05Mar2013

Public Invited To Name New Planets

Do you like to participate in space-related projects? Then here’s something new for you. Uwingu just announced its new fully commercial website at http://www.uwingu.com.

This site will allow the public to choose names for exoplanets and enter them into a database. From the astronomers can pick from these names. But, hold the phone a  minute … We said “commercial” didn’t we? Yup. And proceeds from the site will be used generate a source of grants to fund space exploration, research, and education — called The Uwingu Fund. 

“Astronomers have estimated that our galaxy — the Milky Way — harbors 160 billion or more planets. That’s more than 20 planets for every living person on Earth,” says astronomer and Uwingu CEO Dr. Alan Stern. He added, “This is a first step in democratizing planet naming. And it’s a new way for the people of Earth, of every age, of every nation, of every walk of life to personally connect to space discoveries. Never before Uwingu was it possible for everyday people to get involved in planet naming.”

English: Geoffrey Marcy Professor of Astronomy...

English: Geoffrey Marcy Professor of Astronomy University of California, Berkeley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, how does it work? You go to the site and nominate a name. It could be the town in which you live, a state, a country, your favorite sports team, the name of a rock band, your personal hero, a company, an author, or even your great aunt Fanny!

For that matter, you can even use your own name as a nomination! Next order of business… Just how much does it cost? For only $4.99 you can add your nomination to the Uwingu planet name base.

There is no limit to the number of times you can use it and Uwingu even makes volume discounts so you could purchase a block of names. Just like “name a star” it would make a great present – or presentation!

Leading planet hunter astronomer Dr. Geoff Marcy of the University of California at Berkeley added, “The myriad planets being discovered across the galaxy are a tribute to our natural human desire to explore beyond the horizon.

Now people all over the world can participate in these discoveries in a new way, giving identities and even personality to billions of planets in our galaxy for the first time. I’m excited, and hope you will be too.”

Original Story Source: PRLOG Press Release. Submitted by Tammy Plotner for “Dave Reneke’s World of Space and Astronomy News”.