Did you know that we have discovered more than 4000 planets orbiting stars in our Galaxy? A planet that orbits another star (other than the Sun) is called an exoplanet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has asked Canada to name one star and the planet that orbits it! We want you to propose a pair of names, one for the star and the other for the planet.
Right now the star has the name HD 136418 and the planet is named HD 136418 b. Can you think of better names for the star and planet? The proposed names should be of things, people, or places of long-standing cultural, historical, or geographical significance to the people of Canada, worthy of being assigned to a celestial object.
Send us your names! With every entry, we ask that you also provide a short explanation in French or English (100 words maximum) for your names. At present we don’t know if any other planets orbit HD 136418, but it would be great if your idea for the names can be extended to provide names for future-discovered planets. In recognition of the UN 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019), speakers of Indigenous languages are encouraged to propose names drawn from those languages.
Contest closes on September 20, 2019, at midnight (PDT). Entries will be judged by a panel of experts, and the best entries will receive a beautiful 2020 calendar from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Later in the year, Canadians will be asked to vote on the top entries selected by the panel.
The star is approximately 340 light years from the Earth in the constellation Bootes, and has a temperature similar to the Sun’s. The planet is a gas giant, with a diameter that is 1.2 larger than Jupiter’s diameter. The planet takes 464.3 Earth-days to orbit the star at a distance that is 1.3 times farther away than the Earth’s distance from the Sun. Since the planet is a gas giant it probably isn’t habitable by life similar to ours. But if the planet has a moon with an atmosphere, the moon could possibly have an Earth-like climate.
The names should be:
Between 4 and 16 characters in length in Latin alphabet (including spaces or punctuation)
Not identical to, or too similar to, an existing name of an astronomical object.
Not be trademarked or a commercial product.
Not be the name of a living person or someone who died after 1919.
Not be a contrived (or invented) name or an acronym.