Name that exoplanetS. Himmelstein | August 19, 2022
During its survey of exoplanetary systems, the James Webb Space Telescope will document the existence of previously unobserved planetary bodies. These exoplanets will require names, and students, teachers, astronomy enthusiasts and others are invited to form teams and propose names for 20 celestial systems, each of which consists of one known exoplanet and its host star.
The NameExoWorlds 2022 contest seeks to unite amateur and professional astronomers to name these exoplanets while also establishing connections between space research and diverse civilizations on Earth. Launched by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in partnership with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, the contest marks the 10th anniversary of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach.
After forming teams, participants must conduct an astronomy outreach event related to exoplanets, select a system from the 20 ExoWorlds on the list, use their native language to propose a name and provide an explanation of the cultural context.
Winning names will not replace the scientific designations, which already exist for all exoplanets and their host stars, but they will be sanctioned by the IAU as the official public names, and will be publicized as such.