Polish Internet users will choose the best name for the planet currently known as “BD+14 4599 b”, which was discovered by astronomers from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, north-central Poland.
The contest is part of a global campaign which allows every country to name a selected planet. It is organised by the International Astronomical Union on the occasion of the centenary of its creation.
Out of nearly 3,000 Polish ideas, seven pairs have been selected. The names refer to, among others, the characters from the globally known “Witcher” series by Andrzej Sapkowski, the radioactive isotopes discovered by a Polish Nobel Prize winner Maria Skłodowska-Curie, and the Slavic Gods. The online voting will last until the end of October.
The discovery took place back in 2009. An extrasolar planet, orbiting a star of the Pegasus constellation, has a distance to “its” star comparable to the distance between Mars and the Sun. Its parameters indicate that the planet is likely to have a volatile composition.