News hardware Space: it’s official, everyone is invited to name their own “solar system”
A competition led by the International Astronomical Union invites internet users to suggest names to christen no fewer than 20 exoplanetary systems revealed by the James Webb telescope. It’s time to let your imagination run wild!
You may already have that named one or more planets while playing No Man’s Sky, but this time the proposal is a little more serious, and above all a little less virtual. It actually comes from the International Astronomical Union, also called the International Astronomical Union. This organization regularly organizes contests on the Internet to allow space enthusiasts from around the world to suggest names to rename the stars that are constantly being discovered in the sky.
With the deployment of James Webb in January 2022, greatly accelerated the discoveries and it is urgent to find names for the first 20 exoplanetary systems that the space telescope has already had in its viewfinder. And that’s where you can come in.
NameExoWorld 2022, the competition of the year
This year’s naming competition for the International Astronomical Union is called, NameExoWorld 2022. And there has been a lot of talk about him for two reasons: First of all, this initiative is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Then it is not a question of finding a name with a star or with a distant planet, but with 20 exoplanetary systems.
An exoplanetary system consists of planets, but also of various celestial bodies such as comets or asteroids, which orbit a star. The solar system is one. James Webb has discovered 20 more in a few months: some are bigger than others, but they all have the advantage of existing and therefore need to be named as they should be.
The event is unique, The International Astronomical Union wants to let as many people as possible around the world participate. The NameExoWorld 2022 competition was launched on August 16 and will run until November 11, 2022.
First of all, you should know that NameExoWorld 2022 is open to everyone. The IAU wanted to make it accessible to researchers and professional astronomers as well as to students and amateur astronomers.
However, there is still one important detail to take into account: to participate you need to form a team consisting of people from different fields. A group of students can form one with a professor, a local astronomy club can organize around the event, and so on.
Then it is necessary to organize an “awareness event” to discuss exoplanets. It could be a streaming presentation, a Facebook group or even a physical conference, it doesn’t matter. This is when the group must choose one of 20 exoplanetary systems to rename.
Finally, the name proposal must be anchored in a “cultural context”. It must be in the language of the group, and the group must be able to explain exactly why it chose that name and not another. An explanatory video must be provided to validate participation in the competition.
Naming exoplanetary systems is serious
We will understand The International Astronomical Union seeks to raise awareness in the wider community, but requires a lot of seriousness from the participants in the competition to achieve credible results. Trying out a troll name in the hopes of seeing it pass through online polls is out of the question.
Or else, the final names will be chosen by professionals who will decide not only based on the proposals but also on the involvement of the different teams during their participation in the competition. The final results will be given in March 2023.