VOTE for GEO!
The Johnson GEO CENTRE’s Astronomy Club is part of the international effort to name exoplanets (planets that orbit other stars).
Our names are up against 10 other names for the star system xi Aquila.
To vote for GEO’s name selections follow these simple instructions:
STEP 1: Go to the xi Aquila Contest Page
STEP 2: Scroll the page to locate proposed names: Gobidin and Ewinon
STEP 3: Click “Vote”
- No registration is required.
- Each device (computer or smartphone) can vote once and only once for each of the 20 systems.
- No change is allowed after the vote.
- Contest closes October 31, 2015 23:59 UTC.
About GEO’s name selections:
|Star Name / Planet Name||Proposed Names|
The Beothuk word for Eagle. Gob-id-in according to William Epps Cormack’s writing describing drawings by Shanawdithit (Cormack 1851). The word was written down by W.E. Cormack during conversations with Shanawdithit, believed to be the last Beothuk. Although her English was never great she was able to communicate through broken English, the language of the Beothuk, and drawings made by her. She was captured along the coast of Newfoundland, apparently in a state of starvation in 1823. She was brought to St. John’s and lived with Mr. Cormack in 1828 after 5 years living in Exploits. She died on the 6th of June 1829, believed to be the last of her people and its culture (Howley 1915).
|xi Aquilae b||Ewinon
The Beothuk word for Feather (Howley 1915). Comes from the unpublished word lists of a Dr. King of the Anthropological Society, and used extensively by Albert S. Gatschet of the American Philosophical Society (Gatschet 1885).
Aquila is Latin for Eagle and we think the Beothuk words for Eagle and Feather are thus appropriate for a star system found within this constellation. We chose to name the star after the Beothuk word for Eagle (Gobidin) because the star is the largest object in a star system. Planets are much smaller components of star systems, so we chose the Beothuk word for feather (Ewinon) as feathers are smaller components that make up the much larger Eagle.
The Beothuk people of Newfoundland are an extinct cultural group, whose language is believed to have been significantly different than any other native group (Howley 1915). Thus, the use of this language in scientific naming is appropriate as it is a fossilized language from an extinct group, and not subject to change of meaning, which occurs with spoken languages.
Also, the Beothuk represent a time-frame of Newfoundland, Canadian, and British Culture, where direct and indirect action eradicated a group of people. Thus, in a small way we hope to bring some attention to these people and immortalize some of their language, which although cannot bring them back, may help make sure that they are remembered.
1851 Handwritten Letters signed by Cormack and dated June 24th 1851.
Howley, James P.
1915 The Beothucks, or Red Indians: The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Newfoundland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Gatschet, Albert S.
1885 First Paper. American Philosophical Society.