NASA to stop using racist nicknames for cosmic objects

This image of planetary nebula NGC 2392 (whose previously racist nicknamed was removed by NASA) is depicted in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope, released July 11, 2013.

This image of planetary nebula NGC 2392 (whose previously racist nicknamed was removed by NASA) is depicted in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope, released July 11, 2013. (Image credit: NASA/STScI)

NASA will discontinue the use of certain nicknames for astronomical objects that are considered to be racist, the space agency said Aug. 5. 

The agency’s plethora of space-gazing observatories collect breathtaking images of distant cosmic objects, which are given official designations (made up of acronyms and numbers) by the International Astronomical Union. But, the agency also gives some objects nicknames that are less technical to make them more “public friendly,” according to NASA. 

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