Alaska Native wins nationwide contest, names star and exoplanet in honor of Bristol Bay heritage
A piece of Bristol Bay is now in the sky far, far away.
One intergalactic star and exoplanet are now known as Nushagak and Mulchatna, the International Astronomical Union announced Tuesday.
The star and exoplanet were named after the Nushagak and Mulchatna rivers in Bristol Bay and the names were chosen by Ivory Adajar of Dillingham.
"I chose the names Nushagak for a star and Mulchatna for an exoplanet after Earth’s greatest wild salmon river ecosystems that resembles the nature of the exoplanet’s orbit," Adajar said. "Mulchatna River connects to the famous Nushagak River, and these rich and historical salmon rivers have contributed greatly to our Alaskan outdoors natural culture."
The union says Nushagak is a sun-like star in the Cassiopeia constellation and Mulchatna is in its orbit.
Adajar is a member of the Curyung Tribal Council and says she wants to use Nushagak and Mulchatna as symbols for Bristol Bay.
"We might not have this natural habitat and rich fisheries in the future, but we can have the star and exoplanet in honor of Alaska’s rich salmon culture and heritage," she said. "After winning this great honor, I plan to use it as a platform to help educate youth and others more about our beautiful starry sky above and the rich natural ecology of earth below."
The IAU says nearly 900 name proposals were received from throughout the country and more than 110 sets of celestial bodies were named by candidates from around the world.
The union says it encouraged names from Indigenous languages and held contests in countries as far as Argentina, Malaysia and Ireland. Each star and exoplanet is visible from the country its name originates from.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: