To all fans of astronomy resident in Australia,

I am very pleased to announce the Australian component of the Name Exoworlds competition now being run globally by the International Astronomical Union. Every country in the world has been assigned a star and orbiting planet, and asked to name it. We will be running the Australian competition from this page so make sure to keep us i your bookmarks as we update you on how to enter your name.

I am sure you will have many questions. So here are the answers to a few of them.

Where is the star and planet? The star is currently only known by its scientific name, HD 38283. It is a yellow-white dwarf in the constellation of Mensa (we will talk more about constellation later).

Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to the solar system but for now I want to leave you with the theme for the Australian competition. The IAU said of the competition

The Name ExoWorlds II project aims to contribute to the fraternity of all the people with a significant token of global identity.

The Australian competition will have as its theme, “meeting place” with the goal being to find a name, in any of the myriad languages spoken here, that reflects Australia’s own identity as a multicultural country where people come from many places and many stories of the sky told. 2019 is the Year of Indigenous languages and indigenous names are especially welcome.

We will be naming the star and the planet, and want to set the scene for any further planet discoveries that can also fit in to the theme. If you want to know more you can contact us at exoplanets@mtburnettobservatory.org

I encourage you all to go out tonight and look up at the night sky and imagine how you would name a new solar system.

I look forward to a creative year

James Murray on behalf of the Australian exoplanet naming committee