Merry Christmas! And, since I have gotten a few confused communications, a clarification about the previous post. The name-your-exoplanet contest it references is official. Official. Completely 100% official, as official as calling Mars “Mars” instead of Barsoom. The contest was run by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the names are IAU-approved.
Which means that in addition to Galileo, Hypatia and Arkas, we have Orbitar (in the Fafnir system), Smertrios (orbiting Ogba), and Poltergeist (circling the star Lich). Plus the star Libertas (formerly Xi Aquilae) and its biggest planet Fortitudo.
I am not sure that all the renamed star names will fly. For example, why rename Xi Aquilae? (Other than the fact that it is unpronounceable in English.) Galileo used to orbit 55 Cancri; I’m not sure that Copernicus is an improvement. And I just can’t get behind renaming the famous Epsilon Eridani as “Ran.” (Not “Ran” for the Hebrew name, but for some Norse god I have never heard of, and I used to be a fan of the Thor comic books.)
But these names are official and will stick. So go read. And hope that they do a better job when naming the super-Earths and potentially-habitable worlds. Plus, I still think that the first place with an oxy-nitro atmosphere simply has to be named Barsoom. Right, Will?