NASA to change names of planets and other celestial bodies deemed "offensive"

by Adam Ford · Aug 8th, 2020 4:13 pm

NGC 2392, formerly known as The Eskimo Nebula

Last Updated Oct 14th, 2020 at 3:36 pm

NASA announced in a press release Thursday that it will change the names of planets and other heavenly bodies that it deems "offensive."

For instance, the "Eskimo Nebula," discovered in 1787 by William Hershel, will now be referred to as NGC 2392, and the "Siamese Twins Galaxy" will be known as NGC 4567 and NGC 4568.

These are the only two examples NASA gave in its statement.

The space agency said:

"As the scientific community works to identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality in all aspects of the field, it has become clear that certain cosmic nicknames are not only insensitive but can be actively harmful."

Stephen T. Shih, Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASA Headquarters, said:

"These nicknames and terms may have historical or culture connotations that are objectionable or unwelcoming, and NASA is strongly committed to addressing them. Science depends on diverse contributions, and benefits everyone, so this means we must make it inclusive."


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