Emily’s name is out of this world

Emily, centre with members of the school council and teachers Nick Parr and Becky Southern
Emily, centre with members of the school council and teachers Nick Parr and Becky Southern

A local primary school has been shortlisted in an international competition to name a star and exoplanet.

To celebrate 100 years of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), countries from over the world have had the opportunity to put forward their suggestions of names for newly discovered stars and exoplanets.

A panel of judges in the UK looked at over 1000 different suggestions and the names from Garrett Hall Primary School, Astley, have reached the last 10 in the country.

There will now be a public vote over the next two weeks to decide the final names that are chosen.

The planet is currently names WASP- 13b , and it orbits the star WASP -13.

However, the suggestion put forward by Emily from Y5 of Garrett Hall Primary School is that the names Elan and Galloway are used in their place.

These names have been chosen as they are the names of two designated dark sky parks of our country, where the stars are at their most visible at night.

Galloway forest lies in the county of Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland and Elan is in the dark sky park of mid Wales.

Class teacher Nick Parr said: “The school is very excited to have the opportunity to name a star. As part of our Earth and Space project, all of our Year 5’s put forward amazing suggestions for the names of these planets . We would be extremely proud if Emily’s was chosen. It would be amazing to think that in years to come people living on the planet will remember Emily and Garrett Hall,”

Anyone who would like to register their vote can do so (without leaving any personal information) at www.exoworld.co.uk.

Voting closes on December 2.