The name Stribor for the star around which the exoplanet Veles orbits was proposed by Biserka Gržeta, a researcher with a long career at the Ruđer Bošković Institute. And while invisible to the naked eye, researchers believe that “our” Veles is by no means a small or uninteresting planet.
Croatia has now taken a place in the infinite expanse of the cosmos. As part of the one hundredth anniversary commemoration of the International Astronomical Union people have been invited in over 110 countries to propose names for as yet unnamed bodies in the universe. Some one hundred proposals were submitted in Croatia and in the final tally one name was adopted for a star, Stribor, and one for an exoplanet, Veles.
Veles—the name of the ancient Slav deity associated with the earth, water and the underworld—was proposed by Đorđe Njegovanović of Dubrovnik and Maja Lukač of Split and will from now on be the name we attribute to an exoplanet in a distant part of the universe.
“It would be here somewhere, orbiting the star Stribor. We cannot see it because it is in the Lynx constellation, that is to say we cannot see it with the naked eye, you would need the vision of a lynx to see it, this is the image the satellite managed to obtain,” explains Đorđe Njegovanović, the co-proposer of the name attributed to the exoplanet Veles.
A good small telescope used at night in the winter would be necessary to view the star Stribor. “This was one of the key conditions of the competition: that the celestial body be visible from the country in which it will be named,” explained astrophysicist Vibor Jelić.
The name Stribor for the star around which the exoplanet Veles orbits was proposed by Biserka Gržeta, a researcher with a long career at the Ruđer Bošković Institute. And while invisible to the naked eye, researchers believe that “our” Veles is by no means a small or uninteresting planet. Jelić notes that it is “Somewhat larger than Jupiter and that the star is a bit bigger than the Sun, somewhat more massive and a little younger.”
The hundredth anniversary of the International Astronomical Union was an opportunity to involve over 110 countries in a competition to name exoplanets and the stars around which they orbit. A new step in popularising astronomy at the Ruđer Bošković Institute will include a public observation for schoolgoing children of stars and nebulae that hopes to have every pupil use a telescope to locate and learn about Stribor and Veles, the Croatian trace in space. (HRT)