Uwingu Announces Winner of Alpha Centauri Planet Naming Contest

uwingu_artworkBoulder, Colorado (Uwingu PR) — Space company UwinguTM announced the winner of its public engagement contest to solicit and vote on a popular name for the only known planet orbiting the nearest star to the Sun, Alpha Centauri.

The winning name from Uwingu’s competition to select a name for the planet is “Albertus Alauda”. This nomination was entered into Uwingu’s public planet name nomination database last November by Jason Lark, in honor of his late grandfather, Albert Lark. In the citation entered into Uwingu’s database, Lark said, “His name in Latin means Noble or Bright and to praise or extol. I think this is an apt description as my Grandfather was a noble man and bright of character and in this nomination I wish to honour (extol) him.”

The second through fifth place name nominations in the competition were Rakhat, Caleo, Amara, and Tiber, with origins in science fiction literature, science, and a man’s love for his fiancée.

Over 1,240 name nominations were received in total. “This really shows that ordinary people like to engage in astronomy and space exploration this new way, and at Uwingu we’re very happy that we could help demonstrate that. We’re also ready to now give people new ways to engage in public sector exoplanet naming,” said Uwingu’s CEO Dr. Alan Stern.

Uwingu’s mission is twofold: To help the public better connect to space and the sky, and to create a new kind of grant fund for space researchers and educators using proceeds from our web site. Uwingu’s name means sky in Swahili. Uwingu’s web site can be found at http://www.uwingu.com.

Uwingu Fund grant dollars from the Alpha Centauri planet naming competition will be used to help space educators and educator projects.

About Uwingu: Uwingu (which means “sky” in Swahili, and is pronounced “oo-­‐wing-­‐oo”) was formed by a team of leading astronomers, planetary scientists, former space program executives, and educators. The company includes space historian and author Andrew Chaikin, space educator Dr. Emily CoBabe-­‐Ammann, citizen science leader Dr. Pamela Gay, author and former museum science director Dr. David Grinspoon, planet hunter Dr. Geoff Marcy, planetary scientist and aerospace executive Dr. Teresa Segura, planetary scientist and former NASA science boss Dr. Alan Stern, planetary scientist and CEO of the Planetary Science Institute, Dr. Mark Sykes, former Executive Director of the Planetary Society Dr. Louis Friedman, and space artists Jon Lomberg and Dan Durda. In September, Uwingu successfully concluded one of the 25 largest Indiegogo crowd-­‐funding campaigns ever to launch an ongoing series of public engagement projects. Visit Uwingu’s web site at www.uwingu.com to learn more.

For more information, contact Dr. Alan Stern at stern@uwingu.com, or at 970-­281-­SKY1. Follow Uwingu on Twitter at UwinguSky; and friend Uwingu on Facebook.