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August 16 2013

You can help name newly discovered planets, if you follow the rules


For decades, the names given to newly discovered planets have almost always failed to live up to the excitement these celestial finds represent. (Take for example forgettable monikers such as CFBDSIR2149, HD 189733b, 55 Cancri e, and Kepler-69c.) The organization that oversee's the naming of new planets, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), knows that these titles are the opposite of cool and catchy. And thankfully, something is being done about it the IAU is moving away from leaving selective working groups to name planets and opening up the process to the public.

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