Stargazers in the Netherlands: Here’s your chance to name a planet
Ever wondered what it would be like to have one of the planets in the sky bear your name creation? Well, here’s your chance! The International Astronomical Union is celebrating its 100-year anniversary and is, therefore, allowing countries who signed up to its programme to name a new load of planets.
What would you call the planet?
The Netherlands has been asked to come up with a new name for the exoplanet HAT-P-6 b and the star it orbits, HAT-P-6. An exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star other than the sun. HAT-P-6 b is extremely far away from Earth, so far in fact that it’s taken 910 years for its light to reach us. It was discovered in 2007 and is part of the Andromeda constellation.
So, what would you name such a planet and its star? If you fancy being in with a chance of having HAT-P-6 b and HAT-P-6 bear the name you’ve thought up, you can enter via the astronomie.nl website. Keep in mind that the entry form is in Dutch and that the deadline for entries is September 30. Once the deadline has passed, five entries will be shortlisted and the public will then be able to vote for which they like best around mid-October.
Rules for the names
You can’t just send in any old name for your entry, there are some rules you have to abide by. If you were thinking about naming the planet after the person, that person would have to have been deceased for at least 100 years. Names are also not allowed to be offensive or have strong political or religious connotations. Check the rest of the rules on the entry website.