Meet Parumleo and Viculus – the star and its orbiting planet with Singapore-inspired names

Parumleo and Viculus – Latin for “little lion” and “little village” respectively – were named by a student from ACS (Independent).
Screengrab from exoplanets.nasa.gov

Singaporeans have something else to look up to in this New Year.

In 2019, the Little Red Dot was invited to make its mark in space by naming WASP-32 – a star in the Pisces constellation – and its respective exoplanet.

After a public vote, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and astronomy club Astronomy.SG announced in a Facebook post on Thursday (Jan 2) that the star and its orbiting planet have been named Parumleo and Viculus respectively.

The names were the ideas of Jordan Sun Jing Tai, a student from ACS (Independent), whose suggestion beat out 21 other proposals with a total of 270 votes.

Parumleo – which is Latin for “little lion” – symbolises “Singapore’s struggle for independence”, while Viculus – Latin for “little village” – “embodies the spirit of Singaporean people”, Astronomy.SG said.

The new names will be officially accepted and used in future articles and journals.

According to The Straits Times, Parumleo, the yellow-white dwarf star, is visible from Singapore with a small to medium telescope.

It has the same spectral classification as the Sun, and is predicted to be of equal mass as well.

Singapore was among 112 countries, including U.S., Malaysia, and France, who took part in the NameExoWorlds II Project organised by IAU as part of the union’s celebration of their 100th anniversary year.

According to its official website, the IAU is an international astronomical organisation that has over 13,000 professional astronomers from over 100 countries.

It is also the world’s largest professional body for astronomers and is recognised as the international authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and surface features on them.

Astronomy.SG was selected to help collect name suggestions and conduct a vote between October and December last year.

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