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Environment & Climate Change

There are planets outside our solar system. Scientists want your help naming them

An "exoplanet" orbiting a distant sun.
Jet Propulsion Lab/CalTech
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An "exoplanet" orbiting a distant sun.

In recent years, more than 1,800 exoplanets (planets that orbit a sun outside of our solar system) have been discovered across the universe by telescopes such as the Kepler Space Telescope. Hiding among these planets are some that researchers hope could perhaps be hospitable for life. 

The International Astronomical Union is now opening up the opportunity for the public to become involved with this exciting age of planetary discovery through its "Naming Exoworlds Contest."

Organizations across the world are invited to submit name proposals for more than 300 of these alien planets.

One participating organization is the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, which will be taking exoplanet name proposals on November 13.

Proposals will be voted on by the international community in March 2015.

For more information about how to get involved, contact the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Ari Sandberg, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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