Last week, NASA asked the internet for help in naming the newly discovered planets in the Trappist 1 system. On February 25th, they tweeted the message on their official Twitter account. As expected, the internet offered the funniest responses.
The seven planets spotted by the Spitzer Space Telescope do not have too original names. NASA named them from the star system they belong to, namely Trappist-1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f, 1g, and 1h. However, they are planning to change them, and asked for the help of internet users everywhere on Twitter, where they launched the hashtag #7NamesFor7NewPlanets.
Dozens of Twitter users agreed to take part of this challenge and they offered one of the most interesting answers. Some of them contain pop culture references and drew inspiration from Friends, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, or even iPhone models, but the majority of the answers were funny and incredibly entertaining to read.
The Harry Potter-inspired names are Tom Riddle’s Diary, Marvolo’s Ring, Slytherin’s Locket, Hufflepuff’s Cup, Ravenclaw’s Diadem, Nagini, and, of course, Harry Potter. Other people decided to use more ‘classical’ sources, such as the seven dwarves from Snow White: Itchy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy, Doc, Sleepy, and Bashful.
Others wanted the names to be related to the current events that overlapped with the discovery of the seven planets, and proposed to name them Far from Trump1 to Far from Trump7. It was hard to choose the funniest names from so many submissions, but user @idiotcracy is probably the winner of the hilarious award.
He suggested that the seven planets should be called Planet McPlanetface, Moonie McMoonface, Rocky McRockface, Icy McIceface, Dusty McDuckface, Gasy McGasface, and Wanda.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the International Astronomical Union (IAU) would approve any of these names. In 2015, they conducted the NameExoWorlds contest, where the public was invited to submit names for 32 planets that revolved around 15 stars.
Some of the names that IAU selected include Dulcinea, Poltergeist, Orbitar, Dagon, Veritate, or Hypatia, but some people were still dissatisfied with the approval of certain names and question the credibility of the Union.
Some of the unpopular names were given by prestigious universities and observatories, such as Royaldutchastro from the Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy, Thunder Bay from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and Miguelhernández from the Student Society at Complutense University of Madrid.
The discovery of the seven habitable planets in the Trappist 1 system is a big step towards the possibility of finding life on other planets and outside our solar system.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons