Uwingu Congratulates IAU on Joining in Exoplanet Naming by the Public

Encourages the public to name via Uwingu’s simpler, quicker process, and to contribute to funding space research and education as a result
Exoplanets Abound and Deserve Names. Credit: Dan Durda
Exoplanets Abound and Deserve Names. Credit: Dan Durda
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BOULDER, Colo. - July 30, 2014 - PRLog -- Boulder, Colo.— 30 July 2014Uwingu, a company helping people personally connect with space exploration and astronomy in new ways, applauds the International Astronomical Union (IAU)’s recent move to open the naming of exoplanets (i.e., planets around other stars) as Uwingu did last year. “It’s been 18 months since Uwingu has been letting people nominate names for exoplanets. We’re glad the IAU is finally coming aboard too,” said Uwingu astronomer Dr. Henry Throop.

But Uwingu believes the IAU’s exoplanet naming process doesn’t goes far enough. “Thiir year-long process will name about 1% of the confirmed exoplanets,” continued Throop, “but there are thousands more exoplanets that remain nameless.”

“In contrast to the IAU’s proposed year-long process for the public to receive exoplanet name nomination approval, at www.uwingu.com anyone can directly nominate a name, and the nomination goes into effect immediately” said planetary scientist and Uwingu CEO Dr. Alan Stern, “Moreover, when you nominate an exoplanet name at Uwingu, your nomination helps fund space research and education, something the IAU doesn’t do.”

Uwingu senior astronomer and advisor planetary scientist Dr. Mark Sykes added, “There are eventually going to be billions of exoplanets to be named. This is a job for all the people of Earth, not slow and ponderous committees of astronomers working part time with a cumbersome approval process. We hope the public visits our web site and gets involved directly, engaging in space exploration and making their own mark on the universe through exoplanet naming, and other projects we create.”

Uwingu is a company consisting of a growing team of space scientists, educators, NASA veterans, and prominent business people who are passionate about space exploration and education. Uwingu generates funds for grants like these via the public engagement projects at its web site. There the public can participate in projectslike Uwingu’s exoplanet name nominations or Uwingu’s Mars Map Crater Naming Project that allows anyone to help name the approximately 590,000 unnamed, scientifically cataloged craters on Mars. The Uwingu Fund generated has awarded 20 grants totaling over $100,000 just since March.

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About Uwingu. Uwingu (which means “sky” in Swahili, and is pronounced “oo-wing-goo”) was founded in 2012 and consists of a team of leading astronomers, planetary scientists, former space program executives and educators. Uwingu is a for-profit company dedicated to creating new ways for people to personally connect with space exploration and education while also raising funds to support non-profit organizations working space exploration and astronomy. A pioneer in this industry, Uwingu is currently creating the first crowd-sourced map of Mars. Since the project began in February 2014, individuals have named more than 11,000 craters and The Uwingu Fund has already allocated almost $100,000 in grants. Visit Uwingu’s website to learn more at www.uwingu.com.

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