Within the framework of its 100th anniversary commemorations, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is organising the IAU100 NameExoWorlds global competition that allows any country in the world to give a popular name to a selected exoplanet and its host star. Exoplanet rendering by IAU.
Four years ago, the International Astronomical Union organized a competition to give popular names to 14 stars and 31 exoplanets that orbit them. The event encouraged 570,000 people to vote and the iconic planet 51 Pegasi b became “Dimidium, ” 55 Cancri b became “Galileo,” and (among others) Formalhaut b became “Dagon.”
It remains unclear how often those popular names are used in either scientific papers or writing about the papers. But the idea of giving mythical names, names that describe something unique about the planet (or star) or that nod to famous astronomer or iconic writers has caught on and the IAU has a new naming contest up and running.
This one is the IAU NameExoWorlds global campaign, and almost 100 nations have signed up to organize public national campaigns that will give new names to a selected exoplanet and its host star.
“This exciting event invites everyone worldwide to think about their collective place ...