At the 2012 General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU; the international body for professional astronomy), the organising committee of IAU Commission 5 (Data and Information) requested the creation of a list of Astronomical Acronyms on Wikipedia. This list of acronyms and initials is not definitive but reflects current usage amongst professional astronomers.
List of Acronyms
- AAS American Astronomical Society – the primary association of professional astronomers in the United States
- ADS The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/NASA astrophysics data system, an on-line database of almost all astronomical publications
- AGN – active galactic nucleus – the nucleus of a galaxy that contains an active massive black hole
- AIPS Astronomical Image Processing System – a widely used software package used for processing radio astronomy data
- AMANDA Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array – a neutrino telescope located at a depth of 1.5 – 1.9 km below the ice in Antarctica.
- ARCADE Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Diffuse Emission – a balloon satellite experiment to measure the heating of the Universe by the first stars and galaxies after the big bang.
- ASKAP Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder – a next-generation radio telescope under construction in Western Australia. It differs from previous radio-telescopes in having many pixels at the focus of each antenna.
- ATCA Australia Telescope Compact Array, a radio telescope in Australia operated by CSIRO.
- ATLAS Australia Telescope Large Area Survey – a deep radio astronomical sky survey of two SWIRE fields covering a total of about 7 square degrees of sky.
- BLAST Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope – a submillimeter telescope that hangs from a high-altitude balloon, operated by a multi-university consortium headed by the University of Pennsylvania
- BOOMERanG Balloon Observations Of Millimetric Extragalactic Radiation and Geophysics
- CANGAROO Collaboration between Australian and Nippon for a Gamma Ray Observatory in the Outback - a very high energy cosmic gamma ray observatory, located on the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia.
- CARA Centre for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica - an organisation that operates an observatory at the South Pole, including several different telescopes from different research groups.
- CARMA Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy - an array of millimetre-wave telescopes located near Owens Valley, California
- CDFS Chandra Deep Field South - a deep field surveyed by many telescopes at different wavelengths, first selected for deep field observations by the Chandra X-ray Observatory
- CDM Cold dark matter is a hypothetical form of dark matter thought to account for 80% of matter in the Universe.
- CDS Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg – a major astronomical data centre
- CMB Cosmic microwave background radiation thermal radiation filling the observable universe almost uniformly
- CME – coronal mass ejection
- COSMOS The Cosmic Evolution Survey a deep field surveyed by many telescopes at different wavelengths, first selected as a Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Project to survey a two square degree equatorial field with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).
- CV – cataclysmic variable, a type of active star
- DM dark matter – the unidentified non-baryonic matter responsible for 80% of matter in the Universe.
- EGS Extended Groth Strip – a deep field surveyed by many telescopes at different wavelengths
- EGRET Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope - a Gamma-ray telescope mounted on board NASA's Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory
- ELAIS ESO Large-area infrared survey – a survey which named three deep fields (ELAIS-North, ELAIS-South1, ELAIS-South2) which are used for deep sky surveys
- ELF Extremely Luminous Far-infrared Galaxy, a synonym for Ultra-Luminous infrared galaxy - a galaxy which emits more than 1012 solar luminosities in the far-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- EMU Evolutionary Map of the Universe – a planned radio survey of the sky which will use the new ASKAP radio telescope to make a radio survey of the sky, producing a catalogue of 70 million galaxies.
- ESA European Space Agency
- ESO European Southern Observatory
- EVN European VLBI Network – a collaboration of the major radio astronomical institutes in Europe, Asia and South Africa to perform high angular resolution observations of cosmic radio sources.
- GBT Green Bank Telescope – the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, West Virginia, US.
- GMRT Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope
- GOODS Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey
- HDF Hubble Deep Field - a deep field surveyed by many telescopes at different wavelengths, first selected for deep field observations by the Hubble Space Telescope
- HDFS Hubble Deep Field South - a deep field surveyed by many telescopes at different wavelengths, first selected for deep field observations by the Hubble Space Telescope
- HLIRG Hyper-Luminous infrared galaxy - a galaxy which emits more than 1013 solar luminosities in the far-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- HOPS The H2O southern Galactic Plane Survey
- HST Hubble Space Telescope
- JBO Jodrell Bank Observatory A radio observatory in England. Part of The University of Manchester.
- JIVE Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe
- LCDM or ΛCDM Lambda – cold dark matter – a cosmological model in which the universe contains a cosmological constant, denoted by Lambda, and cold dark matter. It is frequently referred to as the standard model of Big Bang cosmology.
- LIRG Luminous infrared galaxy - a galaxy which emits more than 1011 solar luminosities in the far-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- LOFAR The LOFAR low-frequency synthesis array, based in the Netherlands
- LSST Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
- MACHO Massive Compact Halo Objects – a class of objects once hypothesised to be the cause of Dark Matter
- MALT Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team – including MALT90 and MALT45
- MERLIN Multi Element Radio Linked Interferometer. A seven-telescope radio interferometer – maximum baseline ~200 km – operated from Jodrell Bank Observatory
- MBH – massive black hole
- MUSYC Multi-wavelength survey by Yale-Chile
- NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- NED NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database
- NOAO National Optical Astronomy Observatory – one of the major optical observatory organisations in the USA
- NRAO National Radio Astronomy Observatory – the premier radio observatory in the US
- NRAL Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratory – the former name for Jodrell Bank Observatory
- NVSS NRAO VLA Sky Survey A major survey of the sky produced in 1998 using the VLA radio telescope
- POSSUM Polarisation Sky Survey of the Universe's Magnetism – a polarisation survey to be conducted with the new ASKAP radio telescope
- PRIMUS The Prism Multi-Object Survey – a large [spectroscopic survey] of several deep fields
- SAO Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
- SKA Square Kilometre Array – a next-generation radio telescope to be built in Australia and South Africa
- SMBH – super-massive black hole
- SWIRE Spitzer Widefield Infrared Extragalactic Survey – a large deep survey carried out with the Spitzer space telescope
- TABLEAUX – International Conference on Automated Reasoning with Analytic Tableaux and Related Methods
- TCC – Theory of Cryptography Conference
- TPHOLs – Theorem Proving in Higher-Order Logics
- TSD – Text, speech and dialogue
- UAI Union Astronomique Internationale – the French name for the International Astronomical Union, and one of its two official names
- ULIRG Ultra-Luminous infrared galaxy - a galaxy which emits more than 1012 solar luminosities in the far-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- VISTA Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy a 4-m diameter telescope operated by the European Southern Observatory, and located in Chile.
- VIPERS VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey an ESO Large Program to map galaxies over an unprecedented volume of the z~1 Universe
- VLA Very Large Array – a large radio telescope located in Socorro, New Mexico, operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
- VLBI very long baseline interferometry – a technique used in Radio astronomy involving the use of radio telescopes separated by hundreds or thousands of km.
- VLT Very Large Telescope – one of the world's largest telescopes, operated by the European Southern Observatory
- WALLABY WALLABY is a survey of neutral hydrogen in galaxies to be conducted with the new ASKAP radio telescope
- WIMP Weakly interacting massive particle – a class of objects hypothesised to be the cause of Dark Matter
- WSRT Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope
- "The CANGAROO Project" The University of Adelaide. Retrieved 17 September 2011.