a system of words and groups of digits used by astronomical observatories and the international Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (since 1965 operating at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, USA) to relay information by telegram concerning discoveries of comets, novas, and supernovas and observations of rare phenomena on the moon, planets, and so forth.
The astronomical code provides for such information as the date when the observations were made, the observer’s surname, the celestial coordinates and stellar magnitude of the observed object, and ephemerides for subsequent observations. Special astronomical codes have been devised for organizing the work of stations observing artificial space objects. Such codes are for the telegraphic transmission of information on the launching of artificial earth satellites, their orbital elements and ephemerides, and the results of observations.
The forms of the astronomical code are established by the International Astronomical Union, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council of Scientific Unions, and other international scientific organizations.
N. P. ERPYLEV