED TOPICS: NOMENCLATURE
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Celebrities know that names have power. That’s why Robert Zimmerman and Cherilyn Sarkisian decided to call themselves Bob Dylan and Cher. Yet little poetry or stateliness was employed when it came to naming the universe’s contents. Indeed, astronomy possesses the most inconsistent nomenclature in all of science. Here’s a primer for newbies — and a refresher for the rest of us.

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