Errai (gamma Cephei)

Artist impression by ESO

Errai (gamma Cephei)

Star details
  • Constellation: the King
  • Vmag: 3.2
  • Visibility: Visible to the naked eye
  • Number of Planets: 1

Planet details

gamma Cephei b

  • Mass (Jupiters): 1.85
  • Mass (Earths): 588
  • Period (days): 903.3
  • Semi Major Axis (AU): 2.05

Proposed names

Star name / planet name Proposed names
gamma Cephei b Abdita
the Latin word meaning "secluded, secret and remote"

We carried out a public competition locally, as part of our education and
outreach programme, in conjunction with a local newspaper, the Leicester
Mercury. A short list to choose both a the start to name and potential
names for the associated planet were obtained through a call for
suggestions from Mercury readers. The shortlist was then put to a vote.

Star name / planet name Proposed names
gamma Cephei b Hoffleit
The star is named Errai which is translated as "shepherd" which honors her editorship of The Yale Bright Star Catalog that was the main resource for early exoplanet searches.

We recommend the exoplanet gamma Cephei b be named Hoffleit for Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit whose editorship of The Yale Bright Star Catalogue was the chief resource for the early searches using the Doppler technique. After graduating from Radcliffe (1928), she became a research assistant at Harvard College Observatory the next year, and published papers on variable stars and meteors. When female astronomers were few, she gained an MA (1932) and ultimately a PhD (1938). After calculating missile trajectories during WW II, she returned briefly to Harvard before settling at Yale in 1956. Her dual role as research astronomer primarily involved preparing astrometric data for over 9000 visible stars, while also acting as director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory from 1957 to 1978. There she provided summer internships for over 100 women students, and performed educational and public outreach in the local area. Besides publishing numerous papers, she made contributions to a number of other Yale programs, especially the 4th edition of The General Catalogue of Trigonometric Stellar Parallaxes. Beginning in 1941 she wrote the News Notes for Sky & Telescope magazine until the mid-fifties. Besides mentoring and teaching, she began writing on the history of astronomy. Among her honors were two DSc’s, the AAS Annenburg Prize (1993), the van Biesbroeck Prize (1998), plus naming of asteroid 3416 Dorrit. She continued to work long after her official retirement in 1975, and remained there well into her nineties. She is recognized as a renowned expert on variable stars, astrometry, and the history of astronomy.

Star name / planet name Proposed names
gamma Cephei b Palmyra
This is the name of an ancient city in the Syrian Desert. The city stood there even before the Roman Empire. It contains some of the most beautiful and valuable monuments in the world. The city is listed on the UNESCO's world heritage sites.

We believe that the name 'Palmyra' is appropriate for the following reasons:

(1) The name is short, very suitable for a planet, and can be easily used and pronounced in all languages of the world.

(2) The hosting star (Errai) has an arabic name, meaning the Shepherd, so the planet should also derive its name from Arabic language and culture.

(3) Palmyra is originally an oasis of palms, which was a destination for shepherds since the beginning of time. So this name would be convinient for the hosting star as well: joining the shepherd with the land.

(4) Palmyra ruins are seriously threatend by the current conflict in the Middle East. So the name must be immortalized in the sky, because the city may disappear soon.

Please find time to learn more about Palmyra in the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmyra

Youtube Link
Star name / planet name Proposed names
gamma Cephei b Kharoof
Errai is Arabic for shepherd, so we chose an Arabic word for sheep, which is herded by the shepherd.