Naming Exoplanets

Figure 1: An artist’s impression of an exoplanetary system as seen from the surface of an exomoon. Image credit: IAU/L. Calçada.

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The search for planets beyond the Solar System reaches back to the middle of the 20th century, but the first extrasolar planet (exoplanet for short) around a Sun-like star was only discovered in 1995 (Mayor & Queloz 1995), a breakthrough that was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics. As such, exoplanet research is a rather young field in astronomy that has culminated in dedicated exoplanet ground-based surveys and space missions, leading to thousands of new exoplanet detections. On average, humanity now finds roughly the same order of magnitude of planets beyond the Solar System per week as have been known in the Solar System through unaided-eye observations since the beginning of astronomy.

It’s important to note that exoplanets discovered by the transit method (that is, we observe the exoplanet passing in front of and behind the disc of its host star during its orbit, causing a change in the light from that star that reaches the Earth) depend heavily on the relative position of the star, exoplanet, and Earth. While we’ve found many thousands of exoplanets (see the National Aeronautics and Space Association's (NASA) Exoplanet Catalog, the Extrasolar Planet Encyclopedia, and the Open Exoplanet Catalogue, among others) using this method, it is possible there are many thousands more that we cannot observe from our Earth-bound perspective. 

While some exoplanets have been dubbed with an informal nickname (e.g., “Osiris”, the first exoplanet known to transit its host star; Charbonneau et al. 2000), most exoplanets are usually referred to by their scientific designation. This formal reference often reflects the catalogue entry of their host star, such as the Henry Draper star catalogue (e.g., HD209458). The scientific designation of the exoplanet is the catalogue name of the host star followed by a letter (HD209458 b). In other cases, the designation of an exoplanet reflects the historically rooted naming convention of their host stars in a particular constellation, such as 51 Pegasi b, the first exoplanet discovered around a solar-type star. That said, no unified naming convention for exoplanets exists.

The IAU fully supports public involvement in naming astronomical objects, whether directly or through an independently organised vote, as in the IAU’s global competition, NameExoWorlds. This follows from a well-established tradition for naming Solar System objects.

The IAU does not believe that it has a monopoly on naming celestial objects — anyone can adopt names the way they choose. However, given the publicity and emotional investment associated with the discovery of exoplanets, worldwide recognition is important. For this reason, the IAU offers a unique way to facilitate the public naming process: a process that is distinct from the scientific designation. We will discuss each in turn.

Scientific Designations

The scientific nomenclature for the designations of exoplanets usually consists of two elements: (1) a proper noun or abbreviation, sometimes with associated numbers, followed by (2) a lowercase letter.

The first element can derive from several sources. One common source is the host star's widely recognised, common, or astronomical catalogue name. Additionally, exoplanets are often named after the scientific instrument or project that discovered the exoplanet.

For example, 51 Pegasi b is an exoplanet around the star 51 Pegasi in the constellation Pegasus. The star received this particular catalogue designation by English astronomer John Flamsteed in his star atlas (Flamsteed, 1725; read more about star catalogues here). Another common star catalogue used for exoplanet names is the GJ catalogue of German astronomers Wilhelm Gliese and Hartmut Jahreiß (Gliese & Jahreiß, 1991). An example is the exoplanet GJ 1214 b, which orbits a host star that is the 1214th entry in this star catalogue. Still other exoplanets are named after the Henry Draper (HD) and Hipparchos (HIP) catalogues, and some are named for their star’s common name, as in the case of Fomalhaut b. 

Some exoplanet designations often stem from the instrument that discovered them, such as the Kepler planets (named for the NASA Kepler space telescope; e.g., Kepler-186f) and the CoRoT planets (named for the French Space Agency's (CNES) and the European Space Agency's (ESA) spacecraft, COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits; e.g., CoRoT-7b). The number in each planet designation refers to the order of the extrasolar system's detection or identification in the instrument's data.

Exoplanets named after astronomical or planet-searching projects include the HAT planets (after the Hungarian Automated Telescope Network (HATNet)), and the WASP planets (after the SuperWASP project), both of which are ground-based efforts. Numerous other examples exist. The nation of Qatar funds an exoplanet-hunting project, the Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES), and its planets follow the naming scheme of Qatar-1b, and so on. The MOA and OGLE exoplanets were discovered via a particular observation technique — gravitational microlensing — by the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA) and the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) projects.

The second element, a lowercase letter, applies in almost all exoplanet nomenclature styles. The letter indicates the order of the planet's discovery around its host star. The first exoplanet discovered in an extrasolar system is designated b; the second, c; the third, d; and so on. The letter does not necessarily indicate the planet’s orbital placement around its host star, so exoplanet c can be closer to, or farther away from, the star that it co-orbits with exoplanet b.

The lowercase lettering style stems from the IAU-established rules for naming binary and multiple star systems (see the IAU Theme on Star Names). A primary star, brighter and often larger than its secondary or tertiary companion stars, is designated by a capitalised A. Its companions are labelled B, C, and so on. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, demonstrates this nomenclature: it is a double star system composed of the bright star we see in Canis Major, Sirius A, and its dim companion, Sirius B. The first exoplanet tentatively identified around the second brightest star in the triple star system, Alpha Centauri, is called Alpha Centauri Bb. If an exoplanet orbits both of the stars in a binary system, its designation can be, for example, Kepler-34(AB)b.

Naming Rules

The public names proposed in naming campaigns (e.g., NameExoWorlds) should follow the naming rules and restrictions adopted for minor bodies of the Solar System (see the IAU Theme on the Naming of Astronomical Objects) and the guidelines laid out by the IAU Minor Planet Center (MPC).

In particular, proposed names should be:

Proposed names should not be:

  • Names of pets
  • Names of a purely or principally commercial nature
  • Names of individuals, places or events known for political, military or religious activities
  • Names of living individuals
  • The same name as its host star

The process must also be respectful of intellectual property. That is, the naming body must demonstrate that the proposed name is free for public use (i.e., not subject to copyright royalties, as might be the case for names in works of fiction, like books, plays, movies, etc.).

If a scientific designation for the object(s) already exists, the public name will not replace it. Rather, the IAU will recognise the public name as appropriate for public use. The IAU will publicise this and credit the organisation or individual that proposed it. The public name may be used internationally in addition to, or instead of, the scientific designation, permanently and without restrictions.

List of Exoplanet Names

Object Type Astronomical Designation Approved Name Citation Proposer World Region
Planet 14 Andromedae b Spe* "From the latin ""Spes"", hope. The ablative form means ""where there is hope""." Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Thunder Bay Centre, Canada North America
Planet 18 Delphini b Arion Arion was a genius of poetry and music in ancient Greece. According to legend, his life was saved at sea by dolphins after attracting their attention by the playing of his kithara. Tokushima Prefectural Jonan High School Science Club, Japan Asia-Pacific
Planet 42 Draconis b Orbitar Orbitar is a contrived word paying homage to the space launch and orbital operations of NASA. Brevard Astronomical Society, United States of America North America
Planet 47 Ursae Majoris b Taphao Thong Taphao Thong is one of two sisters associated with the Thai folk tale of Chalawan. The Thai Astronomical Society, Thailand Asia-Pacific
Planet 47 Ursae Majoris c Taphao Kaew Taphao Kae is one of two sisters associated with the Thai folk tale of Chalawan. The Thai Astronomical Society, Thailand Asia-Pacific
Planet 51 Pegasi b Dimidium "Dimidium is Latin for ""half"", referring to the planet's mass of at least half the mass of Jupiter." Astronomische Gesellschaft Luzern, Switzerland Europe
Planet 55 Cancri b Galileo "Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was an Italian astronomer and physicist often called the ""father of observational astronomy"" and the ""father of modern physics"". Using a telescope, he discovered the four largest satellites of Jupiter, and the reported the first telescopic observations of the phases of Venus, among other discoveries." Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy, Netherlands Europe
Planet 55 Cancri c Brahe Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was a Danish astronomer and nobleman who recorded accurate astronomical observations of the stars and planets. These observations were critical to Kepler's formulation of his three laws of planetary motion. Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy, Netherlands Europe
Planet 55 Cancri d Lipperhey* Hans Lipperhey (1570-1619) was a German-Dutch lens grinder and spectacle maker who is often attributed with the invention of the refracting telescope in 1608. (Note 6) Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy, Netherlands Europe
Planet 55 Cancri e Janssen Jacharias Janssen (1580s-1630s) was a Dutch spectacle maker who is often attributed with invention of the microscope, and more controversially with the invention of the telescope. Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy, Netherlands Europe
Planet 55 Cancri f Harriot Thomas Harriot (ca. 1560-1621) was an English astronomer, mathematician, ethnographer, and translator, who is attributed with the first drawing of the Moon through telescopic observations. Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy, Netherlands Europe
Planet 8 Umi b Halla Halla is the highest mountain in South Korea and is regarded as a sacred place in the region. IAU100 NameExoWorlds South Korea
Planet Ain b (epsilon Tauri b) Amateru* """Amateru"" is a common Japanese appellation for shrines when they enshrine Amaterasu, the Shinto goddess of the Sun, born from the left eye of the god Izanagi. (Note 2)" Kamagari Astronomical Observatory, Japan Asia-Pacific
Planet BD-17 63 b Finlay Carlos Juan Finlay (1833–1915) was an epidemiologist recognized as a pioneer in the research of yellow fever, determining that it was transmitted through mosquitoes. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Cuba
Planet BD+14 4559 b Pirx Pirx is a fictional character from books by Polish science-fiction writer Stanisław Lem. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Poland
Planet Edasich b (iota Draconis b) Hypatia Hypatia was a famous Greek astronomer, mathmatician, and philosopher. She was head of the Neo-Platonic school at Alexandria in the early 5th century, until murdered by a Christian mob in 415. Hypatia (Student society, Physics Faculty of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Spain Europe
Planet epsilon Eridani b AEgir* "AEgir is Ran's husband, the personified god of the ocean. “AEgir” and “Ran” both represent the “Jotuns” who reign in the outer Universe; together they had nine daughters. (Note 3)" Mountainside Middle School 8th graders, United States of America North America
Planet Errai b (gamma Cephei b) Tadmor* Ancient Semitic name and modern Arabic name for the city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Syrian Astronomical Association, Syrian Arab Republic Middle East-Africa
Planet Fomalhaut b (alpha Piscis Austrini b) Dagon Dagon was a Semitic deity, often represented as half-man, half-fish. St. Cloud State University Planetarium, United States of America North America
Planet GJ 1214 b Enaiposha First used by the Maa community to refer to large bodies of water such as lakes and seas, ‘Enaiposha’ is also an expression of awe at the tumultuous nature of a large amount of water. NameExoWorlds 2022 Kenya
Planet GJ 3470 b Phailinsiam Phailinsiam (ไพลินสยาม) is the Thai term for the blue "Siamese Sapphire", alluding to the detection of Rayleigh scattering in the planet’s atmosphere – suggestive of blue skies. NameExoWorlds 2022 Thailand
Planet GJ 367 b Tahay Tahay (Calydorea xiphioides) is a small flower endemic to central Chile that only blooms between 7 and 8 hours during the year. The blooming period alludes to the length of a year for the exoplanet GJ 367 b, which is only 7.7 hours. NameExoWorlds 2022 Chile
Planet GJ 436 b Awohali “Awohali” (ᎠᏬᎭᎵ, Ah-Wo-Ha-Lee) is one of the Cherokee words for “eagle”. According to Cherokee legend, an eagle flew to the Sun to deliver a prayer for a warrior. In delivering the prayer to the Sun, the Sun kissed the tail feather of the eagle and had him return the feather to the warrior as a symbol of the connection between his people and the Great Spirit. Awohali’s sun-kissed tail feather alludes to the comet-like cloud of evaporating atmosphere detected around the exoplanet GJ 436 b. NameExoWorlds 2022 United States of America
Planet GJ 486 b Su “Su” means “fire” in the Basque language, signifying its dual nature of danger and protection. NameExoWorlds 2022 Spain
Planet HAT-P-12 b Puli The Puli is a breed of Hungarian herding dog known for its shaggy curls and typically black fur. NameExoWorlds 2022 Hungary
Planet HAT-P-14 b Sissi "Sissi is a character in the movie ""Sissi"", who is married with Franz. The role is played by the actress Romy Schneider." IAU100 NameExoWorlds Austria
Planet HAT-P-15 b Tryzub Tryzub is the most recognised ancient symbol of Ukraine, that was minted on the coins of Prince Volodymyr the Great and today remains one of the country's state symbols (a small coat). IAU100 NameExoWorlds Ukraine
Planet HAT-P-2 b Magor Magor was a legendary ancestor of the Magyar people and the Hungarian nation, and brother of Hunor. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Hungary
Planet HAT-P-21 b Bambaruush Bambaruush is the Mongolian term for 'bear cub', the offspring of the endangered Mazaalai (Gobi bear) of the Gobi Desert. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Mongolia
Planet HAT-P-23 b Jebus Jebus was the ancient name of Jerusalem in 2nd millennium BC when populated by the Canaanite tribe of Jebusites. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Palestine
Planet HAT-P-26 b Guataubá Guataubá was the herald of impending hurricanes, who brought clouds, lightning and thunder. NameExoWorlds 2022 Puerto Rico
Planet HAT-P-29 b Surt Surt is the ruler of Muspelheim and the fire giants there in Norse mythology. At Ragnarok, the end of the world, he will lead the attack on our world and destroy it in flames. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Denmark
Planet HAT-P-3 b Teberda Teberda is a mountain river in Dombay region with a rapid water flow, symbolising the planet's rapid motion around its host star. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Russia
Planet HAT-P-34 b Ġgantija Ġgantija means giantess: the megalithic temple complex on the island of Gozo, which alludes to the grandeur of this gas giant exoplanet. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Malta
Planet HAT-P-36 b Bran Tuiren's son Bran was a hound and cousin of the hunterwarrior Fionn mac Cumhaill of Irish legend. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Ireland
Planet HAT-P-38 b Hiisi Hiisi represents sacred localities and later evil spirits from Finnic mythology. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Finland
Planet HAT-P-40 b Vytis Vytis is the symbol of the Lithuanian coat of arms. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Lithuania
Planet HAT-P-42 b Iolaus Iolaus was the nephew of Heracles from Greek mythology, moving around lake Lerna in helping Heracles to exterminate the Lernaean Hydra. Similarly this exoplanet in the constellation of Hydra moves around its parent star. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Greece
Planet HAT-P-5 b Kráľomoc Kráľomoc is an ancient Slovak term for the planet Jupiter. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Slovakia
Planet HAT-P-6 b Nachtwacht The Nachtwacht (Night Watch) is a world-famous painting by Dutch grand master Rembrandt that was completed in 1642 and now belongs to the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Netherlands
Planet HAT-P-9 b Alef Alef is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet and also means bull. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Israel
Planet HATS-72 b Zembretta Zembretta (زمبرتا) is an islet in the Gulf of Tunis, part of the UNESCO Iles Zembra et Zembretta Biosphere Reserve, Tunisia. NameExoWorlds 2022 Tunisia
Planet HD 100655 b Sazum Sazum is the traditional name of Yuchi, a Township in Nantou county, in which the famous Sun-Moon Lake lies. Sazum means water in the language of the Thao people who are a tribe of Taiwanese aborigines who lived in the region for hundreds of years. IAU100 NameExoWorlds China Taipei
Planet HD 100777 b Laligurans Laligurans are the Nepali variation of the rhododendron flower and is the national flower of Nepal. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Nepal
Planet HD 102117 b Leklsullun Lekl Sullun means child or children in the Pitkern language of the people of Pitcairn Islands. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Pitcairn Islands
Planet HD 102195 b Lete "Lete is the oblivion river made of fog from Greek Mythology in the Italian narrative poem on the afterlife ""Divina Commedia"" (Divine Commedy) by Dante Alighieri, chosen as an allusion to the planet's gaseous nature." IAU100 NameExoWorlds Italy
Planet HD 102956 b Isagel Isagel is the name of the spaceship pilot in the epic science fiction poem Aniara written by Swedish author Harry Martinson. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Sweden
Planet HD 104985 b Meztli Meztli was the Aztec goddess of the Moon. Sociedad Astronomica Urania, Mexico Latin America and the Caribbean
Planet HD 108147 b Tumearandu Tume Arandu is a son of Rupavê and Sypavê, the original man and woman of the Universe, who is known as the Father of Wisdom in popular Paraguayan folklore. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Paraguay
Planet HD 109246 b Fold Fold is an old Icelandic word meaning earth or soil. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Iceland
Planet HD 117618 b Noifasui Noifasui means revolve around in Nias language, derived from the word ifasui, meaning to revolve around, and no, indicating that the action occurred in the past and continued to the present time. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Indonesia
Planet HD 118203 b Staburags Staburags is the name of a character from the Latvian poem Staburags un Liesma, and denotes a rock with symbolic meaning in literature and history. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Latvia
Planet HD 130322 b Eiger Eiger is one of the prominent peaks of the Bernese Alps, in the Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Switzerland
Planet HD 131496 b Madriu Madriu (Mare del riu in Catalan, Mother of the River in English) is the name of a glacial valley and of the river that runs through it in the southeast of Andorra. It is the main part of the Madriu-Perafita-Claror UNESCO World Heritage Site. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Andorra
Planet HD 136418 b Awasis Awasis is the word for child in the Indigenous Cree language of Canada. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Canada
Planet HD 137388 b Kererū Kererū is the word in the Māori language for a large bush pigeon native to New Zealand. IAU100 NameExoWorlds New Zealand
Planet HD 145457 b Chura Chura is a word in the Ryukyuan/Okinawan language meaning natural beauty. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Japan
Planet HD 148427 b Tondra Tondra means nap in Bengali language, alluding to the symbolic notion that the planet was asleep until discovered. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Bangladesh
Planet HD 149026 b Smertrios Smertrios was a Gallic deity of war. Club d'Astronomie de Toussaint, France Europe
Planet HD 149143 b Riosar Rio Sar is the name of a river that was present in much of the literary work of the pioneering Spanish author Rosalía de Castro. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Spain
Planet HD 1502 b Indépendance Indépendance is named after the Haitian Declaration of Independence on 1 January 1804, when Haiti became the first independent black republic. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Haiti
Planet HD 152581 b Ganja Ganja is an ancient city of Azerbaijan, and is the birth place of many prominent people such as the poets Mahsati and Nizami. It is the ancient capital of Azerbaijan, the first capital of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the city with the spirit of wisdom and freedom. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Azerbaijan
Planet HD 153950 b Trimobe Trimobe is a rich ogre from Malagasy tales. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Madagascar
Planet HD 156411 b Sumajmajta Sumaj Majta was one half of the couple involved in a tragic love story Way to the Sun by famous Peruvian writer Abraham Valdelomar. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Peru
Planet HD 16175 b Abol Abol is the first of three rounds of coffee in the Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Ethiopia
Planet HD 164604 b Caleuche Caleuche is a large ghost ship from southern Chilean mythology which sails the seas around the island of Chiloé at night. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Chile
Planet HD 168746 b Onasilos Onasilos is the oldest historically recorded doctor in Cyprus, inscribed on the fifth century BC Idalion Tablet. Also known as the Onasilou Plate, it is considered as the oldest legal contract found in the world. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Cyprus
Planet HD 17156 b Mulchatna The Mulchatna River is a tributary of the Nushagak River in southwestern Alaska, USA. IAU100 NameExoWorlds United States of America
Planet HD 173416 b Wangshu Wangshu (望舒) is the goddess who drives for the Moon and also represents the Moon in Chinese mythology. IAU100 NameExoWorlds China Nanjing
Planet HD 175541 b Kavian Kaveh carries a banner called Derafsh Kaviani (Derafsh: banner, Kaviani: relating to Kaveh). IAU100 NameExoWorlds Iran
Planet HD 179949 b Mastika Mastika is a Malay word, which means a gem, precious stone, jewel or the prettiest, the most beautiful. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Brunei
Planet HD 181342 b Dopere Dopere is an expansive historical area in the north of Senegal where Belel was located. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Senegal
Planet HD 181720 b Toge Toge means earring in the Ewe language. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Ghana
Planet HD 18742 b Bagan Bagan is one of Myanmar's ancient cities that lies beside the Ayeyarwardy river. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Myanmar
Planet HD 192263 b Beirut Beirut is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and was a Phoenician port. Beirut is now the capital and largest city of Lebanon. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Lebanon
Planet HD 192699 b Khomsa Khomsa is a palm-shaped amulet that is popular in Tunisia, used in jewelry and decorations. It depicts an open right hand and is often found in modern designs. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Tunisia
Planet HD 205739 b Samagiya Samagiya means togetherness and unity in the Sinhalese language. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Sri Lanka
Planet HD 206610 b Naron Naron is one of the names given to the Neretva river in Herzegovina (and partly in Croatia) in antiquity orginating with the Celts who called it Nera Etwa which means the Flowing Divinity. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Bosnia and Herzegovina
Planet HD 208487 b Mintome Mintome, in the Fang tongue, is a mythical land where a brotherhood of brave men live. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Gabon
Planet HD 20868 b Baiduri Baiduri means opal in Malay language (Bahasa Melayu), alluding to the mysterious beauty of the planet. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Malaysia
Planet HD 212771 b Victoriapeak Victoria Peak overlooks the bustling Victoria Harbour and is regarded as an ambassadorial gateway for foreign visitors wishing to experience Hong Kong first hand. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Hong Kong, China
Planet HD 218566 b Ugarit Ugarit was a city where its scribes devised the Ugaritic alphabet around 1400 B.C. The alphabet was made up of thirty letters and was inscribed on clay tablets. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Syria
Planet HD 221287 b Pipitea Pipitea is a small, white and gold pearl found in Penrhyn lagoon in the northern group of the Cook Islands. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Cook Islands
Planet HD 224693 b Xólotl Xólotl means animal in the native Nahuatl language and was an Aztec deity associated with the evening star (Venus). IAU100 NameExoWorlds Mexico
Planet HD 23079 b Guarani Guarani is the name of the most populous Indigenous people living in South Brazil and parts of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Brazil
Planet HD 231701 b Babylonia Babylonia was a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC whose name-giving capital city was built on the Euphrates river. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Iraq
Planet HD 28678 b Tassili Tassili is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the Sahara Desert and is renowned for its prehistoric cave art and scenic geological formations. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Algeria
Planet HD 30856 b Nakanbé The Nakanbé, also called Volta Blanche, is the second largest river in Burkina Faso. Its source is in the heart of the Sahara Burkinabe and ends in Ghana. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Burkina Faso
Planet HD 32518 b Neri The Neri river in Ethiopia runs through parts of the Mago National park. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Germany
Planet HD 38283 b Yanyan YanYan is the Boonwurrung word for boy. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Australia
Planet HD 4208 b Xolotlan Xolotlan is the name of the second largest lake of Nicaragua and its name is from the Nahualt language of the indigenous tribe that settled in Nicaragua, which symbolises a native god and a refuge for animals. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Nicaragua
Planet HD 43197 b Equiano Equiano was a writer and abolitionist from Ihiala, Nigeria who fought injustice and the elimination of the slave trade. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Nigeria
Planet HD 45350 b Peitruss Peitruss is derived from the name of the Luxembourg river Pétrusse, with the river's bend around Lucilinburhuc fortress alluding to the orbit of the planet around its star. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Luxembourg
Planet HD 45652 b Viriato Viriato was a legendary leader of the Lusitanian people, a herdsman and hunter who led the resistance against Roman invaders during 2nd century B.C. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Portugal
Planet HD 48265 b Naqaỹa Naqaỹa means brother-family-relative in the Moqoit language and leads us to call all humans, indigenous or non-indigenous, brother. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Argentina
Planet HD 49674 b Eburonia Eburonia, adapted from Eburones, was a prominent Belgian Celtic tribe. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Belgium
Planet HD 52265 b Cayahuanca Cayahuanca means The rock looking at the stars in the native Nahuat language. IAU100 NameExoWorlds El Salvador
Planet HD 63454 b Ibirapitá Ibirapitá is the name of a native tree that is characteristic of the country of Uruguay, and is also known as Artigas' tree, after the national hero. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Uruguay
Planet HD 63765 b Yvaga Yvaga means paradise for the Guarani and the Milky Way was known as the road to Yvaga or paradise. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Bolivia
Planet HD 6434 b Eyeke Eyeke means near in the language spoken by the Indigenous Waorani tribes of the Amazon regions of Ecuador. This word is suggested for the exoplanet owing to the proximity of the planet to the host star. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Ecuador
Planet HD 68988 b Albmi Albmi means sky in the Northern Sami language of Norway. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Norway
Planet HD 7199 b Hairu Hairu represents unity in the local Makhuwa language of the northern region of Mozambique. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Mozambique
Planet HD 73534 b Drukyul Drukyul (land of the thunder dragon) is the native name for Bhutan, the country that came up with the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Bhutan
Planet HD 75898 b Veles Veles is a major Slavic god of earth, waters and the underworld. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Croatia
Planet HD 81688 b Arkas Arkas was the son of Callisto (Ursa Major) in Greek mythology. Okayama Astro Club, Japan Asia-Pacific
Planet HD 82886 b Arber Arber is the term for the inhabitants of Albania during the middle ages. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Albania
Planet HD 83443 b Buru Buru means dust in the Dholuo language of Kenya and is typically associated with wind storms. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Kenya
Planet HD 85390 b Madalitso Madalitso means blessings in the native language of Nyanja in Zambia. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Zambia
Planet HD 8574 b Bélisama Bélisama was the goddess of fire, notably of the hearth and of metallurgy and glasswork, in Gaulish mythology. IAU100 NameExoWorlds France
Planet HD 86081 b Santamasa Santamasa [/səntəməs/] in Sanskrit means clouded, which alludes to the exoplanet’s atmosphere. IAU100 NameExoWorlds India
Planet HD 93083 b Melquíades Melquíades is a fictional character that walks around Macondo, like a planet orbiting a star, connecting it with the external world by introducing new knowledge using his inventions as well as his stories. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Colombia
Planet HD 95086 b Levantes Levantes (Λεβάντες) is a name adopted in modern Greek for easterly Mediterranean winds. The name appears in the poem "To Axion Esti" by 20th-century Greek poet Odysseas Elytis. NameExoWorlds 2022 Greece
Planet HD 96063 b Ramajay Ramajay means to sing and make music in a steelpan style, representing the love of culture and languages of the ancestors of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Trinidad and Tobago
Planet HD 98219 b Ixbalanqué Ixbalanqué was one of the twin gods who became the Moon in K'iche' (Quiché) Mayan mythology as recounted in the Popol Vuh. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Honduras
Planet HD 99109 b Perwana Perwana means moth in Urdu, alluding to the eternal love of an object circling the source of light (the lamp). IAU100 NameExoWorlds Pakistan
Planet HIP 12961 b Aumatex Aumatex was the God of Wind in the mythology of the Taíno Indigenous People of the Caribbean. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Puerto Rico
Planet HIP 65426 b Najsakopajk Najsa Kopajk refers to “Mother Earth” in the language of the Zoque people. NameExoWorlds 2022 Mexico
Planet HIP 79431 b Barajeel A barajeel is a wind tower used to direct the flow of the wind so that air can be recirculated as a form of air conditioning. IAU100 NameExoWorlds United Arab Emirates
Planet L 168-9 b Qingluan Qingluan (青鸾) refers to a sacred blue bird, a fairy mount from the ancient Chinese book “Classic of Mountains and Seas”, and also known as a messenger of the voice of love. NameExoWorlds 2022 China (Nanjing)
Planet LHS 3844 b Kua'kua Kua'kua means “butterfly” in the Bribri language. Kua'kua traditionally symbolises the women of the land. The appearance of some species of Kua'kua is an indirect sign of the coming of the rainy season in the region. NameExoWorlds 2022 Costa Rica
Planet LTT 9779 b Cuancoá In the Lenguistica U’wa language (Tunebo) of the U’wa Indigenous community of Colombia, Cuancoá refers to the morning star that sets before sunrise. NameExoWorlds 2022 Colombia
Planet mu Arae b Quijote "Lead fictional character from Cervantes's ""El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha""." Planetario de Pamplona, Spain Europe
Planet mu Arae c Dulcinea "Fictional character and love interest of Don Quijote (or Quixote) in Cervantes's ""El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha""." Planetario de Pamplona, Spain Europe
Planet mu Arae d Rocinante "Fictional horse of Don Quijote in Cervantes's ""El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha""." Planetario de Pamplona, Spain Europe
Planet mu Arae e Sancho "Fictional squire of Don Quijote in Cervantes's ""El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha""." Planetario de Pamplona, Spain Europe
Planet Pollux b (beta Geminorum b) Thestias* Thestias is the patronym of Leda and her sister Althaea, the daughters of Thestius. Leda was a Greek goddess, mother of Pollux and of his twin Castor, and of Helen and Clytemnestra. (Note 5) TheSkyNet, Australia Asia-Pacific
Planet PSR 1257+12 b Draugr Draugr refers to undead creatures in Norse mythology. Planetarium Südtirol Alto Adige, Italy Europe
Planet PSR 1257+12 c Poltergeist "Poltergeist is an name for supernatural beings that create physical disturbences, from German for ""noisy ghost""." Planetarium Südtirol Alto Adige, Italy Europe
Planet PSR 1257+12 d Phobetor Phobetor is a Greek mythological deity of nightmares, the son of Nyx, the primordial deity of night. Planetarium Südtirol Alto Adige, Italy Europe
Planet TrES-3 b Umbäässa In the local dialect of southern Liechtenstein, Umbäässa is a small and barely visible ant, alluding to the properties of a planet with respect to its star. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Liechtenstein
Planet upsilon Andromedae b Saffar Saffar is named for Abu al-Qasim Ahmed Ibn-Abd Allah Ibn-Omar al Ghafiqi Ibn-al-Saffar, who taught arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy in 11th century Cordova in Andalusia (modern Spain), and wrote an influential treatise on the uses of the astrolabe. Vega Astronomy Club, Morocco Middle East-Africa
Planet upsilon Andromedae c Samh "Samh is named for Abu al-Qasim 'Asbagh ibn Muhammad ibn al-Samh al-Mahri (or ""Ibn al-Samh""), a noted 11th century astronomer and mathematician in the school of al Majriti in Cordova (Andalusia, now modern Spain)." Vega Astronomy Club, Morocco Middle East-Africa
Planet upsilon Andromedae d Majriti Majriti is named for Abu al-Qasim al-Qurtubi al-Majriti, a notable mathematician, astronomer, scholar, and teacher in 10th century and early 11th century Andalusia (modern Spain). Vega Astronomy Club, Morocco Middle East-Africa
Planet WASP-121 b Tylos Tylos (Τύλος) was the ancient Greek name for Bahrain island. NameExoWorlds 2022 Bahrain
Planet WASP-13 b Cruinlagh In Manx Gaelic, Cruinlagh means to orbit (like a planet around its star). IAU100 NameExoWorlds United Kingdom
Planet WASP-15 b Asye Asye refers to the Earth goddess of Akan mythology. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Ivory Coast
Planet WASP-161 b Isli Isli is the name of a lake in the Atlas mountains of Morocco. It means the groom in the Amazigh language and it is associated with a heartbroken handsome boy in an ancient local legend. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Morocco
Planet WASP-166 b Catalineta Catalineta refers to the name of a little girl who is a heroine in "Na Filet d'Or". NameExoWorlds 2022 Spain
Planet WASP-17 b Ditsö̀ Ditsö̀ is the name that the god Sibö̀ gave to the first Bribri people. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Costa Rica
Planet WASP-19 b Banksia Banksia is a genus of Australian wildflowers and garden plants. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Indigenous people of Australia, have used Banksia for medicine, straining water, and as a nectar source to make sweet drinks. The red flowers of the scarlet banksia (Banksia coccinea), and dried banksia flower cones are used as firebrands by Indigenous peoples and allude to the glow of the hot dayside of the giant planet WASP-19b. NameExoWorlds 2022 Australia
Planet WASP-21 b Bendida Bendida is the Great Mother Goddess of the Thracians. She was especially revered as a goddess of marriage and living nature. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Bulgaria
Planet WASP-22 b Koyopa' Koyopa' is the word associated with lightning in K'iche' (Quiché) Mayan language. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Guatemala
Planet WASP-32 b Viculus Viculus is a Latin term for little village, embodying the spirit of the Singaporean people. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Singapore
Planet WASP-34 b Haik Haik is the successor of the primordial Aman Sinaya as the God of the Sea of the Philippine's Tagalog mythology. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Philippines
Planet WASP-38 b Iztok Iztok is a leading character in the novel Under the Free Sun: a Story of the Ancient Grandfathers by Slovene writer Fran Saleški Finžgar. Iztok is a freedom fighter for the Slavic people. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Slovenia
Planet WASP-39 b Bocaprins Boca Prins is a secluded beach with white dunes and iconic scenery situated in Arikok National Park along the northeast coast of Aruba. It is named after Plantation Prins where coconuts were cultivated in the past. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Aruba
Planet WASP-43 b Astrolábos Astrolábos (ἀστρολάβος) is the Greek word for astrolabe, an ancient astronomical instrument capable of measuring altitude, identifying stars or planets, determining latitude, etc. NameExoWorlds 2022 Romania
Planet WASP-50 b Maeping Mae Ping is one of the tributaries of Thailand's great river Chao Phraya. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Thailand
Planet WASP-52 b Göktürk Göktürk refers to the historical origin of the Turkish people, as it was the first established state in Turkey in 5th century AD. It is also the name of a Turkish satellite and is the combination of two words, of which 'Gök' means sky. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Turkey
Planet WASP-6 b Boinayel Boinayel the god of rain that fertilizes the soil is engraved on the stalagmite at a lower position than Márohu in the El Puente cave. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Dominican Republic
Planet WASP-60 b Vlasina Vlasina is one of the most significant tributaries of the South Morava river. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Serbia
Planet WASP-62 b Krotoa Krotoa is considered the Mother of Africa and member of the indigenous Khoi people, who was a community builder and educator during colonial times. IAU100 NameExoWorlds South Africa
Planet WASP-63 b Regoč Regoč is the giant protagonist in the Croatian fairy tale Regoč. NameExoWorlds 2022 Croatia
Planet WASP-64 b Agouto Agouto (Mount Agou) is the highest mountain in Togo and a treasured region of the Atakoraka. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Togo
Planet WASP-69 b Makombé The Makombé River is a tributary which feeds the Wouri River in Cameroon. NameExoWorlds 2022 Cameroon
Planet WASP-71 b Tanzanite Tanzanite is the name of a precious stone mined in Tanzania and is treasured worldwide. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Tanzania
Planet WASP-72 b Cuptor Cuptor is a thermally insulated chamber used for baking or drying substances, that has long disappeared in Mauritius and has been replaced by more sophisticated ovens. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Mauritius
Planet WASP-79 b Pollera Pollera is the traditional costume the woman wears in the El Punto, a Panamanian dance in which a man and woman dance to the sound of drums. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Panama
Planet WASP-80 b Wadirum Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon) is located at the far south of Jordan, it is the largest valley in Jordan, set on the high plateau at the western edge of the Arabian Desert. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Jordania
Planet WD 0806-661 b Ahra ‘Ahra’ (아라) is a Korean word reminiscent of the ocean. NameExoWorlds 2022 Republic of Korea
Planet xi Aquilae b Fortitudo* "Fortitudo is Latin for ""fortitude"". Fortitude means emotional and mental strength in the face of adversity, as embodied by the eagle (represented by the constellation Aquila)." Libertyer (Student club at Hosei University), Japan Asia-Pacific
Planet XO-1 b Negoiu Negoiu is the second highest peak in Romania of the Făgăraș mountain range with an altitude of 2535 metres. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Romania
Planet XO-4 b Hämarik Hämarik is Estonian for the time when the Sun goes down in the evening (dusk). IAU100 NameExoWorlds Estonia
Planet XO-5 b Makropulos Makropulos is the name from Karel Čapek's play Věc Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair), dealing with problems of immortality and consequences of an artificial prolongation of life. IAU100 NameExoWorlds Czech Republic

(*) Note: These names are modified based on the original proposals, to be consistent with the IAU rules.

Note 1: The original name proposed, Veritas, is that of an asteroid important for the study of the solar system.

Note 2: The name originally proposed, Amaterasu, is already used for an asteroid.

Note 3: Note the typographical difference between AEgir and Aegir, the Norwegian transliteration. The same name, with the spelling Aegir, has been attributed to one of Saturn's satellites, discovered in 2004.

Note 4: The original proposed name, Leda, is already attributed to an asteroid and one of Jupiter's satellites. The name Althaea, sister to Leda, is also attributed to an asteroid.

Note 5: The original spelling of Lippershey was corrected to Lipperhey on 15 January 2016. The commonly seen spelling Lippershey (with an "s") results from a typographical error dating back to 1831 and should be avoided.

More Information


We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Commission F2 Exoplanets and the Solar System Organising Committee Members René Heller and Eric Mamajek, the IAU Director of Communications, Lars Lindberg Christensen and OAO Deputy Director Kelly Blumenthal.


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