Thunder Bay Amateur Astronomers Name a Planet

Members of the Thunder Bay Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)  have officially named a planetary system.  They join over a dozen other astronomy groups from around the world who entered the International  Astronomical Union’s (IAU) NameExoWorld contest, and had their entry obtain the most votes on-line.

A list of 20 potential star systems, known to have at least one planet orbiting the star were chosen by the IAU for the contest.  The local astronomers chose a star in the constellation Andromeda that has only one planet  (about five times heavier than Jupiter).  The star is visible to the naked eye from late summer to early winter.  Prior to the contest, the star was called 14 Andromedae, and the planet was known as 14 Andromedae b.  Now thanks to the Centre’s winning entry, the star can officially be called Veritate, and the planet can be called Spe.

Veritate and Spe are Latin words for Truth and Hope.  From the Centre’s submission to the IAU:

The human race is driven by an innate need to explore the worlds around us and world beyond. We seek scientific knowledge as well as existential enlightenment to help us define and understand our place in the Universe. To the end, we have selected the themes of Truth and Hope, for it is these we seek when we explore the universe and discover new worlds. And with these discoveries of new worlds, perhaps we will find new truths and hope for our ultimate quest of finding out: why are we here? We have turned to the Latin language as one of the founding languages of human civilization to help us in our naming process.


As an additional honour the local center will also get to choose the name of a minor planet within our solar system.  Thoughts at this time are that they will name it after the local centre – RASCThunderBay.

For more information please contact Maureen Nadin, Chair of ExoWorld Naming Committee for RASC Thunder Bay Centre at or 807-628-3510.   Also please see IAU news release here…




eNews date: 
Tuesday, December 15, 2015