Press Release: Brunei gets to name a planet and a star

Above: An exoplanet HD 179949b is a gas giant planet, a planetary system discovered in 2000 is assigned by the International Astronomical Union to be given a proper name by Brunei Darussalam (Source: International Astronomical Union)

Bandar Seri Begawan – People of Brunei will have the opportunity to name a selected exoplanet and its host star to commemorate the 100th-anniversary celebration of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Currently there are a total of more than 4,000 confirmed planets that orbit stars outside the solar system known as exoplanets. Most of these exoplanets have no proper names. 

NameExoWorlds offers the opportunity for all countries in the world including Brunei Darussalam to give a name to one exoplanet and its hosting star.

On August 2, 2019, Brunei Darussalam was assigned with a planetary system by IAU to be given appropriate names of a giant gaseous planet (HD 179949b) and its star HD 179949 located in the constellation of Sagittarius.

For the first time, NameExoWorlds for Brunei Darussalam is organised by the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam as the IAU National Outreach Coordinator to run this campaign from August 2019, with the support from relevant agencies.

The program was launched on August 4 via online by Haji Mahadi bin Haji Md Tahir, President of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) which was declared in a special announcement on the society’s Facebook page.

Haji Mahadi said “This global initiative will provide the opportunity for Bruneians to name the star and the planet, where the selected name suggestions will be memorialized for our future generations.”

Proposed names can be submitted to the committee from August 10 until October 10, 2019 through online form www.bruneiastronomy.org/NameExoWorlds

Names will be chosen by public online voting carried out in this country. The popular names and after final validation by the Organising Committee, the global results will be announced in December 2019. The chosen names will be recognized by IAU as official names.

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