Astronomical observations over the past generation have now discovered over 4,000 planets orbiting other stars--called exoplanets
Economy minister Etienne Schneider (LSAP) called it when in 2018 he joked that one day Luxembourg would take up more space in space than on earth.
Now it’s official after a star was named Lucilinburhuc, a nod to the original name of Luxembourg’s City’s fortress built by Count Siegfried in 963, and an exoplanet Peitruss, in reference to the capital’s river.
It marked the second time in history that a campaign led to the naming of stars and exoplanets. Of the 360,000 proposals received, the national committee in each country filtered their proposals to a shortlist which were presented for a public vote
What other names made the final cut?
Among the stars and exoplanets that were named was Beirut, an exoplanet named by Lebanon after one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It was a port of the Phoenician people, who are remembered in Lebanon’s star dubbed Phoenicia. Lithuania named its star Taika, Lithuanian for peace. Sri Lanka went a similar way, calling its star Samaya, Sinhalese for peace, and exoplanet Samagiya, Sinhalese for unity. While Zambia named its star simply Natasha, roughly translated as thank you.
The Dutch named their star after Van Gogh’s painting, “Sterrennacht” (starry night) while the exoplanet was named after Rembrandt’s “Nacthwacht” (nightwatch).
Peru remembered characters in a tragic love story by one of its writers, Abraham Valdelomar, by naming its star Inquill and its exoplanet Sumajmajta. On the theme of literature, Poland named its star Solaris, after the science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem and its exoplanet Pirx, after one of the writer’s characters. Slovenia also followed the literature path, naming its star Irena and exoplanet Iztok after characters in Fran Saleski Finzgar’s novel “Under the Free Sun: A story of the ancient grandfathers”.