You now have an opportunity to assist in the naming of a series of planets, and this is quite real.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is inviting anybody interested to help them in the name selection process for newly discovered ExoWorlds and so here is the timeline of it all (as explained on their website) …
- July 2014: a list of 305 well-characterized exoplanets discovered prior to 31 December 2008, is selected for public naming by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) upon the recommendation of its Working Group Exoplanets for the Public. These exoplanets belong to 260 exoplanetary systems comprising one to five members, in addition to the host star. These systems and their host star together are here referred to as ExoWorlds. Their list is published on the NameExoWorlds website.
- October 2014: an IAU Directory for World Astronomy website (directory.iau.org) allows astronomy clubs and non-profit organisations interested in naming these ExoWorlds to register. The IAU will have the capability to handle the registration of thousands of such groups. Registration is compulsory.
- January 2015: clubs or non-profit organisations vote for the 20 top ExoWorlds they wish to name out of the list provided by the IAU.
- April 2015: the 20 top ExoWorlds list is published on NameExoWorlds.org website, in which 15 stars and 32 exoplanets are namable. Clubs or non-profit organisations send in proposals for the names of members of these selected 20 ExoWorlds (including the host star), based on the rules in the IAU Exoplanet Naming Theme, together with a detailed supporting argument for their choice. Each group is allowed to name only one ExoWorld.
- August 2015: the general public votes to rank the proposed names, announced at a special public ceremony held during the IAU XXIX General Assembly in Honolulu, USA. The IAU will be ready to handle a million votes or more worldwide.
- ealrly November 2015: the IAU, via its Executive Committee Working Group on the Public Naming of Planets and Planetary Satellites, oversees the final stages of the contest, and validates the winning names from the vote.
- mid November 2015: the results will be announced.
So here is what is on offer – they have their top 20 list, and a collection of names that have been formally proposed for each, and you can now vote and select your preferred name for each. No registration required, basically each unique device gets a vote.
There are further notes on it all here.
However, to leap in and vote, you simply go here.
So there you go then, this is your chance to name an entire planet, and so far only 145 thousand have voted.
1 thought on “Interested in naming a planet? …(I’m not kidding)”
No Kolob? I’m disappointed.