Press Release: 100 000s of People from 110+ Countries Select Names for Exoplanet Systems In Celebration of IAU’s 100th Anniversary

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. 

Official NameExoWorlds result for Brunei Darussalam
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Brunei berpeluang menamakan planet, bintang

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Isnin, 5 Ogos. – Kesatuan Astronomi Antarabangsa (International Astronomical Union – IAU) menganugerahkan Negara Brunei Darussalam sebuah planet dan sebutir bintang induknya pada 2 Ogos 2019 untuk diberikan nama yang sesuai oleh rakyat negara ini.

Pihak IAU memperuntukkan sebuah planet dan bintangnya kepada setiap negara di dunia untuk dinamakan.

Brunei Darussalam turut diberikan sebutir bintang HD 179949 dan sebuah planet gergasi bergas (exoplanet HD 179949b) yang terletak dalam buruj Sagittarius untuk dinamakan.

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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.

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