Public Have Been Given A Second Chance To Name 100 Exoplanets

Public Have Been Given A Second Chance To Name 100 Exoplanets

There are around 100 exoplanets that are nameless and the International Astronomical Union has decided to give people a chance to name these celestial bodies. The exoplanets and host stars will have the names suggested by the public from across the globe. There are around more than 780,000 people and the IAU’s NameExoWorlds project has selected a few names for the 100 exoplanets. It is for the second time that people have been given the opportunity to suggest names. The IAU-governed process had been started as a part of their 100th anniversary. At least one planetary system will be given to every country to name as per their choice.

The nation can be very well understood from the names suggested and the countries have been suggested depending on the visibility of the planetary system from the land using a small telescope. Many indigenous names were provided by the countries and a few were selected by IAU. For example, Argentina named exoplanet HD 48265 b as Naqaya and star HD 48265 as Nosaxa. The US had named the planet HD 17156 b as Mulchatna and host star as Nushagak. The new IAU names for exoplanets and their stars were:

Ireland: The planet HAT-P-36b was named Bran and its orbiting star HAT-P-36 as Tuiren in the constellation of Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs).

Jordan: Southern Jordan had named the exoplanet WASP-80b (Wadirum) and its orbiting star WASP-80 (Petra) in the constellation of Aquila (the Eagle).

Malaysia: The exoplanet HD 20868 b was named Baiduri while its orbiting star HD 20868 was named Intan and this planetary system is located in the constellation of Fornax.

Burkina Faso: Nakambé and Mouhoun are names suggested to the planet HD 30856 b and its star HD 30856, respectively. The planetary system is located in the river constellation of Eridanus (the River).

There are 4000 exoplanets and their stars that still have to be explored and named. The astronomers have been suggesting telephone-number-like names and wanting to give proper names to these celestial bodies. The new names may sound big and difficult compared to names like Mars or Venus. But, the logic behind the complicated names is to help connect with the countries. Earlier 20 exoplanets and 15 stars were named by the public.

Similarly, NASA has decided to build a massive, folding space telescope that can help explore the exoplanets. The Habitable Exoplanet Observatory (HabEx) is a new telescope that comprises of a 4-meter-wide mirror and 52-meter-wide sail that can help observe larger areas and block the light coming from nearby stars, respectively. The telescope is expected to be launched by 2030.

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