Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions.


What is the NameExoWorlds project?

NameExoWorlds is a program facilitated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) so that people around the world can work together to name an exoplanet and its hosting star.


What is an exoplanet?

An exoplanet is a planet outside the Solar System. They orbit stars or stellar remnants (like white dwarfs or neutron stars). Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered orbiting other stars over the past three decades. The exoplanets to be named via the NameExoWorlds campaign are in systems with a single star and only one exoplanet known so far. Other exoplanets may be orbiting these stars, and perhaps even other stellar companions, but additional objects in these systems are not yet known.


What is an "exoworld"?

For the purposes of this naming campaign, and the previous 2015 and 2019 IAU naming campaigns, the nickname “exoworld” refers to an exoplanet or its host star. This project enables the participation of the public in the naming of not only an exoplanet, but its host star. 


What members can constitute a team?

A team should comprise some combination of students and teachers, astronomy enthusiasts, amateur astronomers, and exoplanetary scientists (with members from multiple categories on the team). 


Can team members belong to different countries?

Yes, a team can be constituted by members from more than one country, but the team needs to select a country/region that represents most or all of the members at the time of submission. 

Some of the team members can be from another country than they are representing but a team should submit to only one country. (For example, a country can “borrow” an exoplanetary scientist from another country or territory to be on their team)


How many members can a team have?

There is no limit to the number of people a team can have, but a team should be composed of some combination of students and teachers, astronomy enthusiasts, amateur astronomers, and exoplanetary scientists.  


How can I participate?

  1. Create a team composed of students and teachers, astronomy enthusiasts, amateurs astronomers and exoplanetary scientists;

  2. Create and implement an outreach event; 

  3. Register your team;

  4. Submit your name proposal (written format + video).


How is the selection process carried out?

The IAU National Outreach Coordinator (NOC) is responsible for selecting a country’s proposal at the national level. A panel led by the discoverers and the IAU Executive Committee Working Group will select the final name of the exoworlds from all participating countries.


Can a team propose more than one pair of names?

Teams are limited to a single submission (in this case, a pair of names; one for the exoplanet and one for their host star).


Can I be a member of more than one team?

Yes, you are allowed to participate in more than one team, but all your team members must be different. 


What type of systems will be named?

The systems are pairs of exoplanets and their stars. These systems are special as they are among some of the first exoplanet targets of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which launched in December 2021. JWST is the most powerful space telescope ever launched and is an international collaboration between multiple space agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the European Space Agency (ESA). The exoplanets have been discovered through a mix of techniques, mostly via the transit method and direct imaging. 


Can we propose pairs of names for a particular system (exoplanet & star)?

Yes, in the application form please tell us which system your proposed name should apply to. 


Can we propose names that could be applied to any system?

Although not encouraged, we will provide proposing teams the option to propose pairs of names (and associated theme) that could be applied to any system. This may end up being helpful for the selection committees in case the numbers of competing entries for particular systems ends up being low. 


How many exoworlds will be named?

Twenty systems: 20 exoplanets and their host stars. 


Are there specific rules for naming exoworlds?

Yes, there are. Check the rules in the Naming rules page.


When will the results be released?

The results will be announced in March 2023.