Lancashire University announce competition to name new distant planet

University of Keele/David A. Hardy

In a competition led by UCLan professor Robert Walsh, you can help to name a new distant exoplanet and a star, which are both in the running for the IAU ExoWorlds Project 2019. 

They are part of a system that is over 740 light-years from Earth.

The UK’s exoplanet is currently named WASP-13b and the star WASP-13, so you can see why they’re on the look-out for catchier names.

University of Keele/David A. Hardy

Unfortunately though, this isn’t a Boaty McBoatface scenario, so you can’t just be chucking out all sorts of off-the-wall suggestions and hoping for the best. The shortlist has been chosen by a team of astronomy experts and was whittled down to a top 10 from suggestions by over 10,000 young people across the UK.

The two names in every combo, the former name proposed for the exoplanet and the latter for the star, both have a link to each other and themes range from well-known mountains, to Celtic mythology and beyond.


Here’s the shortlist of potential names:

Snowdon and Ben Nevis
Shaogal and Breagha
Delwyn and Ceridwen
Finlaggan and Dunyvaig
Elan and Galloway
Cruinlagh and Gloas
Dalla and Kann
Thistle and Poppy
Hafal and Recorde
Bluestone and Sarsen


So, if you still fancy being a part of history, but politics and the upcoming general election is just going right over your head, then how about helping to name a planet and a star instead?

Voting is now open and closes on 5th December 2019!

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