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.

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