What name would you give to an exoplanet and its star several tens of light years away?
To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the IAU (International Astronomical Union) proposed to all member countries to ask their people to give a name to a star and its planet. It therefore chose a star orbited by a planet for each country, Switzerland thus inherited the star HD 130322, a star similar to our Sun but with slightly smaller mass and radius. HD 130322 is about 100 light years away from us and is already visible in small telescopes. Its planet, HD 130322b, has a mass 15% higher than that of Jupiter and rotates around its star in 10.7 days, so it is named as a ” hot Jupiter “. The planet was already discovered about twenty years ago by a team of Geneva astronomers led by Michel Mayor.
This artist’s illustration shows an extrasolar “hot Jupiter” orbiting very close to its host star (Credit ESA/Hubble).
In September 2019, 1472 name proposals were submitted by Internet users in Switzerland to the Swiss astronomical society in charge of the project. The 12 best suggestions were selected by the committee on the basis of several criteria that meet IAU requirements.
Internauts now have until November 10, 2019 to choose and determine the best proposal. Participate in this unique campaign by visiting the voting site: https://nameexoplanet.ch/