Uwingu is sponsoring a contest to suggest a name for the nearest exoplanet found so far:  A public name for ‘Bb’: Opening the naming of the closest planet to our solar system to the people of Earth! – Uwingu

Astronomers have discovered evidence for thousands of planets orbiting distant stars. But all of these planets have only technical names, such as ’Alpha Centauri Bb,’ not memorable ones like the planets in our own solar system.

Uwingu is announcing a contest for the people of Earth to name the closest known exoplanet (planet around another star)!

Anyone can nominate a name—or as many names as you like. The name with the highest number of votes for it on April 15th will be announced as the winner! And what’s more, we’ll be giving out a series of prizes to the namers (that’s you!) of any name that gets at least 100 votes, names that get 1,000 votes, names that get 10,000 votes, and the top vote getter of all.

During the competition you’ll need to work your magic to encourage votes from your social networks, blog followers, friends, family, employers…everyone! And its for a great cause—Uwingu is creating The Uwingu Fund to accelerate space research and education, and we’re already making grants.

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More about the program and the plan to send some of the money raised to support NASA outreach projects: