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"Estrella Cervantes" is a proposal to name the star μ Arae and its four exoplanets with the name of Cervantes and those of the main characters of the novel “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha”: Dulcinea, Rocinante, Quijote i Sancho.

This is a project of the Pamplona's Planetary, The Spanish Astronomical Society and the Cervantes Institut that follows the call of the International Astronomical Union "Name ExoWorlds".
The choice of the names is done through a international open vote with deadline 31 October.

How to vote:

Web of the SEA about the project


Somewhere in the Ara constellation, around a star without a proper name, only known by the letter µ, four planets trace their paths. Around an author of universal fame, also his four main characters revolve. We propose to elevate Cervantes to the status of a galactic Apolo, lending his name to the system's central star, while Don Quijote (Quixote), Rocinante, Sancho and Dulcinea are justly transfigured into his planetary escort. Quijote (mu Arae b), the leading character, in a somewhat eccentric orbit, befitting to his character, and beside his faithful companion Rocinante (mu Arae d) in the middle of the scene. Good Sancho (mu Arae e), the ingenious squire, moving slowly through the outer insulae of the system. The enchanted Dulcinea (mu Arae c), so difficult for Don Quijote to contemplate in her real shape, close to the heart of the writer.


The discovery of this planetary system was reported by R.P. Butler et al. (2001, ApJ, 555, 410), H. Jones et al. (2002, MNRAS, 337, 1170), N. Santos et al. (2004, A&A, 426, L19), C. McCarthy et al. (2004, ApJ, 617, 575) and F. Pepe et al. (2007, A&A, 462, 769), using the telescopes AAT and ESO 3.6m.


The importance of Miguel de Cervantes in the universal culture can hardly be overestimated. His major work, Don Quijote, considered the first modern novel of world literature and one of the most influential book in the entire literary canon, has many times been regarded as the best work of fiction ever written. However, while Shakespeare has his Uranian satellites, Cervantes has been so far excluded from the cosmic spheres. With this proposal, supported by the prestigious Instituto Cervantes, and arriving just in time for the 400 Anniversary of the publication of the novel's second part, we reclaim for the Famous Knight of la Mancha, his comrades and their creator the place that they deserve among the stars.

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