Tags: scientists | help | name | planets | stars | Ceres | alien life

Scientists Seek Public's Help in Naming Alien Stars, Planets

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 11:06 PM

Space enthusiasts around the world are being asked to put their heads together and name some alien planets.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has asked clubs and nonprofits to help name planets and stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Once a list of possible names is put together, the general public will be able to vote on their favorites.

Thirty-two planets and 15 stars are in need of names.

"Although people have been naming celestial objects for millennia, the IAU has the task of assigning scientifically recognized names to newly discovered celestial bodies by its member countries," IAU officials said.

"The NameExoWorlds contest provides not only the first opportunity for the public to name exoplanets, but also, for the first time in centuries, to give popular names to some stars — those that have known exoplanets in orbit around them."

The deadline to submit names is June 15, and then they'll be up for a vote.

Researchers at NASA, meanwhile, are trying to figure out what exactly is glowing on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres. Situated between Mars and Jupiter, Ceres sports some bright spots on its surface, and astronomers are not sure what they could be.

Earlier this month, it was reported that a team of NASA researchers was working on the problem of how to build a house on Mars — if humans are ever able to colonize the red planet. Their solution seems to be 3-D printing, which would get around the problem of having nothing but red sand as building material.

NASA scientists recently predicted that hard evidence of extraterrestrial life could be discovered "within 20 to 30 years."

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Space enthusiasts around the world are being asked to put their heads together and name some alien planets. The International Astronomical Union has asked clubs and nonprofits to help name planets and stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
scientists, help, name, planets, stars, Ceres, alien life, Milky Way
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2015-06-27
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 11:06 PM
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