Updated-International Astronomy Union gives name of Tadmor to Errai Planet

Damascus, SANA – The International Astronomy Union (IAU) approved giving the name Tadmor to Planet Errai b (gamma Cephei b) within a public vote in the NameExoWorlds contest to name exoplanets and host stars.

Over half a million votes from 182 countries and territories contributed to the new official designations of the alien worlds.

Tadmor was one of the 274 ExoWorld names proposed for designating 19 ExoWorlds (14 stars and 31 exoplanets orbiting them).

The newly adopted names take the form of different mythological figures from a wide variety of cultures from across history, as well as famous scientists, fictional characters, ancient cities and words selected from bygone languages

Tadmor -a UNESCO world Heritage site- is the Arabic name for the ancient city of Palmyra, located in central Syria.

Chairman of the Syrian Astronomical Society Mohammad al-Osairi quoted the IAU Secretary General Piero Benvenuti as saying that the Syrian proposal was “the best”.

He referred to Benvenuti’s statement during a recent meeting in which he said the choice was adequate and the study submitted by the Society providing the scientific reason for proposing the name Tadmor was “accurate” and “comprehensive.

The name of Tadmor won with an overwhelming majority of 631704 votes, al-Osairi added.

The option of Tadmor, he noted, came to eternalize the name of the international ancient city that is being subjected to vandalism and systematic sabotage inflicted by the terrorist organizations.


The ancient city, located 215 kilometers northeast of Damascus, stood at the crossroads of several civilizations.

Last September, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) blew up three ancient tower tombs in Palmyra city, a UNESCO world Heritage site, located in the central Homs province.

The aggressive attack was one of a series of deliberate vandalism acts inflicted by ISIS on ruins and historical sites in Palmyra after it took over it last May, where they destroyed last August large parts of the ancient Temple of Bel, dating back to 32 AD, and Temple of Baalshamin.

In early July, ISIS destroyed the 1,900-year-old “Lion of Al-Lat” statue in Palmyra.

The three monuments date back to different eras from 44 to 103 A.D., include the Tower of Elahbel, built in AD103 and regarded as the finest example of this type of building as its niche shows the importance of funerary banquets in the cult of the dead at Palmyra, in addition to the Tower of Iamliku and the Tower of Kitot.

The IAU is the international astronomical organization that brings together more than 12 000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation.

The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them.

Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body for astronomers.

H. Zain/ Barry/H. Said

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