Within the framework of its 100th anniversary commemorations, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has organized the IAU100 NameExoWorlds global campaign that allows any country in the world to give a popular name to one planetary system, comprising an exoplanet and its host star.
Nearly 100 countries - including Bosnia and Herzegovina - have signed up to organize national campaigns that will provide the public with an opportunity to vote. Each nation’s designated star is visible from that country, and sufficiently bright to be observed through small telescopes.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has been assigned planetary system in the Aquarius constellation in which the extrasolar planet HD 206610b is orbiting the K-type star, currently named HD 206610.
An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet outside the Solar System. K-type stars are orangish stars that are slightly cooler than the Sun.
Citizens and institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina had the right to propose two names - one for the star and one for the exoplanet orbiting that star. Proposed names had to follow the strict rules - as there must be no names of commercial nature, names of individuals, places or events primarily known for political, military or religious activities, or the names of persons who died less than a century ago.
A total of 256 proposals have been submitted until October 15. The National Committee for Bosnia and Herzegovina has selected five of them, and put them to public vote.
Shortlisted proposals are:
- Exoplanet Naron, star Bosona (Naron and Bosona are medieval names of rivers Neretva and Bosna)
- Exoplanet Lilium, star Kulin (Lilium is the Latin name for lilies, the most important symbol of medieval Bosnia, while Kulin Ban was one of Bosnia’s most prominent and notable historic rulers, who signed the Charter of Ban Kulin, which encouraged trade and established peaceful relations between Dubrovnik and his realm of Bosnia)
- Exoplanet Radimlja, star Daorson (Radimlja necropolis is one of the most valuable monuments of the medieval period in Bosnia, while Daorson was the capital of Illyrian tribe called the Daorsi, who lived in the valley of the Neretva River between 300 BC and 50 BC)
- Exoplanet Kulin, star Katarina (Katarina was the last Queen of Bosnia)
- Exoplanet Teuta, star Daorson (Teuta was the queen regent of the Ardiaei tribe in Illyria, who reigned approximately from 231 BC to 227 BC over the most of the eastern Adriatic, islands, today’s Montenegro and a part of Herzegovina)
Voting ends on November 14 at midnight. Top-ranked and two alternate proposals will be selected and submitted to the Steering Board of the IAU100 NameExoWorlds global campaign, which will make the final decision.
Votes can be cast on the official website of the astronomical society ‘Orion’ (in Bosnian).