KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CBS Tampa) - According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, astronomers drew inspiration for many of the names of the planets in our solar system from one source – Roman mythology.
Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are all prime examples of how mythical Roman deities lent their names to nearby celestial bodies, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey noted.
Further away, hundreds of planets outside of our solar system – referred to as exoplanets - with far more clinical names exist. And those looking to name those planets after themselves or loved ones have been offered the chance to do so online, through various vendors who claim to provide such a service.
Other operations have also offered people the chance to vote on new names – for a small fee, that is.
According to the International Astronomical Union, however, those services are nothing more than scams.
The website Popsci is reporting that IAU is condemning those offering the public a chance to name planets.
According to a press release from the France-based organization, the IAU also ““wishes to inform the public that such schemes have no bearing on the official naming process.”
Popsci learned that IAU called into question the validity of planet-naming businesses, as well as outfits that offer people the chance to name stars or purchase property on the moon.