|Astronomers throw open the doors to the public-naming of planets|
|Friday, 16 August 2013 12:18|
The international institute responsible for naming planets, stars and other celestial bodies has announced that the public will now be able to submit their own suggestions on what to call new discoveries in space.
Founded in 1919, the Paris-based International Astronomical Union (IAU) has more than 11,000 members in more than 90 countries, making it the de facto authority in the field.
Without any official laws enforcing the use of planetary names, the decisions on what to call new discoveries are usually a matter of consensus.
“The IAU fully supports the involvement of the general public, whether directly or through an independent organised vote, in the naming of planetary satellites, newly discovered planets, and their host stars,” says the statement.