Science and Tech

Two planetary systems receive Spanish names

Artist's rendering of the surface of the hot super-Earth GJ 86b, now named Su

Artist’s rendering of the surface of the hot super-Earth GJ 86b, now named Su – BE

May 25. (EUROPE PRESS) –

The International Astronomical Union has designated two stars, and their planets, with designations of the traditional Basque and Balearic cultures.

The star hitherto known as GJ 486 and its planet will soon be renamed with the Basque words ‘Gar’ and ‘His’. The WASP-166 system will receive, for its part, the names of ‘Filetdor’ and ‘Catalineta’, taken from the Mallorcan oral tradition. These designations have been selected by the International Astronomical Union within the framework of the Name ExoWorlds 2022 contest.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the entity in charge of the official naming of celestial bodies. The naming process is organized by calls that include sets of planetary systems of special relevance. In the year 2022, the UAI commissioned its Office for the Dissemination of Astronomy (OAO) to organize the Name ExoWorlds 2022 contest. to name 20 extrasolar planetary systems.

Each national node of the OAO was in charge of selecting and prioritizing the proposals coming from their community. The Spanish node received 22 valid proposals and, in accordance with the rules of the contest, prioritized the three most outstanding among them, reports the Spanish Society of Astronomy (SEA). it’s a statement.


The star GJ486, in Virgo, is a red dwarf 27 light years from the Sun. A rocky planet three times more massive than Earth orbits around it. From now on, the star will be called Gar and its planet will be known as Su. These words mean ‘flame’ and ‘fire’ in Basque and refer to the Basque expression su eta gar, which literally means ‘fire and flame’ and denotes passion and enthusiasm.. The proposing team, headed by Itziar Garate-Lopez, has developed communication work that is reflected in its Gar+Su portal. It so happens that the planet Su was discovered from Spain, with a key contribution from the Calar Alto Observatory and its spectrograph Cármenes.


The team led by Sebastià Barceló Forteza proposed names in Catalan for the planetary system of the star WASP-166, in the constellation Hydra and 370 light years from the Sun. The planet in this system is a gas giant with a slightly higher mass than to the middle of Jupiter. The star will receive the name Filetdor, while the planet will become known as Catalineta. The name of the star refers to Filet d’Or, a golden sea serpent that stars in a Majorcan fable of oral tradition (rondalla). In this fable, a little girl, Catalineta, after whom the planet is named, lives an amazing adventure as a result of the accidental encounter with the sea serpent. The informative actions of the proposing team are compiled on the Es Nostro Cel portal.


The third proposal selected by the Spanish node of the OAO had Antonio Quesada Ramos leading his team and suggested the Arabic names Al Andalus and Al Hamra for the same system that has finally received names in Basque. Al Andalus is the name of medieval Moorish Spain, while Al Hamra (literally, ‘the red one’) is the original name of the royal fortress of Granada that we know today as the Alhambra.

The new names of these planetary systems will be made official shortly and, in this way, the traditional Basque and Balearic cultures will have their place in the Galaxy. These Spanish names join those of the stars Cervantes and Rosaliadecastro, with their respective planets (Quijote, Dulcinea, Rocinante and Sancho for the first, and Riosar for the second), which received their designations in previous editions of the Name ExoWorlds contest. The four official Spanish languages ​​already have a presence in the firmament.

Source link