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What’s in a Name?

3 Aug 2011, 05:15 UTC
What’s in a Name?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Rome and Juliet, William Shakespeare Image Credit: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mrs._Herbert_Stevens_May_2008.jpg When we think of the planets in our own solar system – the names Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune come to mind. Each one [...]

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Rome and Juliet, William Shakespeare

Image Credit: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mrs._Herbert_Stevens_May_2008.jpg
When we think of the planets in our own solar system – the names Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune come to mind. Each one we associate with its respective planet. I can’t think of Mars without invoking images of the Red Planet’s landscapes beamed back from Pathfinder, Opportunity, and Spirit. So what about exoplanets, do we get to name them like the ancient astronomers named the planets of our solar system?
One of the frequently asked questions we get at Planet Hunters: If I find a new exoplanet, can I name my new discovery? Before I answer that question, I wanted to explain how it works for our solar system. If there’s a ...

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