Name a whole world

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) calls on all people living in South Africa to name the planet WASP-62 b and its host star WASP-62. This is your chance to name a whole world. Both individuals and groups may suggest names, and you may make more than one suggestion. The closing date is 30 September 2019.

South Africa has an important relationship to WASP-62 b: The planet was discovered by SuperWASP, one of the telescopes near the town of Sutherland in the Northern Cape.

Artist's conception of WASP 62 b

Win a Prize

Great prizes await the top six suggestions: Individuals get a trip to Sutherland, where they get a chance to see SuperWASP, the telescope that discovered WASP-62b. Groups win a telescope and astronomy books – and we’ll provide assistance in getting your new telescope up-and-running. (But you may win only once, even if you make multiple suggestions.)

Suggest a name

WASP-62 b

WASP-62 b is giant gas planet with a diameter which is about 1.3 times that of Jupiter. This means you could fit roughly  1000 Earths in it! It orbits its parent star, WASP-62, every 4.4 days.

The distance between star and planet is only 1/17-th of that between the Earth and our Sun. Therefore WASP-62 b is too hot for liquid water to exist, and one has to assume there can be no life on it.

WASP-62 b is located in the constellation Dorado. It was discovered in 2012 by the SuperWASP telescope in Sutherland as it periodically blocks out a tiny fraction of WASP-62 as it moves in front of the star.