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Here's your chance to name an exoplanet and its star



Look Up

In the past, you actually had to discover something in space, if you wanted the thrill of naming it – but a new competition ensures that astronomers do not have all the fun.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the official body responsible for naming celestial bodies, recently announced the IAU100 NameExoWorlds Contest, which gives every country on earth the opportunity to name an exoplanet and its host star.

And not just any star / mating of the exoplanets: The names of the celestial bodies of each nation are visible to the citizens only with a small telescope.

Name That Star

According to a press release, almost 100 nations have already registered for the contest. Each country will have its own committee running the naming process, ensuring that citizens know about the competition, and decide how to submit names and vote.

Participating countries must decide on a name by November 201

9. After that, the IAU validates the names and makes sure they match the name requirements – sorry, but Planety McPlanetface will not make the cut – before they are all announced in December 2019.

"This exciting event invites everyone around the world to think about their names as a collective place in the universe, while promoting creativity and global citizenship," said IAU President Elect Debra Elmegreen in the press release. "The NameExoworlds initiative reminds us that we are all under one heaven."

READ MORE: Global competition allows anyone to name a newly discovered planet [ Inverse

More about space names: The Black Hole M87 now has an epic name


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