15 December 2015

Meet Tadmor, Dagon, And 29 More Newly Named Planets

NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)

Artist's illustration of the star formerly known as PSR 1257+12, now named Lich

While many in America were looking to the 2016 elections and marveling at the clown-like antics of Donald Trump, another election was taking place in the science world. The International Astronomical Union was tallying the first public votes on what to name a select group of exoplanets, and now the votes are in.

The new names come from all over the world, and each star system has its own theme.

The star formerly known as 55 Cancri, for example, is now known as Copernicus, and its planets are named after Galileo, Jules Janssen, and a variety of other astronomers. That system's new names pretty conventional, but hey, they're better than 55 Cancri b, c, d, e, and f.

Others, such as the planet newly named Dagon, have a more interesting backstory. Dagon is an ancient Syrian fish god--it's an appropriate name for this world, since it orbits a star named alpha Piscis Austrini.

You can read through the rest of the new names here.

In total, 14 stars and 31 exoplanets got renamed. Our fave is the Lich star system (formerly known as PSR 1257+12). Orbited by the planets Poltergeist, Draugr (an undead creature from Norse mythology), and Phobetor (the personification of nightmares), this is one solar system we do not want to move to.

Unlike other organizations that claim you can pay money to name a star or planet, these names are recognized by the scientific community.



from http://www.popsci.com/meet-tadmor-dagon-and-29-more-newly-named-planets
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