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Tom Mazanec
2010-Nov-24, 03:55 PM
http://www.mpia.de/homes/lyra/planet_naming.html
I think this is a nice idea. Am I wrong?

AndreasJ
2010-Nov-24, 04:20 PM
Some of those names are already taken. Frex, Asterion is a star (aka β Canum Venaticorum) and Niobe is an asteroid.

Also, I don't think using names (as opposed to labels that give some information where and what they are) is very practical for exoplanets, except for ones that happen to become particularly famous. Some such already have unofficial nicknames, such as Methuselah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methuselah_(planet)).

That said, I do appreciate the unrepentant classicism of the proposals. :cool:

mantiss
2010-Nov-24, 07:50 PM
I find that to be completely impractical, because the number of exoplanets will soon explode, furthermore some, actually lots of those names are already taken for other objects. Finally it is completely biased upon some criterias which doesn't make it very much a democratic process.

Nothing wrong in giving them a name after the star they are found around.

George
2010-Nov-24, 08:01 PM
I suspect the wrath of Khan will be upon us if we revert to Roman names. Ceti Alpha Five, for instance, can have no other name, unless it's a water planet, I suppose. :)

Since ancient times, Herschel was the first astronomer to discover a planet and, rightfully so, name it. Yet his brilliant approach brought its own wrath. ;) [I could be biased, admittedly.]

AndreasJ
2010-Nov-24, 08:02 PM
Nothing wrong in giving them a name after the star they are found around.
How is that any more democratic?

George
2010-Nov-24, 08:23 PM
I would assume any respectable taxonomy will require a better handle on the vast array of exoplanet varieties that are already popping-up. We have a long way to go before we have such a handle.

Infinitenight2093
2010-Nov-24, 08:34 PM
http://www.mpia.de/homes/lyra/planet_naming.html
I think this is a nice idea. Am I wrong?

I like Vulcan LOL

KaiYeves
2010-Nov-24, 10:15 PM
I think there are so many that we'd run out of names if we tried to name them all, but I do support giving names to ones that are particularly unique or Earthlike.

Hungry4info
2010-Nov-24, 11:43 PM
Why not give all the stars names while we're at it? (serious question)

(some have already eluded to this problem, I'm just throwing my voice to the choir).

Jens
2010-Nov-25, 03:47 AM
Also, I don't think using names (as opposed to labels that give some information where and what they are) is very practical for exoplanets, except for ones that happen to become particularly famous. Some such already have unofficial nicknames, such as Methuselah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methuselah_(planet)).


I'm not sure how it's being done, but the only practical (to me) way seems to just give the name of the star followed by p1, p2, etc. Not so exciting, perhaps, but it's just impractical to do anything else.

baric
2010-Nov-25, 05:30 AM
http://www.mpia.de/homes/lyra/planet_naming.html
I think this is a nice idea. Am I wrong?

Yes, I think so.

We don't have enough names for stars, so we have to resort to numbering schemes. Given that, how can we possibly expect to have enough names for planets orbiting stars? Remember, the discoveries are just beginning. In 10 years, we could conceivably have thousands and thousands of exoplanets.

In my opinion, exoplanets should only receive unique names if we confirm life on them. And in those cases, we should not preclude names already taken by asteroids.

Jens
2010-Nov-25, 06:26 AM
In my opinion, exoplanets should only receive unique names if we confirm life on them. And in those cases, we should not preclude names already taken by asteroids.

I would suggest a slightly stricter guideline. I would say that we should give a name to the first exoplanet discovered, perhaps a sort of nickname, and then give names to those where we have discovered civilizations, not simply life. Assuming that the copyright has run out, we could give them names like Tatooine and Arrakis, and for a very small planet, B-612. :)

AndreasJ
2010-Nov-25, 07:48 AM
I'm not sure how it's being done, but the only practical (to me) way seems to just give the name of the star followed by p1, p2, etc. Not so exciting, perhaps, but it's just impractical to do anything else.

That's pretty much what we already do - the de facto standard is name of star + lowercase letter in order of discovery (starting with 'b' for the first discovered planet). But such designations are not normally considered names.

Jens
2010-Nov-25, 08:15 AM
That's pretty much what we already do - the de facto standard is name of star + lowercase letter in order of discovery (starting with 'b' for the first discovered planet). But such designations are not normally considered names.

I don't know. Normally designations are different than names, but I think there are times when a designation can in practice become a name, or at least the most common way something is called. The most common I can think of (generally fictional) are R2D2 and C3PO. Also, 007, which is how his boss refers to him, IIRC (probably "007" is about as recognizable as "James Bond"). Also, Alpha Centauri seems fairly close to an actual name, as does Eta Piscium.

AndreasJ
2010-Nov-25, 09:05 AM
I don't know. Normally designations are different than names, but I think there are times when a designation can in practice become a name, or at least the most common way something is called. The most common I can think of (generally fictional) are R2D2 and C3PO. Also, 007, which is how his boss refers to him, IIRC (probably "007" is about as recognizable as "James Bond"). Also, Alpha Centauri seems fairly close to an actual name, as does Eta Piscium.
There's an awful lot of NGC numbers for each Star Wars droid. :p Plus, while "R2D2" may intrafictionally be part of some systematic scheme, in the real world I think it qualifies as a name*.

But I was thinking in a more strictly astronomical context. We speak of "Callisto" or "165347 Philplait" as names, but "Jupiter IV" or " 2000 WG11" are just designations.

Bayer designations like α Centauri seems obviously in the 2nd category to me, but I guess they'll seem more like the first to people who only know a few and/or don't know how the system works.


* Not being a native speaker of English, it took a good while before I grokked why they called him "Artoo Deetoo". I thought he had a normal name in addition to the code.

Tom Mazanec
2010-Nov-25, 09:08 AM
BTY, why do they start the letters at "b" instead of "a"? Is "a" supposed to be the star?
The site refers to the problem everyone seems to be closing in on. It compares the suggestion to naming asteroids. There are thousands of asteroid names, but hundreds of thousands of cataloged asteroids. Eventually we will run out, but naming the first few thousands is not a bad idea.
BTW, here is a competing suggestion:
http://nuclearvacuum.wikia.com/wiki/Names_for_extrasolar_planets

Jens
2010-Nov-25, 09:24 AM
* Not being a native speaker of English, it took a good while before I grokked why they called him "Artoo Deetoo". I thought he had a normal name in addition to the code.

I definitely understand that feeling. We used to have goldfish, and one day they weren't feeling well so I went to the pet shop. The person asked if I had checked the "pay-hah" (this is in Japan). I couldn't figure out what they meant, until my wife told me it is pH, pronounced in German apparently (because Japan imported science from Germany). There's also a car they call "bay-em-bay," and it took me a while to realize they meant a BMW (in Japanese there's no V sound, so B and W in German sound the same).

AndreasJ
2010-Nov-25, 09:29 AM
BTY, why do they start the letters at "b" instead of "a"? Is "a" supposed to be the star?
According to WP, it's by analogy with stellar companions, the first discovered of which becomes 'B' (the "original" or primary star becoming 'A').

This leads to some unfortunately similar designations, eg. τ Bo÷tis B and τ Bo÷tis b being different bodies (a star and a planet respectively) both orbiting τ Bo÷tis (A). The planet can be called τ Bo÷tis Ab for clarity, but this doesn't happen much as the planetary companion was discovered before the stellar one.

Tom Mazanec
2010-Nov-25, 10:41 AM
Another reason for names :-) How should I read these designations out loud. so as to distinguish them? Should I say "lower case b" and "upper case B"?
Will we ever have more than 25 exoplanets in a system?
Is there some proposed nomenclature for exomoons?

AndreasJ
2010-Nov-25, 11:14 AM
Another reason for names :-) How should I read these designations out loud. so as to distinguish them? Should I say "lower case b" and "upper case B"?
I'm not sure if I've ever heard any of these designations spoken aloud. But yeah, numbers or something might have been a better idea*.


Will we ever have more than 25 exoplanets in a system?
Doesn't seem too unlikely. No doubt, some counterintuitive ad hoc extension of the system will then be devised (cf variable star designations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_star_designation)).


Is there some proposed nomenclature for exomoons?
Not that I'm aware of.


* According, again, to Wikipedia, numerical designations like "τ Ceti IV" - familiar from many science fiction works - were avoided because it was felt they implied orbital order (with 'I' furthest in) while detection methods make it likely more massive outer planets are found before smaller inner ones, implying successive reordering. In the case of solar system moons, which used to be designated analoguously, the process was rather chaotic, with some new discoveries of inner moons prompting renumbering and some not.

baric
2010-Nov-25, 03:41 PM
I would suggest a slightly stricter guideline. I would say that we should give a name to the first exoplanet discovered, perhaps a sort of nickname, and then give names to those where we have discovered civilizations, not simply life. Assuming that the copyright has run out, we could give them names like Tatooine and Arrakis, and for a very small planet, B-612. :)

I'm really hope that we can ignore copyrights when naming planets.

Hungry4info
2010-Nov-26, 01:25 AM
Is there some proposed nomenclature for exomoons?

If they use the same system that is used for Solar system moons, then a moon found around HD 28185 b might be designated,
S/2010 HD 28185 b 1

But since no such bodies have been found, it remains to be seen what will ultiamately be used.

mantiss
2010-Nov-26, 01:52 AM
How is that any more democratic?

It's systemic, there is no choice, no democracy, only an ordained system.

George
2010-Nov-26, 07:38 PM
It's systemic, there is no choice, no democracy, only an ordained system.
Why do you say that? Wasn't Pluto demoted by vote? Wasn't Georgium Sidus changed to Uranus after consensus?

Doodler
2010-Dec-08, 12:42 AM
I'm not sure how it's being done, but the only practical (to me) way seems to just give the name of the star followed by p1, p2, etc. Not so exciting, perhaps, but it's just impractical to do anything else.

Not really practical, since there's no guarantee that new planet discoveries won't fall inward to the currently known ones. This has already happened a few times, so you'd be setting yourself up for constant revision trying to name planets in order from the central star.

Jens
2010-Dec-08, 04:08 AM
Not really practical, since there's no guarantee that new planet discoveries won't fall inward to the currently known ones. This has already happened a few times, so you'd be setting yourself up for constant revision trying to name planets in order from the central star.

That's true, but I didn't intend to say they had to be named from the inside out. I would have suggested that they be named in the order of discovery. There would be no practical use anyway.

Tom Mazanec
2010-Dec-19, 10:50 AM
Jens:
Well, that is kinda how we do it now, only with letters instead of numbers.
I know our technology is not up to it yet (by a long shot) but I would love a discovery of a natural satellite of a moon. How would we name that?

ravens_cry
2010-Dec-19, 03:19 PM
I would format like so: The Moon would be Sol3b, name of star, position of planet from star, and the letter for a satellite, Earth being Sol3a. What would be even more wonderful would be finding an artificial satellite.

Hungry4info
2010-Dec-19, 10:45 PM
I would format like so: The Moon would be Sol3b, name of star, position of planet from star, and the letter for a satellite, Earth being Sol3a. What would be even more wonderful would be finding an artificial satellite.

So, hypothetically, let's say a moon is found to HD 10180 d (just picked a planet, not necessarily for physical feasibility). Under your naming scheme, the moon would be designated HD 101803b? Problem, there's already a star HD 101803.

Furthermore, consider the case of 55 Cancri. Way back when, there was three planets, in order of distance from the star:
b, c, d
No problem here, you can name the planets 1 2 and 3. But, a fourth planet was found closer to the star than b.
e, b, c, d
Now you have a planet closer to the star than planet '1'. What do you call it? 0? 0.5?
Then a planet was found between c and d.
e, b, c, f, d.
What do you call f? 55 Cancri 2.5?

A naming scheme based on position from the star simply cannot work if it is to be consistent, and not changing the names of the planets to reflect new knowledge. Indeed a consistent naming scheme cannot be based on the intrinsic properties of the planets or how they relate to the system, because of the changing nature of our understanding of these systems.

Hungry4info
2010-Dec-19, 10:46 PM
For moons, I would just use the current scheme as used for binary/multiple stars

Star → HD 69830 (or HD 69830 A)
Planet → HD 69830 b (or HD 69830 Ab)
Moon → HD 69830 bb (or HD 69830 Abb)