The Duck of Minerva

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Name That Planet: Open Thread on “GJ1214b”

December 17, 2009

WOW. As PTJ reports below, scientists have discovered the first Earth-like exoplanet… and, in accordance with International Astronomical Union convention, promptly named it GJ1214b.

Clearly astronomers need some assistance from readers of the Duck in choosing a planetary moniker that befits this extraordinary discovery and enables breakfast-table conversations with budding young space scientists. Submit your suggestions and ask others to do the same. The results will be passed along helpfully to the graduate student who made the discovery – perhaps he or his senior faculty members can convince the International Astronomical Union to begin giving important planets like this proper names.

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.