Naming and submission rules

It is very important that you understand the basic International Astronomical Union’s Naming Rules for the IAU UK Exoworld Naming Competition. These are outlined as follows.

The competition will only accept names for WASP-13 and WASP-13b that are submitted by UK-based school classes and youth organisations/groups (including those in home education). Each submission must be undertaken by an adult (18+ years) on behalf of the school class, youth group etc. Multiple separate submissions from a class/group can be made.

Please note that unfortunately submissions by individuals outside of that outlined above will not be accepted.

The proposed names should be of things, people, or places of long-standing cultural, historical, or geographical significance, worthy of being memorialized through naming of a celestial object.

Although not necessary, it would be good if the names could be related to the UK in some manner. Also, the names may be drawn from themes related to the sky and astronomy or related in some way to the constellation that the exoplanetary system is observed within.

Two names should be proposed – one for the exoplanet and one for the star it orbits.

The two names should follow a common naming theme. The naming theme describes how the names are related in some logical way, should be summarized in a sentence or two, and be broad enough that additional names could be used to identify further objects in that exoplanetary system in the future (e.g. additional planets which might be discovered, additional stellar companions). Examples from the IAU include, say, rivers of country X or fictional lands in 19th century stories from country Y etc. but we are looking for as much creativity as possible!

Proposed names must be

  • between 4 and 16 characters in length in the Latin alphabet (including spaces or punctuation);
  • pronounceable; and
  • non-offensive

If possible, names should preferably be one word and as mentioned, be connected to the United Kingdom in some manner.

In addition, proposed names must not be:

  • names of a purely or principally commercial nature;
  • names of individuals, places or events principally known for political, military or religious activities;
  • names of individuals that died less than a century ago (after 1919);
  • names of living individuals;
  • names of organizations related to the selection process;
  • names of pet animals;
  • contrived names (i.e. new, invented);
  • acronyms;
  • names that include numbers or punctuation marks (though diacritics are acceptable; eg. déjà vu);
  • names that are principally known as trademarks or protected by intellectual property claims.

We also reserve the right to exclude names that are too similar to those already existing names of astronomical objects. Names already assigned should be checked using the following links (the expert panel will also use these to guide the short-listing process):

All proposed names must be accompanied by a citation of no more than 150 words explaining the naming theme for the names chosen.

The winning names will be recognized by the IAU as the appropriate publicly used name for the object(s). It is understood that the selected winning names will not replace the scientific alphanumeric designations.

The winning names will be published as such, along with due credit to the proposers that proposed them. This new name may then be used internationally along with, or instead of, the scientific designation, permanently and without restrictions.

The official IAU rules are also available on the NameExoWorlds website

Stages and schedule

There are four stages of the IAU UK Exoworld Naming Competition.

Stage 1: Suggesting names (6th September to 18th October 2019)

Schools and youth organisations only will propose names for the UK’s designated exoplanet and host star. A brief description and rationale for why those names have been chosen is required.

Stage 2:  Choosing finalists (19th October 2019- 15th November 2019)

The proposed names will be reduced to a small number of finalist names by a panel of experts.

Stage 3: A public vote (15th November 2019 to 29th November 2019)

In mid November 2019, those school/youth organisations who proposed the finalist names will be notified. A public vote on the finalist names will be undertaken electronically via a form which will be available on this website.

Stage 4: The winning names are announced (mid-December 2019)

The winning names from the public vote will announced in mid-December 2019 along with all other winning names from all the countries participating in this IAU world-wide activity. The name of the school/class/youth organisation/group that proposed the winning names will be published and recognised internationally as the namers of WASP-13 and WASP-13b.

Submit your names

Great – you have names for WASP-13 and WASP-13b! Please make sure you have read and understood the naming rules and the privacy notice.

Please remember that the competition can only accept names for WASP-13 and WASP-13b that are submitted by UK-based school classes and youth organisations/groups (including those in home education). Each submission must be undertaken by an adult (18+ years) on behalf of the school class or youth group etc. Multiple separate submissions are allowed.

Unfortunately, individual submissions outside of the above will not be accepted.

To make a successful submission, you will need to provide to us the following basic information:

  • Name of school (class), youth organisation (group) or home educator (Name) making the submission (for example – Year 5, V Primary School; Year 8 Science Class, W High School; X Brownie Pack; Y Library Reading Group; Home educator, Z Smith );
  • County of school/organisation/home educator (these must be UK only);
  • Name of main contact (who must be 18+ years old);
  • Contact email address;
  • Suggested name for star WASP-13;
  • Suggested name for exoplanet WASP-13b;
  • Naming theme – briefly outline why these names are being submitted.

The online submission form can be accessed by the link below. Go for it and good luck!