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Nepali Names Got Selected for Naming ExoWorld’s Star and Planet

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NameExoWorlds (also known as IAU NameExoWorlds) is the name of various projects managed by the International Astronomical Union (I.A.U.) to encourage names to be submitted for astronomical objects, which would later be considered for official adoption by the organization. The first such project (NameExoWorlds I), in 2015, mostly regarded the naming of stars. ExoWorlds welcomed countries of the world, to submit names for exoplanets and their host stars.

International Astronomical Union, an apex body of more than 12,000 professional astronomers around the globe, had given Nepali people an opportunity to name the planetary system which consists of one star and one planet.

As per the announcement, the star with code HD100777 has been named Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) and the planet with code HD100777b has been named Laliguras (Rhododendron, Nepal’s national flower.) The Exoworld solar system with a single planet lies around 172 light years away from the earth in Leo Constellation of Milky Way Galaxy. One light year is a distance travelled by light in one year. Scientists have claimed planet Laliguras has possibility of ‘habitable zone.’ The names Sagarmatha and Laliguras were selected from the pool of around 476 names suggested by Nepalese living in 11 different countries. The names were recorded from August 1 to August 31.

IAU had authorized Nepal Astronomical Society to undertake the responsibility to collect and suggest top five names each, for the star and the planet. NASO had then formed the Name Exoworld National Committee, which shortlisted top 10 names from around 476 names received. The names short listed by NAS were Bhrikuti, Kumari, Sagarmatha, Karnali, Tilicho, for the star and Gautam Buddha, Hyatrung, Janak, Laliguras and Manjushree for the planet.

The committee had then called for another voting to choose a name each, for the plant and the star from among the 10 names. Suresh Bhattarai Chairman of the Name Exoworld National Committee said they had collected 19,823 votes from Nepali voters to pick up two names from among the 10.

The IAU’s steering committee and the NENC following multiple rounds of discussions decided to name the star and the planet as Sagarmatha and Laliguras, respectively.

IAU on the occasion of its 100th anniversary had organised ‘NameExoWorlds’ global competition providing opportunity for 112 countries to name the ‘Exoworld’ discovered by scientists from across the world. There are more than 4,000 Exoworld bodies discovered by scientists and majority of them have been given scientific code names.

Source: THT