One Cool Thing: Rewriting the Stars In the Name of Equity and Justice

The Star Formerly Known As Eskimo Nebula       Photo: NASA

NASA announced this week that it would be changing the nicknames of any celestial bodies that are inappropriate such as “Eskimo Nebula” and “Siamese Twins Galaxy,” for example.  CNN reported on the decision by the agency to re-examine its use of phrases for planets, galaxies, and other cosmic objects “as part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and that it will “use only the official, International Astronomical Union designations in cases where nicknames are inappropriate.” Stephen Shih, associate administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASAsaid, “Science depends on diverse contributions, and benefits everyone, so this means we must make it inclusive.” We could not agree more.  The stars should be a wonder to everyone.

Up Next

SpaceX Launch Damages Nearby Ecosystems

SpaceX Launch Damages Nearby Ecosystems

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer While going to space has been one big step for mankind, it could also be one big step backward for the environment. Tesla’s SpaceX Starship launched earlier this year, which triggered a fireball to explode on the launchpad. This explosion shot debris across the Boca Chica tract of the […]

Continue Reading 491 words
One Cool Thing: Dark Sky Tourism on the Rise

One Cool Thing: Dark Sky Tourism on the Rise

“Arguably, the light bulb is the most transformative invention humans have introduced to this planet. But if light bulbs have a dark side, it’s that they have stolen the night.” Nadia Drake, a contributing writer for national geographic, says that losing our connection to the night sky is one of the world’s great tragedies. But now, […]

Continue Reading 175 words
Is “Relatively Clean” Spaceflight, Clean Enough?

Is “Relatively Clean” Spaceflight, Clean Enough?

In the span of two weeks, two of the world’s richest men blasted off to suborbital space with the intended goal of promoting commercial spaceflight. This past week, Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos took his trip on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. This prompted questions about the environmental impact of private space travel.  The […]

Continue Reading 127 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.