Sure, being a world-famous blogger is a great ego massage, but why stop there?
Astronomers have spotted the most Earth-like planet to date, a massive ocean world that probably has an atmosphere and — though it’s highly unlikely — may support life. And it needs a better name.
For now, GJ 1214b is tagged according to standard exoplanetary nomenclature: the technical name of the star it orbits, plus a letter to signify the order of its discovery. (The letter “a” is reserved for the star itself.) It’s a name only a committee could love, and hardly appropriate to the discovery’s emotional resonance.
“We’ve been finding exciting planets for 50 years, and we’re still calling them by these terrible catalog names,” said David Charbonneau, a Harvard University astronomer who helped discover GJ 1214b, but doesn’t even have a nickname for it. “I have three young daughters, and I think they might be inspired by a better name.”
How about giving us all a nice Christmas present by going here and putting down a vote for Planet McBlogger? (Suck it, Burka!)