Group crowdsources names for 305 planets

A galaxy known as NGC 3081 located over 86 million light-years from Earth is seen in an undated...

A galaxy known as NGC 3081 located over 86 million light-years from Earth is seen in an undated NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. REUTERS/NASA/ESA/Hubble/Handout via Reuters

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 4:33 PM ET

There are planets named after George Clooney, Marilyn Monroe and each of the Beatles, and now there could be a planet named after your dear, departed grandma, your late Uncle Joe or your favourite died-too-young rock star.

The International Astronomical Union is crowdsourcing names for 305 celestial bodies known as exoplanets — they orbit stars outside our solar system.

The IAU is the body that officially sanctions both scientific and common names for planets and has set up the NameExoWorlds website for submissions, which will come from astronomy clubs and any non-profit "astronomy-interested" organizations.

The list will be narrowed down, and the public will get to vote on the proposed names next March.

Winning names will be announced in August 2015.

Names can be in any language, preferably one word, 16 characters or less, but cannot be offensive or trademarked. They also can't be of a "commercial nature," of people, places or events known for political, military or religious activities, or of people who are still alive.


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