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Star and Exoplanet name--Malawi

The nation of Malawi has been asked to name its own star (the Sun is an example of a star) and one planet (Earth is an example) around that star. This star and planet is not our Sun and the usual planets that we know. These are from another solar system. The name that Malawi gives to the star and planet will be used in international communications. This is to encourage Malawians to also be involved in space activities.

Let's give names generations ahead will be proud of!


August 9: The committee launches to receive proposals for the names of assigned planet and its host star, based on the rules in the IAU Exoplanet Naming Theme. The name will be followed by a brief explanation of why the proposer feels it will be appropriate.

September 12: Deadline for proposals submissions

September 13-30: The National Committee scans through the names and chooses the pairs that make the most sense and are in line with the IAU Exoworlds Naming Rules (see below). The committee may combine names from different proposals to come up with a pair where it sees appropriate. 

October 1: The National Committee releases the 7 (Seven) best pairs for the final public voting. 

October 1- 25: The list provided by the National Committee is open for public voting to decide on the final names.  

November 12: The three final name pairs are submitted to the IAU Steering Committee. 

Naming rules:

  • The proposed names should be of things, people, or places of long-standing cultural, historical, or geographical significance, worthy of being assigned to a celestial object.

  • Although not necessary, the names may be drawn from themes related to the sky and astronomy, or related in some way to the constellation or a cultural asterism in which the exoplanetary system lies.

  • Two (2) names should be proposed - one (1) for the exoplanet and one (1) for the star it orbits.

  • The two names should follow a common naming theme. The naming theme describing how the names are related in some logical way should be summarized in a sentence or two, and be broad enough that additional names could be drawn from the literature to name additional objects in that exoplanetary system in the future (e.g. additional planets which might be discovered, additional stellar companions). Example: Rivers of Malawi. Fictional lands in 19th century stories from Malawi, etc

Names cannot be:

  • Names of a purely or principally commercial nature.

  • Names of individuals, places or events principally known for political, military or religious activities.

  • Names of individuals that died less than a century ago (1919).

  • Names of living individuals.

  • Names of organizations related to the selection.

  • Names of pet animals.

  • Contrived names (i.e. new, invented).

  • Acronyms.

  • Names that include numbers or punctuation marks (diacritics are acceptable)

  • Names that are principally known as trademarks or protected by intellectual property claims.