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  Uwingu: Baby book of exoplanet planet names

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Author Topic:   Uwingu: Baby book of exoplanet planet names
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-12-2012 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
New site collects potential planet names in the name of science funding

A new company looking to raise funds for space exploration, research, and education has introduced its first product: a website to collect and rank names for planets found outside our solar system.

The "baby book of planet names" is the premiere project of Uwingu (pronounced "oo-wing-oo"), a space-themed for- profit startup founded earlier this year by space scientists and astronomers. The naming challenge is based on the estimation that there are 160 billion planets inhabiting our galaxy, the Milky Way, all without proper monikers.

"This is a whole new way for the people of Earth, of every age, of every nation, of every walk of life to creatively connect to space!" said Uwingu cofounder and CEO Alan Stern, who from 2007 to 2008 served as NASA associate administrator for science and is the principal investigator for the New Horizons mission to Pluto. "You can nominate planet names for your favorite town, state or country, your favorite sports team, music artist, or hero, your favorite author or book, your school, your company, for your loved ones and friends, or even for yourself."

"And tell your friends about the names you nominate, so they can help vote them to the top! It's fun, it's social, and it's for a great cause," Stern added.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 11-12-2012 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't tell Stephen Colbert or he might think his last name as an acroymn for a treadmill on the ISS is not enough.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-12-2012 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In fact, if you go through the names already nominated, "Stephen Colbert" is among them with 11 votes.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-12-2013 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
International Astronomical Union (IAU) release
Can One Buy the Right to Name a Planet?

In the light of recent events, where the possibility of buying the rights to name exoplanets has been advertised, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) wishes to inform the public that such schemes have no bearing on the official naming process. The IAU wholeheartedly welcomes the public's interest to be involved in recent discoveries, but would like to strongly stress the importance of having a unified naming procedure.

More than 800 planets outside the Solar System have been found to date, with thousands more waiting to be confirmed. Detection methods in this field are steadily and quickly increasing — meaning that many more exoplanets will undoubtedly be discovered in the months and years to come.

Recently, an organisation has invited the public to purchase both nomination proposals for exoplanets, and rights to vote for the suggested names. In return, the purchaser receives a certificate commemorating the validity and credibility of the nomination. Such certificates are misleading, as these campaigns have no bearing on the official naming process — they will not lead to an officially-recognised exoplanet name, despite the price paid or the number of votes accrued.

Upon discovery, exoplanets and other astronomical objects receive unambiguous and official catalogue designations. While exoplanet names such as 16 Cygni Bb or HD 41004 Ab may seem boring when considering the names of planets in our own Solar System, the vast number of objects in our Universe — galaxies, stars, and planets to name just a few — means that a clear and systematic system for naming these objects is vital. Any naming system is a scientific issue that must also work across different languages and cultures in order to support collaborative worldwide research and avoid confusion.

To make this possible, the IAU acts as a single arbiter of the naming process, and is advised and supported by astronomers within different fields. As an international scientific organisation, it dissociates itself entirely from the commercial practice of selling names of planets, stars or or even "real estate" on other planets or moons. These practices will not be recognised by the IAU and their alternative naming schemes cannot be adopted.

However, the IAU greatly appreciates and wishes to acknowledge the increasing interest from the general public in being more closely involved in the discovery and understanding of our Universe. As a result in 2013 the IAU Commission 53 Extrasolar Planets and other IAU members will be consulted on the topic of having popular names for exoplanets, and the results will be made public on the IAU website. Meanwhile, astronomers and the public are encouraged to keep using the existing accepted nomenclature — details of which can be found on the Astronomy for the Public section of the IAU web page, under Naming Astronomical Objects.

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