Astronomers call for renaming the Magellanic Clouds

Explorer Ferdinand Magellan's name is not fitting, a group of scientists argues

A photo of part of the Paranal Observatory in Chile with the Large Magellanic Cloud visible in the center and Small Magellanic Cloud visible on the right.

The Large Magellanic Cloud (center) and Small Magellanic Cloud (right) can be seen with the naked eye in the Southern Hemisphere, as shown in this photo from Paranal Observatory in Chile.

Y. Beletsky/LCO, ESO

Names have significance, especially when they’re written in the stars.

A group of astronomers is coalescing around an idea to rename two neighbors of the Milky Way, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.