In keeping with His Majesty’s vision of promoting interest in space, science, and astronomy, Bhutan is participating in the NameExoWorlds project being carried out by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in celebration of 100 years of IAU. This global project offers an opportunity for each country, including Bhutan, to name an exoplanet and its host star. An exoplanet is a planet outside the solar system. Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered orbiting other stars over the past three decades. Bhutan has been assigned the sun-like star and exoplanet.
A National Committee for selecting the name of the exoplanet has been set up, and together with the Department of Information Technology & Telecom, Ministry of Information & Communications (DITT/MOIC) is organizing a national campaign on the NameExoWorlds project. We would like to extend an invitation to all Bhutanese nationals, especially students, to participate in naming one planetary system, comprising an exoplanet and its host star.
The national campaign will be conducted in two phases:
● The first phase will be conducted from 16 to 20 November 2019 for the submission of names to the National Committee. As per IAU, the proposed names should be of things, people, or places of long-standing cultural, historical, or geographical significance, worthy of being assigned to a celestial object. You are encouraged to read the full official naming rules on the IAU's website (http://www.nameexoworlds.iau.org/naming-rules).
● The second phase will be conducted from 21 to 24 November 2019 where ten names shortlisted by the National Committee from those submitted, will be put to public voting. The winning names will be announced by IAU in December 2019 and will be used as official names in parallel with the existing scientific nomenclature.
The general naming rules, as shared by IAU, are as follows:
● The IAU is seeking proposals for proper names of exoplanets and the stars they orbit through the IAU100 NameExoWorlds naming campaign. The proposed names should be of things, people, or places of long-standing cultural, historical, or geographical significance, worthy of being memorialized through naming of a celestial object.
Although not necessary, the names may be drawn from themes related to the sky and astronomy, or related in some way to the constellation that the exoplanetary system lies in. Two names should be proposed - one for the exoplanet and one for the star it orbits. The two names should follow a common naming theme. The naming theme describing how the names are related in some logical way should be summarized in a sentence or two, and be broad enough that additional names could be drawn from the literature to name additional objects in that exoplanetary system in the future (e.g. additional planets which might be discovered, additional stellar companions). Example: Rivers of country XYZ. Fictional lands in 19th-century stories from country XYZ, etc.
1. Proposed names (after translation) should be:
○ Between 4 and 16 characters in length in Latin alphabets (including spaces or punctuation);○ Preferably one word;
○ Pronounceable (in some language);
○ Not identical to, or too similar to an existing name of an astronomical object. Names already assigned to astronomical objects can be checked using these links:
i. IAU names for asteroids in the Minor Planet Center (MPC) database http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/db_search;
ii. Names of galactic and extragalactic objects in the Sesame name resolver http://cds.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/Sesame;
iii. IAU names for planets, dwarf planets, and satellites: https://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Page/Planets;
iv. IAU names for stars https://www.iau.org/public/themes/naming_stars/;
v. IAU names for exoplanets http://nameexoworlds.iau.org/names.
○ In addition, it is not allowed to propose:
i. Names of a purely or principally commercial nature.
ii. Names of individuals, places or events principally known for political, military or religious activities. Names of individuals that died less than a century ago (1919).
iii. Names of living individuals
iv. Names of organizations related to the selection.
v. Names of pet animals.
vi. Contrived names (i.e. new, invented).
viii. Names that include numbers or punctuation marks (diacritics are acceptable)
2. Only names that are not protected by trademarks or other forms of intellectual property claims may be proposed.
3. All the proposal names should come with a citation of not more than 100 words in English after translation.
4. It is understood that the selected public names, will not replace the scientific alphanumeric designations, but will be recognized by the IAU as the appropriate publicly used name for the object(s), and be published as such, along with due credit to the proposer that proposed it. This public name may then be used internationally along with, or instead of, the scientific designation, permanently and without restrictions.
B. Submission & Deadline
The proposals are to be submitted vide the google form linked below:
The last date for the submission of the proposal(s) is 20/11/2019.
Public Voting on the top ten (10) entries will be open from 21 till 24 November 2019