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(Mostly) Thumbs Down on ExoNames

4 Jan 2016, 15:27 UTC
(Mostly) Thumbs Down on ExoNames
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Infographic displaying a breakdown of the votes per person and country/region in the IAU NameExoWorlds vote to name alien worlds. As announced on December 15, publicly endorsed names for 31 exoplanets and 14 host stars were accepted and are to be officially sanctioned by the IAU.
The name 51 Pegasi B, the first planet identified outside of our solar system, has been eclipsed. Now it is Dimidium.
The (at least) five planet system orbiting the star formerly known as 55 Cancri now circles the star Copernicus. And those planets 55 Cancri B, C, D, E, and F are Galileo, Brahe, Lippershey, Janssen and Harriot.
These are some of the 31 newly-named exoplanets and 14 newly-named stars, the result of an international naming competition organized by the International Astronomical Union and made public and formal last month.
More than half a million people voted in the naming sweepstakes, and that no doubt brought a lot of attention and interest into the world of exoplanet research. Organizers of the effort have explained their effort this way: “Given the publicity and emotional investment associated with these discoveries, worldwide recognition is important and the IAU offers its unique experience for the benefit of a ...

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