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NASA Wants Public's Help Naming 7 Newly Discovered Planets

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- NASA recently asked the public to help name seven newly discovered planets, and the people have responded.

Social media is all abuzz about the solar system with people chiming in like crazy, using the hashtag #7NamesFor7NewPlanets.

"I think that's amazing," one man told CBS2's Jessica Layton.

It started trending after NASA suggested the public weigh in on what to call the seven newly discovered planets near the Trappist-1 star in the Aquarius constellation.

"What I would name new planets? Oh God, that's a lot of pressure," a woman said.

But outside the Forbidden Planet comic book store, nobody was too shy to share, Layton reported.

"Johnny thyroids, murple, grapefruit," one man suggested.

"I would name them after the seven dwarfs," another added.

"Barbara?" one man said.

"I'd name them after the women who worked at NASA who were in 'Hidden Figures,'" a woman added.

From serious to silly and sweet, it's got people talking about science, which pleases planetarium manager Kevin Conod.

"We do know that they are rocky type planets, and they are somewhat similar to the Earth in terms of size," he explained.

During a visit to the museum in Newark, Conod told Layton the unnamed planets are light years away from the Earth. With current technology, it would take 159,000 years to get there.

So let's face it -- the closest we'll get in this lifetime is having fun trying to name them.

"It's a good way to engage the public," Conod said.

"Especially now, science needs all the fans it can get," said Merle Milder, of North Bergen, New Jersey.

"This might be a good way of trying get people to start caring about NASA and space expedition stuff because I know they're horrendously underfunded," said Peter Gritch, of Queens.

For now at least, plenty are willing to give their two cents.

Conod said it's possible NASA will take the ideas into consideration, but ultimately it's the International Astronomical Union that will make the final decision.

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