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Space & Astronomy

Astronomers seek help to name exoplanets

By T.K. Randall
August 18, 2015 · Comment icon 27 comments

The public has been given the chance to vote on how to name the planets. Image Credit: NASA/JPL
Members of the public have been asked to help determine what to call 32 distant extrasolar worlds.
The International Astronomical Union's "NameExoWorlds" competition aims to give members of the public the opportunity to have their say on what to call some of the new planets that have been discovered in orbit around distant stars over the last few years.

The worlds chosen for the competition were picked from a pool of 260 solar systems and voted on by astronomy clubs and nonprofit organizations back at the beginning of the year.

The candidate planets include some well known examples such as 51 Pegasi b which in 1995 became the first extrasolar planet ever discovered around a sun-like star.
The vote will be open until October 31st with the winning names being announced in November.

"This list includes well-studied exoplanets discovered over twenty years, up to 31 December 2008," the website states. "A period of at least five years since the discovery has been considered as a simple and satisfactory criterion to include exoplanets which can be considered as confirmed."

"All the discoveries were made using various methods, including radial velocities, transits, microlensing and direct imagery."

The voting page, which does not require registration, can be accessed - here.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (27)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Vulcan probably won't get accepted. There is a hypothetical asteroid belt closer to the Sun than Mercury, known as the Vulcanoids. The Vulcanoids are named after a planet that was once believed to exist within the orbit of Mercury and was called Vulcan. Vulcan's existence was disproved by Relativity. Although no Vulcanoids have yet been discovered the name Vulcan is likely to be kept in reserve just in case.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Norbert the Incredible 8 years ago
Vulcanoids sound like, well, you can probably come up with some suggestions what they sound like. They might account for that look Spock always had on his face, anyway.
Comment icon #20 Posted by JesseCuster 8 years ago
Wait a minute, they discovered some 20 years ago? Took long enough to mention it. The first exoplanets were discovered in the 1990s and were mentioned and announced at the time.What are you talking about?
Comment icon #21 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
What are you talking about? Some people just don't seem to be able to understand that just because they don't know something it doesn't mean that everyone else is equally uninformed.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Likely Guy 8 years ago
Nibiru? Oh crap, that's already been taken. Pluto? Oh crap, that's been taken away. If they find one in the Horsehead nebula, name it Phillip.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Pluto? Oh crap, that's been taken away. Really? What's New Horizons just visited then?
Comment icon #24 Posted by Norbert the Incredible 8 years ago
has it been promoted back to planet status, or is the poor thing still a Dwarf Planet or whatever they called it?
Comment icon #25 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
has it been promoted back to planet status, or is the poor thing still a Dwarf Planet or whatever they called it? It's a dwarf planet. It should never have been called a planet in the first place. It is no more a planet than Ceres was. I can only conclude that the Victorians had far more commonsense than we do in the 21st century (possibly because they didn't have the internet) because when Ceres was reclassified from planet to asteroid nearly five decades after it was discovered people seem to have made the effort to understand why instead of whinging on about it ad nauseam.
Comment icon #26 Posted by GreenmansGod 8 years ago
If they want to stick with gods there are 372 Celtic gods. Though I do like the idea of using scifi planets.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Norbert the Incredible 8 years ago
If they find any small planets in the vicinity of Betelgeuse I recommend "A small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse".

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