The Names of These Planets Will Be Decided by the Internet

When mankind first started discovering planets beyond our own, we named them for fantastic gods and goddesses. Since then, we’ve found a whole lot more planets outside our solar system—at least a thousand of them—and we’ve grown a little lazy in the naming department. Titles like HD 209458 b are obviously chosen more for practical reasons than romantic ones, but that’s something the International Astronomical Union hopes to change.

In order to tackle the long list of exoplanets in need of new names, the IAU has decided to enlist the help of the internet. The NameExoWorlds competition, which opened last Tuesday and will run until the end of October, calls for anyone with access to the internet to vote on the names for 32 of the extrasolar planets discovered in the last 25 years.

Read more: Mental Floss

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