Winners in Naming the Exoplanets

14387061164_32abe90565_mThere are planets that orbit our sun (e.g. Mercury, Saturn, and or beloved Earth) and there are planets that orbit around a star that is not our sun. These celestial bodies are called “exoplanets.”

This past spring, registered clubs and non-profit organizations were invited to suggest names for several exoplanets and stars. Among the winning bids came from the Kamagari Astronomical Observatory in Japan. This organization received the honor of bestowing the planet Ain b (epsilon Tauri b) the name Amateru, a common appellation for shrines devoted to the Shinto Sun goddess, Amaterasu. Learn about these onomastics winners.