Staff reporter  

Drukyul and Gakyid are the names for the Star and the Planet Bhutan chose.

Coinciding with the National Day and in commemoration of 100th anniversary of International Astronomical Union (IAU), Bhutan has approved the names of planet HD73534b which orbits the star HD73534 in the constellation of Cancer.

Planet Drukyul is named after the country, land of thunder dragon. The star, Gakyid is derived from the country’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness, which is Bhutan’s contribution to the world.

These names are associated with happiness and symbols of the national identity of Bhutan, birthplace of the Gross National Happiness development philosophy, according to a press release from the telecom and space division with the information and communication ministry.

The winning names were proposed by Dron Chhetri, a class 9 student of Motithang Higher Secondary School.

A National Committee for NameExoWorlds Project (Bhutan) was formed and the national campaign was conducted in two phases. In the first phase (November 16-20), people were asked to come up with names. From November 21 to November 25, public voting of the down-selected names was conducted.

A total of 39 pairs of names were received from which eight pairs of names were down-selected by the National Committee and put up for public voting at Department of Information and Telecom website.

The National Committee for NameExoWorlds project met again on November 25 to select the top three names voted by the public. A total of 531 public votes were received.

Across the world, more than 100,000 people from more than 110 countries took part in naming of 110+ set of explorers and host stars. The names were announced on December 17 in Paris. About 360,000 proposals for the names were received.

The National Committee in each country reduced their proposals to a shortlist of national candidates, which were presented to the public for their votes. A total of 420, 000 people voted for their preferred names.  The press release stated that this project will have a lasting impact, as the winning names will be used in parallel with the existing scientific nomenclature, credited to the person, group or institution that suggested them.

Each nation’s designated star for naming is visible from that country, and is sufficiently bright to be observed through small telescopes.

The Press release also stated that IAU100 NameExoWorlds campaign provided the public with the exciting opportunity to help with the naming of over 100 new worlds and their stars, and to help the IAU establish a thoughtful naming theme for naming future discoveries in those systems.”

“It is gratifying that so many people across the globe have helped create a name for a planetary system that is meaningful to their culture and heritage. This effort helps unite us all in our exploration of the Universe,” their IAU President-elect Debra Elmegreen said.


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