The IAU100 Name ExoWorlds project aims to contribute to the fraternity of all the people with a significant token of global identity by providing the opportunity to all countries in the world to name one exoplanet.
In recent years, astronomers have discovered thousands of planets and planetary systems orbiting around nearby stars. t is now believed that all stars in the Universe could in fact have planets orbiting them and that some of them may even have physical characteristics that resemble the Earth. The sheer number of stars in the Universe, each potentially having planets orbiting them, means that the odds of there being life of some kind out there is quite high. With this in mind, it would be sensible for the people of Earth to start considering themselves as Citizens of the Cosmos, and reflect deeply on how they present humanity to the hypothetical, larger cosmic community. Borders, wars, cultural and ethical separations, should be set aside to offer a global, peaceful view of humanity to our cosmic neighbours in the Universe.
The names accepted will be part of the result of an internal competition that involves the younger generation (students) of the country. The choice of the name should be motivated by a short explanation and should express explicitly, or implicitly, the desire of the country to be part of the same world under the same sky. The collections of exoplanets names accompanied by their motivation will be published in a special IAU Volume.
In each participating country, a national committee has been specially created by the National Outreach Coordinators (IAU NOCs) to carry out the campaign at the national level. The national committee, following the methodology and guidelines set up by the IAU100 Name ExoWorlds Steering Committee, is the body responsible for providing the conditions for public participation, disseminating the project in the country and establishing a voting system.
The national campaigns will be carried out from June to November 2019 and, after final validation by the IAU100 NameExoWorlds Steering Committee, the global results will be announced in December 2019. The winning names will be used freely in parallel with the existing scientific nomenclature, with due credit to the persons that proposed them.