Deadline to name a planet is closing

The deadline for you to show your support in naming a distant planet is fast approaching.

Earlier this year, the University joined forces with the Leicester Mercury to give the people of Leicester the opportunity to name their own planet.

Professor Martin Barstow, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Head of the College of Science & Engineering, Professor of Astrophysics and Space Science and President, Royal Astronomical Society, has registered the University in an International Astronomical Union (IAU) competition which invites groups to name newly discovered worlds. Leicester Mercury readers sent in a variety of suggestions, with the name 'Abdita' chosen as Leicester's submission.

The planet (pictured) that people are being asked to name has the working title gamma Cephei b. It resides some 45 light years away in the constellation of the King and orbits a 6.6 billion-year-old star named, Errai.

'Abdita' is one of four potential names for the planet that will be decided by public vote. You can place your vote here: