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Serbs discover new planet and get its naming rights

The newly discovered WASP-60 star is officially named Morava today, and its planet WASP-60b Vlasina, at a global event in Paris marking the 100th anniversary of the International Astronomical Union (MAU).

 Serbs discover new planet and get its naming rights

Serbia has been tasked with proposing and voting for a new name for the WASP-60 star and its planet WASP-60b, according to a statement from the Society of Astronomers of Serbia and the International Astronomical Union.

The planetary system WASP-60 was discovered in 2012 and is located in the direction of the constellation Pegasus, and is 1,304 light-years away from Earth.

The Morava star is a yellow star similar to the sun, while its companion Vlasina is a gaseous planet similar to Jupiter, but with half the mass.

Unlike Jupiter, Vlasina revolves around its parent star at about 100 times smaller distances. While it takes Jupiter almost 12 years to travel one circle around the sun, Vlasina circles the Morava in just over four earthly days.


The National Exoplanet Nominating Committee opened the competition for the nomination of the WASP-60 planetary system in May 2019. The competition was open to all schools, astronomical associations and professional institutions across Serbia, which had until 1 June this year to submit their proposals for the name of the star and the planet, in accordance with the rules prescribed by the IAU.

All the proposals received were checked by the commission and those who, in accordance with the prescribed rules, entered the voting that was held in Serbia at the Researchers' Night held on September 27, 2019.

The names that received the most votes were Vlasina and Morava, proposed by the Astronomical Society of Novi Sad.

These names are inspired by one of the largest river systems in Serbia, the Great Morava, which is created by the merger of the West and South Moravas, and Vlasina, as one of the largest tributaries of the South Morava, and which runs its entire length through Serbia.

The International Astronomical Union brings together more than 10,000 professional astronomers from more than 90 countries. Its mission is to establish and coordinate international cooperation in astronomy, to promote and protect astronomy as a science in all aspects.

MAU is also an internationally recognized organization responsible for assigning names to celestial bodies or characteristic relief forms on their surface.