Taipei Times: Taiwanese astronomers designated ‘China Taipei’

The astronomers, who were part of a research team that last year became the first to photograph a black hole, were invited by the IAU to an event to mark the group’s 100th anniversary and name recently discovered exoplanets and their stars, but attended under the title “China Taipei,” the society said.

The IAU said the designation was the result of discussions it held in 1979 with Chinese authorities, which concluded with Chinese astronomers working under the title “China Nanjing” and Taiwanese astronomers as “China Taipei.”

The winning name for the star HD 100655, a giant yellow star in the Leo constellation, was “Formosa,” the old Portuguese name for Taiwan, which means “beautiful,” it said.

The star’s exoplanet was named “Sazum,” the traditional name of Yuchi Township (魚池) in Nantou County, which means “water” in the language of the Thao people, “who lived in the region for hundreds of years,” it said.

Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics director Chu You-hua (朱有花) said this was the first time Taiwanese astronomers had named an exoplanet, and it was a proud moment for Taiwanese that the nation’s name could spread to the far reaches of the universe.

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