Canada’s Name the Exoplanet Contest!

The International Astronomical Union asked that Canadians propose new names for the star HD 136418 and its exoplanet HD 136418b. We received over 500 suggestions! A shortlist of names was approved by a panel of specialists.

Voting closed on November 17, 2019.

The IAU announced the winners in December 2019.

Star: Nikawiy
Exoplanet: Awasis
Description: Nikawiy and Awasis are the words for “mother” and “child” in the Cree language. The planet orbits its mother, always together and looking for her light.
Proposed by: Amanda Green (Alberta) and Wilfred Buck (Manitoba)

Shortlist of Proposed Names for the Star HD 136418 and its Exoplanet

Star: Acakos
Exoplanet: Cakapis
Description: Acakos and Cakapis mean “star” and “little spirit” in the Cree language.
Proposed by: Wilfred Buck (Manitoba)

Star: Natseq
Exoplanet: Nanuq
Description: Natseq and Nanuq mean “seal” and “polar bear” in the Inuktitut language. The polar bear circles around the seal during the hunt.
Proposed by: Kim Hula-Hetu (Alberta), Louise Teira-Chapuy (Quebec), Jennifer Kneller (Alberta)

Star: Mitig
Exoplanet: Binesi
Description: Mitig and Binesi mean “tree” and “bird” in the Ojibwe language. The idea of a planet circling a star is linked to the idea of a bird circling a tree.
Proposed by: Brianne Valdes (Ontario)

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