I’ve been blogging for almost ten years now. In that time, I’ve written and illustrated a lot of posts that I’m really proud of. But I’ve also made some stupid mistakes, and I’ve posted things that I thought were funny at the time but, in retrospect, I’m not so proud of.
In 2016, I wrote this post about an exoplanet named Orbitar. Today, I have to issue a retraction. In that 2016 post, I attributed a quote to the Brevard Astronomical Society, the group that won the I.A.U.’s naming contest for the planet now known as Orbitar. The quote was about the possibility that Orbitar might have moons and that those moons could possibly support life.
Well, somebody from the Brevard Astronomical Society got in touch to inform me that no one from their organization had made such a statement. Turns out I did a sloppy job citing my sources for that 2016 post, so I can’t figure out where I got the quote from. Hence, the need for this retraction.
Given that Orbitar orbits a red giant star at a distance of approximately 1.19 AU, it seems highly unlikely that any Orbitarian moons could support life. It would be pretty outlandish and unscientific to claim otherwise. I can understand why an astronomical society would not want to be associated with such a claim.
And another thing: in that 2016 post, I made fun of the name Orbitar. I thought it was a doofy thing to name a planet. But I have since gotten used to the name, and I’ve come to like it. It’s unique. It’s a name with a lot of personality. I’m sure lots of planets wish they had such a cool name.
So I’d like to apologize to the planet Orbitar. Even more so, I’d like to apologize to the Brevard Astronomical Society. This isn’t the first time I’ve made a mistake on my blog, and it surely won’t be the last. But using that quote without clearly citing my source was an especially stupid mistake, and I’m very sorry for doing it.
Next time on Planet Pailly, we’ll check out some of the cool stuff other space and science bloggers have been up to lately!