Malta had the amazing opportunity to name a planet and we named it …

Malta named the gas giant, previously known as HAT-P-34 b, Ġgantija, and its accompanying star Sansuna.

Between September and October 2019, the Maltese public had a chance to propose their names. A poll run by the Name ExoWorlds National Committee then gave us the opportunity to take our pick from the selected names.

Both names chosen are associated with the megalithic temples of Ġgantija on the island of Gozo, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A total of 330 proposed names were submitted before 408 votes were cast for the final countdown.

The initiative was part of a celebrating a 100 years since the founding of the International Astronomical Union.

Discovered in 2011, planet Ġgantija is located ar0und 840 light years away and is slightly larger than Jupiter.

That makes the name Malta gave it so fitting doesn’t it?

A tiny island such as Malta got to name a planet slightly bigger than Jupiter.

We’ll just let that sink in for a moment.

What a majestic name!

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