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  1. ITV Report

Competition to name distant planet announced by professor at UCLan

An artist’s impression of the Jupiter-sized extrasolar planet similar to WASP-13b, depicted as seen from a hypothetical moon. Credit: University of Keele/David A. Hardy

The public is being given the opportunity to name a planet outside of our solar system to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the International Astronomical Union.

The competition is being run by Professor Robert Walsh from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with voting opening today and closing on 2 December.

Over 10,000 young people from across the UK have suggested names for the planet and its host star, with suggestions ranging from Celtic mythology to UK mountains and connections to Stonehenge.

An artist’s impression of the Jupiter-sized extrasolar planet similar to WASP-13b. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The list has now been whittled down to a final 10 by a team of Astronomy experts.

Over 92 countries worldwide are naming their own planets as part of the competition.

The UK’s assigned exoplanet, currently named WASP-13b, is about a third of the mass of Jupiter, whilst its host star, currently named WASP-13, is thought to be larger, hotter, and older than our Sun.

This system is over 740 light-years from planet Earth.

Professor Robert Walsh said: “We have been overwhelmed by the quality of the names proposed and the creativity displayed by our young people.

"It was incredibly hard to narrow down the entries, but the shortlist is made up of some brilliant suggestions."

An artist’s impression of the Jupiter-sized extrasolar planet similar to WASP-13b. Credit: ESA/C.Carreau

The final names have a common theme with the first name being the proposed name for the exoplanet while the second name is the proposed name for the star.

  • Snowdon and Ben Nevis
  • Shaogal and Breagha
  • Delwyn and Ceridwen
  • Finlaggan and Dunyvaig
  • Elan and Galloway
  • Cruinlagh and Gloas
  • Dalla and Kann
  • Thistle and Poppy
  • Hafal and Recorde
  • Bluestone and Sarsen