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Naming rights for exoplanets

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zx82

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I realize there is presently a scientific convention for naming exoplanets which make sense for astronomers, however this does little to stir the public imagination. Seeing as how we are in a global recession and funding for expensive projects is being threatened, have they (i.e. the powers that be) ever seriously considered selling the naming rights for newly discovered exoplanets? This could be used as a way to raise funds for the types of projects that support the search for them. I realize there would be some backlash against the commercialization of space, but perhaps there could be some rules established so that people don't egotistically name the plants after themselves or where they have to submit a list of proposed names that gets approved or something along those lines.

How much do you think people would be willing to pay for this? I could imagine the billionaire's and millionaire's shelling out at least 1-2 million per planet, which would (as of the present number of exoplanets discovered) raise nearly a billion dollars for this research.

What do you guys thinks? Has this ever been considered? Is it a good idea?
 
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spacelover123

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zx82":1qh6hevs said:
How much do you think people would be willing to pay for this? I could imagine the billionaire's and millionaire's shelling out at least 1-2 million per planet, which would (as of the present number of exoplanets discovered) raise nearly a billion dollars for this research.

When the millionaire's and billionaire's are the ones giving money to simply name a planet, then what is discovered on that planet may also be perceived as theirs too. They would want some part of their name is the discovery, considering they funded it, and it's "their planet". This is a good idea, but I also believe it's value will soon become like a stock, and people will want parts (or shares) of the planet/
 
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MeteorWayne

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I think it's a very bad idea. Let's leave science to the scientists for a while before commercializing everything.
 
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thnkrx

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Hmmm...

I think Lovecraft named a couple of these planets most of a century ago.

Aside from that I alwaus figured that once the dust settles a bit, most of these planets would be named by classrooms full of third graders (or is it fifth graders).
 
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SpaceTas

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There is actually no official naming convention set by the International Astronomical Union, the body that decides these sort of things. I am sure every planet search group has thought about how to name their planets. We considered lost/mythical worlds + kingdoms as our theme ... but nobody really ran with the idea. We realized that we would run out of names sooner or latter and there was a potential for all sorts of arguments. There are well over 300 planets found so far. So the default convention is an extension of that used for double stars, star name (usually a catalog number) plus b (first planet or star, c 2nd .. object found orbiting that star.

Personally I'd like to use SciFi planet names. This would include planet Bob. :D
 
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