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International Astronomical Union names asteroid after SOPHIE

08 February 2022, 10:25 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

It's been revealed that the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid after SOPHIE in summer 2021.

In February last year a petition asking NASA to rename the planet TOI-1338 b after SOPHIE was launched, and gained over 95,000 signatures. Although the petition, backed by SOPHIE collaborator Charli XCX, wasn't successful, Christian Arroyo shared an update via the petition on Sunday (6 February).

"It's not TOI-1338b...," Arroyo wrote. "...but I am happy to announce that asteroid 1980 RE1, discovered by Antonín Mrkos at the Kleť Observatory in the Czech Republic, has been given the permanant name of Sophiexeon! The International Astronomical Union announced the name in volume 3 of their WGSBN Bulliten. I was sadly not made aware of this naming until today, but we did it y'all! Sophie has influencecd so many of us, and now she will forever be part of the cosmos. I thank every single one of you who signed and shared this petition, which itself will be kept up as a memorial to the great Sophie Xeon."

Volume three of the WGSBN Bulletin was published in June 2021 by the IAU.

The IAU wrote of SOPHIE on the Sophiexeon page, "Sophie was known as an electronic music pioneer whose futuristic style changed the landscape of pop music in the early 21st century."

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