Serbia, as part of the International Astronomical Union’s competition, participated in the naming of the star and the planet, 1,304 light-years from Earth. From now on, the star of WASP-60 and the planet WASP-60b will be called Morava and Vlasina.
On the occasion of the anniversary celebrated this year by the International Astronomical Union, 100 years since its founding, all IAU member countries have had the unique opportunity to name one of the newly discovered planets outside the solar system.
The naming of the exoplanet and its parent star took place as part of the NameExoWorld name contest held in 2019. Serbia has been tasked with proposing and voting for a new name for the WASP-60 star and its planet WASP-60b.
The winning names of this competition were announced at a global event held in Paris, where it was officially declared that the new name of the star is WASP-60 Morava, while the new name of its planet is WASP-60b Vlasina.
The planetary system WASP-60 was discovered in 2012 and is located in the direction of the constellation “Pegasus”, and is 1,304 light-years away from Earth. The Morava star is a yellow star similar to the sun, while its companion Vlasina is a gaseous planet similar to Jupiter, but with half the mass.
Unlike Jupiter, Vlasina revolves around its parent star about 100 times smaller, and while it takes Jupiter almost 12 years to travel one orbit around the sun, Vlasina orbits Morava in just over four Earth days.
The National Exoplanet Nominating Committee opened the competition for the nomination of the WASP-60 planetary system in May 2019. The competition was open to all schools, astronomical associations and professional institutions across Serbia, which had until 1 June this year to submit their proposals for the name of the star and planet, in accordance with the rules prescribed by the IAU.
All the proposals received were checked by the commission and those who, in accordance with the prescribed rules, entered the vote that was held in Serbia at the Researchers’ Night held on September 27, 2019.
The names that received the most votes were Vlasina and Morava, proposed by the Astronomical Society of Novi Sad. These names are inspired by one of the largest river systems in Serbia, the Great Morava, which is created by the merger of the West and South Moravas, and Vlasina, as one of the largest tributaries of the South Morava, and which runs its entire length through Serbia.