In 2015, the exoplanet Tau Boötis b was included in the Name Exoworlds Project, a project where various international astronomy organizations would propose names for a selection of known exoplanets that complied with a set of guidelines presented by the International Astronomical Union. Upon completion of submissions, voting was opened to the public, with the selected and approved names being published.

The IAU decided that the name voted for Tau Boötis b did not not meet the naming guidelines, and annulled the result of the vote.

I have no objection to them deciding to not use the name, and I don't want this to be come an argument as to whether they should have annulled it. I just want to know: has it ever been revealed what the public-voted name was, and if non-obvious, the reason it was annulled?


1 Answer 1


The statistics for the 2015 vote are available at http://www.nameexoworlds.iau.org/statistics

This indicates that the winning names were "Shri Ram Matt" for the star, and "Bhagavatidevi" for the planet. The rationale given there is as follows:

One of the proposals for tau Bootis fails to comply with the IAU policy for naming exoplanets, explicitly forbidding the use of names of persons that are known to have been involved in political, religious or military activities. The IAU respects the proposed name, and the high number of votes cast in its favor, but decided to annul the vote for tau Bootis.

  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I missed that on my first search for the reason a few months ago! Thanks, I'll look into those names. $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 18:08

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