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Here’s your chance to name a planet the size of Saturn

Australians are being given the chance to name a star and the planet that orbits it.

The star was discovered in the early 1900s, but the planet, currently known as HD 38283, was only discovered by an Australian led team in 2016.

Dr James Murray, president of Mt Burnett Observatory, said it’s an exciting discovery.

“It’s a Saturn-sized planet, but it’s sitting in its solar system where the Earth sits in ours,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“It gives us great cause for excitement because the star is quite like the sun, so it means this planet is sitting in or around the goldilocks zone, which is where there’s expected to be life.”

Dr Murray said the planet is “definitely a Premier League planet”, but life is unlikely to be found on the planet itself.

“It’s a gas giant, so the interest is in whether there are moons around this planet,” he said.

“It’s the moons that would potentially have life on them.”

There are some restrictions on what the planet can be named.

It cannot be named after:

  • Commercial products
  • Political parties
  • Pets
  • Any person that is alive or has died in the last 100 years
  • Religious figures

Submissions for the planet name are open until mid-September.

A shortlist of names will then be chosen to put to a vote (to avoid a Planet McPlanetface situation).

You can submit a planet name here.

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