Malta Names an Exoplanet and its Star

The final results from the NameExoWorlds campaign are in!

In the case of Malta and Gozo, the Maltese public selected the names Ġgantija for the exoplanet and Sansuna for the star. Both names are associated with the megalithic temples of Ġgantija on the island of Gozo, Malta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ġgantija means giantess: the megalithic temple complex on the island of Gozo, which alludes to the grandeur of this gas giant exoplanet.

Sansuna is the name of the mythological giant from traditional Maltese folk tales that carried the stones of the Gozo megalithic temples on her head.

The IAU100 NameExoWorlds global project was conceived to create awareness of our place in the Universe and to reflect on how the Earth would potentially be perceived by a civilisation on another planet. As the IAU is the authority responsible for assigning official designations and names to celestial bodies, the IAU100 celebrations in 2019 were used as a special occasion to offer every country the chance to name one planetary system, comprising an exoplanet and its host star.

The Astronomical Society of Malta