A star on the edge of the Solar System just got a Bengali name

A star on the edge of the Solar System just got a Bengali name
(Representative image) HD 86081b - a lonely world around its starASI


  • Star HD 86081 will now be known as Bibha and it’s accompanying exoplanet will be called Santamasa.
  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced the new names on their 100the anniversary.
  • Bibha means ‘bright beam of light’ in Bengali and Santamasa means ‘clouded’.
Not a lot of the stars in the universe can boast having an Indian name, except the newly incorporated HD 86081 — now known as Bibha, a Bengali name which means ‘bright beam of light’.

Its accompanying exoplanet, HD86081b, also got an Indian name -- Santamasa, which means clouded in Sanskrit. The planet is thought to be a lot like Jupiter. It has the same massive size and is composed mostly of gas.

Although, unlike Jupiter, Santamasa is the only planet circling the parent star. It’s also much closer to its star than Jupiter is to the Sun — which makes it hot enough to melt iron and gold.

The names were unveiled by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on their 100 their anniversary as part of NameExoWorlds contest. Countries around the world even selected to allocate names to various planets and stars located outside the Solar System.


Not the only two space objects with Indian names

While Santamasa and Bibha were named by India, there was one other star that also got an Indian name. WASP-72, named by Mauritius, will now be known as Diya — or an oil lamp. Diyas are popularly used during the Indian festival of Diwali to decorate houses and streets.

While the word may be Indian, it holds a different kind of significance for the island nation. Diyas were one of the objects which their ancestors brought over with them when they migrated in the 1820s.

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