[AAVSO-DIS] UIDs

Christopher Watson skygeex at gmail.com
Fri Sep 24 10:17:20 EDT 2010


Stephan,

Mike is correct that the AAVSO Unique IDs (AUIDs) are not intended to
be used as catalog names, and that the scheme was developed as an
internal method for uniquely identifying objects across AAVSO systems
without any reference to coordinate systems. But to say that they are
assigned randomly would be inaccurate. So I hope Mike doesn't mind me
correcting him on that. ;-)

There is actually a sequence to AUIDs, and they are assigned to
objects (as needed) along that sequence.  For example, whenever a new
variable star is submitted to VSX and approved, it is assigned the
next AUID available in the sequence.  The AAVSO maintains a database
entry of the next AUID in sequence.  A common database function is
used (and can be used by any AAVSO process) to "pluck" the next AUID
from the sequence stack.  The database is then automagically updated
with the next AUID in the sequence for the next assignment.

As you already know, the format for AUID is NNN-AAA-NNN, where N's are
numeric, and A's are alpha.  A typical AUID looks like this:
000-BJW-797.  The AUID sequence has each of the three "segments"
incrementing in numeric or alpha fashion, 0-9 and A-Z, right to left,
except the alpha segment intentionally omits any VOWELS (A, E, I , O,
and U) from the sequence in a vain attempt to eliminate, for the most
part, AUIDs with "bad words" in the middle.

000-BJW-797, by the way, is the next AUID to be assigned in the
sequence.  One of the new variable stars currently in the moderation
queue for VSX will probably get it.

-Christopher

On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 5:48 AM, Mike Simonsen <mikesimonsen at aavso.org> wrote:
> Stephan,
>
> AUIDs are assigned randomly. They have nothing to do with coordinates,
> constellation, name, type, sequence or anything. That is done
> purposely.
>
> They were not intended to be used by observers as catalog names for
> objects. It is simply an internal system devised to uniquely identify
> objects "without" reference to position, since coordinates precess,
> and stars exhibit proper motion. Theoretically, AUIDs could be used to
> identify asteroids, comets and spacecraft also.
>
> --
> Mike Simonsen
> Membership Director
> American Association of Variable Star Observers
> http://www.aavso.org/
>
> On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 3:04 AM, Stephen Hovell <srh at xtra.co.nz> wrote:
>> Please can someone direct me to page that describes the system that is used  for UIDs. Is there a logical sequence or are they random?
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Stephen
>>
>> *****************************
>> Stephen Hovell
>> Pukemaru Observatory
>> Kaitaia, NEW ZEALAND
>> E 173° 20'    S 35° 05'
>> srh at xtra.co.nz
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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