NameExoWorlds, an IAU Worldwide Contest to Name Alien Planets, Continues Controversy

by Shannon Hall July 9, 2014

The International Astronomical Union has unveiled a worldwide contest, NameExoWorlds, which gives the public a role in naming planets and their host stars beyond the solar system. It’s the latest chapter in a years-long controversy over how celestial objects, including exoplanets, are classified and named. Shannon Hall on Google+

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Weekly Space Hangout – Aug. 16, 2013

by Fraser Cain August 16, 2013

Like your space news, but you just can’t handle reading any more? Then watch our Weekly Space Hangout, where we give you a rundown of all the big space news stories that broke this week. Host: Fraser Cain Panel: Brian Koberlein, David Dickinson, Nancy Atkinson, Nicole Gugliucci Stories: CIA Comes Clean About Area 51 Elon […]

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IAU Revises Their Stance on Public Involvement in Naming of Exoplanets and Moons

by Nancy Atkinson August 15, 2013

The International Astronomical Union issued a statement on August 14, 2013 that they have changed their official stance on two things: 1. assigning popular names to the numerous extrasolar planets being discovered, and 2. allowing the public to be involved in that naming process. “It is therefore in line with a long-established global tradition and […]

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IAU Issues Response To Uwingu’s Exoplanet Naming Campaign

by Nancy Atkinson April 12, 2013

Given the popularity of the recent contest by Uwingu to suggest names for the closest known exoplanet to Earth (officially named Alpha Centauri Bb or ACBb for short), the International Astronomical Union has issued a statement about their stance on the “official” naming process. The IAU says that while they welcome the public’s interest in […]

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Pluto May Soon Have a Moon Named Vulcan (Thanks to William Shatner)

by Jason Major February 25, 2013

The votes have been tallied and the results are in from the SETI Institute’s Pluto Rocks Poll: “Vulcan” and “Cerberus” have come out on top for names for Pluto’s most recently-discovered moons, P4 and P5. After 450,324 votes cast over the past two weeks, Vulcan is the clear winner with a landslide 174,062 votes… due […]

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