20 Mar 2020

An air cadet is literally in orbit after being shortlisted to name an extra-solar planet and its host star.

Cadet Corporal Alfie Robertson, 17, of 379 (County of Ross) Squadron, submitted his suggestion to rename exoplanet WASP-13b and its host star WASP-13.

Out of the thousands of entries received by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Alfie’s entry made the shortlist and his nomination - one of the final 10 - is now open to a public online vote.

Alfie decided on the name Saoghal for the exoplanet (the Scottish Gaelic for ‘world’) and Breagha for its host star (Scottish Gaelic for ‘beautiful’).

Squadron Leader Andy Dobson, Media Communications Officer at Highland Wing Air Training Corps said: “We strongly urge that you support Cadet Corporal Robertson to become the UK winner in this unique competition, a truly out of this world opportunity.”

The competition closes today so to cast your vote please visit the website: where you will see all 10 nominations.


Cadet Corporal Alfie Robertson, 379 (County of Ross) Squadron


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is organising a global competition called “Name Exoworlds” and the UK has the opportunity to give a popular name to a selected exoplanet and its host star.

The winning names will be recognised by the IAU as the appropriate publicly used name although the selected winning names will not replace the scientific alphanumeric designations.

*The RAF Air Cadets is the largest aviation-focused uniformed youth organisation in the UK.  It comprises more than 32,000 community-based Air Training Corps cadets and over 8,000 Combined Cadet Force (CCF) cadets, supported by over 15,000 adult volunteers. 

The RAF Air Cadets is not just for young people, squadrons also need adult volunteers.  If you want to challenge yourself and become part of the ‘Next Generation’ see the squadron finder at

Air Cadet Magazine

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Air Cadet Magazine

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