Metaculus Help: Spread the word
If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.
Will the IAU-sanctioned Exoplanet Names come into regular use?
Names and labels carry a heavy freight and they get people worked up. The agonized IAU deliberations vis-à-vis Pluto’s status as a “plutoid” or a planet or a dwarf planet constituted by far the biggest planet news of 2006. The issue of what to call an astronomical object can have important consequences. It’s unlikely that the wildly successful New Horizons Mission would have gotten its congressional funding approval if Pluto had never held the status of a named planet.
Galileo, in sighting the moons of Jupiter, made the first telescopic discovery of new worlds. He tried to increase his odds of patronage by naming his new moons “The Medicean Stars” in reference to Cosimo II de’ Medici, fourth Grand Duke of Tuscany. The “Medicean Stars”, however, are neither medicean nor stars, and so it’s not surprising that the name failed to stick.
The International Astronomical Union has just announced officially sanctioned names for 31 extrasolar planets. For example, the first extrasolar planet discovered in orbit around a sunlike star, 51 Peg b, can now officially be referred to as “Dimidium”.
There have been numerous attempts to name extrasolar planets, but none have replaced the system currently in use, in which lower-case letters are appended to the name of the parent star as successive planets are discovered, for example Gliese 876b, Gliese 876c, etc.
Will the official IAU sanction be enough to influence astronomical usage?
During the month of December, 2016, will papers published in the peer-reviewed astronomical literature refer to the 31 IAU-sanctioned planet names with greater frequency than they refer to the same 31 planets by their traditional names?
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.
This question is not yet open for predictions.
Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.