Here's your chance to name an exoplanet and its host star

MANILA, Philippines – For the 100th anniversary of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Filipinos will get a chance to name an exoplanet and its host star.

In a July 29 statement, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Administrator Vicente Malano said the state weather bureau together with the National Museum and other local astronomical organizations will hold a national competition allowing Filipinos to give a popular name to a selected exoplanet and its host star.

"An individual with a Filipino citizenship or organization based in the Philippines are invited to propose the name of an exoplanet and its host star, accompanied by the reason why the names were chosen," Malano said in the statement.

"The names of the exoplanet and its host star should be related to one another and they should be culturally or historically relevant to the Philippines. The designated name of the exoplanet and the host star for the Philippines is designated as WASP-34 and a yellow dwarf star located at the constellation of Crater, the Cup."

The local competition, which is part of IAU's global competition, will run from August to November. The global results, as validated by the IAU100 NameExoWorlds Steering Committee, will be announced in December.

"The winning names announced by the IAU will be recognized official by the IAU in parallel with the scientific nomenclature with due credit to the persons that proposed them," Malano said in the statement, adding that the winner will also receive a 3" Reflector Type Telescope.

If the winner is from outside Metro Manila, he or she will receive free travel and accommodation expenses for the awarding ceremony to be held at PAGASA's Central Office.

Nearly 100 countries have signed up for the global campaign called IAU100 NameExoWorlds. The campaign gives every country the opportunity to name an exoplanet and its host star.

"The aim of this initiative is to create awareness of our place in the Universe and to reflect on how the Earth would potentially be perceived by a civilization on another planet," the IAU said on its website.

Those who would like to participate in the national competition may call 434-5852 and 927-5509. –