The NameExoWorlds 2022 contest has selected 20 pairs of names for exoplanets and their host stars. The contest was organised within the framework of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The campaign attracted over 8800 professional and amateur astronomers, students, and teachers from 91 countries. The NameExoWorlds 2022 contest was open to anyone to form a team. The star and planet names were to be connected by a common theme, allowing other planets, if discovered in the future, to be named following the same theme. The newly adopted names are connected with native fauna and flora with cultural significance. For example, Wattle (WASP-19) & Banksia (WASP-19 b), and Añañuca (GJ 367) & Tahay (GJ 367 b) are names of native flora of Australia and Chile, Batsũ̀ (LHS 3844) & Kua'kua (LHS 3844 b) are the words in Bribri Language for hummingbird and butterfly that come from Costa Rica. Zembra (HATS-72) & Zembretta (HATS-72 b) are biosphere reserves in Tunisia. Wouri (WASP-69) is a river in Cameroon & Makombé (WASP-69 b) is its tributary. Kosjenka (WASP-63) & Regoč (WASP-63 b) refer to the work of Croatian writer Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić. Filetdor (WASP-166) & Catalineta (WASP-166 b) refer to Mallorcan folktales recorded by Antoni Maria Alcover i Sureda. Other names celebrated folktales, mythologies, and lore from around the world, including words in Maa, Cherokee, Taino, Zoque, Chinese, and Korean. The transiting exoplanet GJ 1214 b — ‘sub-Neptune’ in-size-planet  — received the name Enaiposha, which refers to a large body of water like a lake or sea. Two hot-Neptune exoplanets, GJ 436 b and GJ 3470 b, orbit very close to their stars, on highly inclined show observational evidence for evaporating atmospheres, GJ 436 b was named Awohali — Cherokee for eagle. GJ 3470 b was named Phailinsiam — Thai for blue Siamese sapphire — suggesting the blue color of the planet. The hot sub-Earth-sized exoplanet GJ 367 b orbits its star every eight hours. It is most likely a very iron-rich planet. It has been named Tahay, after a flower that blooms for only about eight hours every year, similar to the length of the ‘year’ for this planet.

The full list of selected names can be found on NameExoWorlds website

 Debra Elmegreen, IAU President, noticed, “Congratulations to those who proposed winning names for these exoplanetary systems, and to everyone who entered. This large engagement of school children, the public, and professional astronomers in the competition is a fitting tribute to the efforts of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach over the past decade. Many thanks to the Working Group on Exoplanetary System Nomenclature and the OAO for running the competition.”

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