• Discover the Universe

Contest - Name an Exoplanet 2022

Updated: Nov 10

In partnership with astronomers across Canada, we are excited to invite all Canadian classrooms to participate in the NameExoWorlds contest, organized by the International Astronomical Union (the world’s largest association of professional astronomers). This is an excellent opportunity to get your students excited about science and to learn more about the fascinating field of exoplanet discovery and research! And you might even get the chance to put your own personal stamp on the universe!

What is an exoplanet? Use this Google Slides presentation for you and your students to learn about exoplanets!

How to participate in the contest

For all the details on how to participate, visit the Canadian page for the contest: NameExoWorldsCanada.com

1. Form a team

Create a team of astronomy enthusiasts. To increase your chances in the contest, invite an astronomer to join your class or school. Think of astronomy clubs, colleges, and universities with astronomy/physics departments in your area. If you need to be in touch with an astronomer, just fill in this form and someone will contact you with more information.

The more that you can add to your team, the merrier!

2. Conduct an Outreach Activity

Together with your team, create an event about astronomy and exoplanets that engages other people. It could be a talk by an astronomer for students, a presentation by students to other students, or a video to be shared on social media. Be creative!

3. Submit

Pick a planetary system and propose a name for the planet and its host star. That's right, you get to name not just one, but a pair of two celestial objects! Study the planetary system and pick a name that has a nice theme relating to your culture that's best suited to the attributes of the pair.

Then submit your report to https://bit.ly/2022NameExoWorlds

Deadline: 11 December 2022 (new date!)

Your proposal will then compete against others from your country, before it faces off against other proposals from around the world.

With so many proposals, this will be a tight competition! However, with a good team, engaging outreach activity, and thoughtful names with meaningful ties to your culture, your team might just win and have your names officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union!

For more information about the contest:

NEW! You can now watch our special presentation with an astrophysicist from the Institute for Research on Exoplanets, which was presented on Nov. 10, 2022. Show it in class!

Educational Ideas
  • Use Eyes on Exoplanets to explore the planetary systems up for naming, or simply to learn more about exoplanets in general. It's one of our favourite resources on exoplanets!

  • Learn about the different ways scientists discover exoplanets with these great visual representations from NASA: 5 ways to find an exoplanet

  • Compare the planetary system you selected with our own Solar System. Are the planets closer/farther to their star? What types of planets are there? You could even create scale models of both! Use our Scale Model of the Solar System tool to help you.

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