Competition to have a name of your choice written in the stars

Posted by ap507 at Nov 06, 2014 12:30 PM |
Unique competition organised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to name a planet
Competition to have a name of your choice written in the stars

© Wikimedia Commons

The University has joined forces with the Leicester Mercury to give members of the public a unique opportunity – the chance to name a planet and its accompanying host star as part of a competition organised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The scheme gives members of the public the chance to name newly discovered ExoWorlds - which have all been identified and confirmed since 2008 - and is expected to attract interest from around the world.

People are being asked to come up with names according to a set of rules and submit them to a panel of experts and then to a final public vote.

The Mercury will initially gather all the suggestions and then a panel of experts from the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will whittle them down into a shortlist before Mercury readers vote for their favourite.

The chosen name will then be sent to the IAU and a worldwide vote will determine the 20-30 winners. The final names are due to be revealed in August 2015.

What names can be submitted?

Proposed names should be:

16 characters or less in length

Preferably one word

Pronounceable

Non-offensive

Not too similar to an existing name of an astronomical object

Proposed names should not be:

Names of pet animals

Names of a purely or principally commercial nature

Names of individuals, places or events principally known for political, military or religious activities

Names of living individuals

Only names that are not protected by trademarks or other forms of intellectual property claims may be proposed.