A star and its planet is named after an Indian scientist
A white yellow star in Sextans constellation and its Jupiter-like exoplanets, which were earlier named HD 86081 and 86081b, will now have Indian names.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced that while the star would be called ‘Bibhā’, the planet would be known as ‘Santamasa’. The star has been named in honour of a pioneering Indian woman scientist Bibha Choudhury, who discovered subatomic particle, pi-meson. ‘Bhibha’ also means “a bright beam of light” in Bengali.
The planet has been named Santamasa to reflect the cloudy nature of its atmosphere. ‘Santamasa’ is the Sanskrit term for ‘clouded’.
Ananyo Bhattacharya, a 22-year-old student of Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology at Surat, had suggested the name of ‘Bhibha’ for the star and 13-year-old Vidyasagar Daud of Singhad Spring Dale Public School, Pune, had suggested ‘Santamasa’ for the planet.
It is impossible to predict just how many stars are there in our universe. Right now, as per the scientists and astronomers, there is an estimate of 200 to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way itself. With this, there are billions of galaxies in our universe.