Name an entire world (and it's star)!

An artist’s impression of the a Jupiter-sized extrasolar planet similar to WASP-13b
An artist’s impression of the a Jupiter-sized extrasolar planet similar to WASP-13b
Credit: An artist’s impression of the a Jupiter-sized extrasolar planet similar to WASP-13b.

Have you ever wanted to choose the name for a planet, and even the star it orbits around? This is your chance. Here at the NSO we are very excited to be involved in a special project organised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to help celebrate their 100th birthday.

Currently called WASP-13, and WASP-13b, the star and planet need better names and over the next couple of months, names suggested by schools and youth groups all over the UK will be gathered together and put to a panel of experts. The panel will then select a shortlist and the final names will be chosen by a public vote.

We are particularly excited as WASP-13b is quite a strange planet, and the Liverpool Telescope was key to finding out about its unusual properties. It is larger than Jupiter, but would only weigh about a third as much, making it much less dense, and unlike planets in the Solar System, which take months or years to orbit around the Sun, WASP-13b whizzes around it's star in just 4 days!

If you want to take part in this exciting competition, you can find out all the details on exoworld.co.uk.


Update 17th December 2019: The Winners!

The winners have been chosen! In the popular vote, the names proposed by Class 4/5G of Cronk y Berry Primary School in the Isle of Man were chosen, with the planet to be called Cruinlagh (pronounced crunlack) and its star Gloas (pronounced glowas) which are Manx Gaelic words meaning ‘orbit’ and ‘shine’ - both elegant and descriptive.


More Information

You can find out all about the competition on exoworld.co.uk.

You can find out more about the amazing WASP-13b and it star here and there are also a range of Exoplanets Teaching Resources for both primary and secondary.