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Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets 127

An anonymous reader writes In response to the increased interest by the public in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the world authority that names objects in space, is giving the public a chance to name up to 30 planets from a pre-selected group of 305 exoplanets. "Before you get excited about naming HAT-P-7b after your first pet goldfish, it's worth taking a look at the restrictions the IAU places on its minor planet names. The 16 characters or less must be 'pronounceable (in as many languages as possible)' and non-offensive in any language or culture. The names of living persons are verboten, pet names are 'discouraged,' and you can't use a name that is commercial or has political, military, or religious connotations." The proposed names can be submitted by astronomy clubs and non-profit organizations interested in astronomy and votes will be cast by the public from across the world.
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Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets

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  • Connotations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @06:51PM (#47445125)

    No religious connotations. So names like "Jupiter" and "Mars" and "Pluto" are right out. Even names like "Charon" are verboten.


  • This (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2014 @08:47PM (#47445655)

    won't end well . . .

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @11:17PM (#47446279)
    You go to the IAU website and it's written in english. No language selections for non-english speakers. (Even does better than this). What does the "I" in IAU stand for, again?

    You go to the website - same deal.

    You read the rules and all submissions (max 250 words) must be in english, too.

    Given that this is about astronomical objects that are so far away, to them The Earth doesn't even register as a blip. Therefore to limit the naming process to one single earthly language seems like an extraordinary limitation. Especially when you consider that so many stars have Arabic names - couldn't we be a bit more inclusive?

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