By the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Paris – More than 110 sets of names of exoplanets and host stars named in the IAU100 NameExoWorlds campaigns were announced at a press conference in Paris (France) on 17 December 2019. Within the framework of the International Astronomical Union’s 100th anniversary commemorations (IAU100) in 2019, more than 110 countries organised national campaigns that stimulated the direct participation of over 780 000 people worldwide, who proposed and selected names for each exoplanet and its host star.
The IAU100 NameExoWorlds project saw massive and widespread participation around the world, as the public eagerly engaged in this exciting opportunity to suggest meaningful, creative and unique names for exoplanet systems for their respective countries. This is only the second time in history that a campaign has led to the naming of stars and exoplanets. Overall, 360 000 proposals for names were received from 110+ countries. The National Committee in each country reduced their proposals to a shortlist of national candidates, which were presented to the public for their votes. A total of 420 000 people voted for their preferred candidates. This project will have a lasting impact, as the winning names will be used in parallel with the existing scientific nomenclature, credited to the person, group or institution that suggested them.
“Astronomical observations over the past generation have now discovered over 4000 planets orbiting other stars — called exoplanets. The number of discoveries continues to double about every 2½ years, revealing remarkable new planet populations and putting our own Earth and Solar System in perspective. Statistically, most of the stars in the sky are likely to be orbited by their own planets — they are everywhere,” said Eric Mamajek, co-chair of the NameExoWorlds Steering Committee. “While astronomers catalogue their new discoveries using telephone-number-like designations, there has been growing interest amongst astronomers and the public alike in also assigning proper names, as is done for Solar System bodies,” Mamajek continued.Continue reading “Press Release: 100 000s of People from 110+ Countries Select Names for Exoplanet Systems In Celebration of IAU’s 100th Anniversary”