Last August as part of our National Science Week 2014 events we had flyers out to solicit names from the public to submit as part of the International Astronomical Union’sName ExoWorlds” competition for the chance to be able to name a star and its orbiting exoplanets – we even made The Age!


 We got a number of submissions from then and over the last year and so last Thursday night I sat down and screened out any that wouldn’t pass the IAU’s rules (in our case the only ones were names that had already been used for main belt asteroids) before taking them to a public vote at MBO on Friday night.  The voting was done blind, which meant the members could only see the proposed names and the justification, and we ended up with two names as outright winners – which was handy as the system we had selected to name (xi Aquilae, magnitude 4.7) only has a star and one exoplanet. :-)

So I’m pleased to announce that our submissions that we have put in for xi Aquilae are:

Object Proposed Name Justification Submitter
Star xi Aquilae Ezu This star is named ‘Ezu’ (pronounced like ‘a zoo’) after Eduard Zuev (1934-2005) – an outstanding populariser of astronomy and amateur telescope making in the Irkutsk Region of Russia and the the founder of the Irkutsk Astronomical Club “Astroclub”. Pavel Mironov
Exoplanet xi Aquilae b Heroicos “Heroicos” which means epic in Latin, is an apt name for an exoplanet almost 3 times the mass of our own largest planet, Jupiter, and orbits much closer to its star than our own planet Earth does taking less than half an Earth year to complete a single orbit! Elliot Perez

Now all that is left is for the voting to open – please watch the NameExoWorlds website for more information and if you like our suggestions please register there to vote for us!