Showing posts from December, 2015

Astronomers Rename Famous Exoplanets

Source:   By Lee Billings , Scientific American Blog Excerpt: More than 30 worlds have new names drawn from world mythology, literature and history. ...The IAU’s NameExoWorlds contest, which began in July 2014, consisted of public and semi-private rounds of submissions and voting on names for 32 exoplanets and 15 host stars. ...The very first confirmed exoplanetary system, announced in 1992, consists of three rocky worlds orbiting a stellar remnant, a millisecond pulsar ignominiously named PSR 1257+12. Now, the pulsar is suitably called “Lich,” a name for an undead wizard from Greek, Dutch, and Norse folktales. Its three planets bear similarly spooky names drawn from ghostly mythological creatures—“Poltergeist,” “Phobetor” and “Draugr.” Pegasi 51, the first normal star found to host exoplanets, now has a more mellifluous name: “Helvetios,” a Latinized reference to the Helvetians, a tribe of Celts that lived in the Swiss Alps. The name nods to the Swiss astronomers Mi

New Horizons Returns First of the Best Images of Pluto

Source:  NASA Feature Movie: Latest New Horizons Science Photos - Images: page for New Horizons -