Attention Whovians! Petition Calls to Rename Planet After Gallifrey

Matt Smith, Doctor WhoBBC

Although the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who is behind us — and we’re still a little bit sour about the lack of Rose Tyler — fans of the British sci-fi show are turning to the skies to honor their favorite series. A petition started on Dec. 7 is calling to rename a recently discovered planet after Gallifrey, the fictional world that is home to the Time Lords and the Doctor.

Sam Menhennet, a Doctor Who fan from Australia, started the petition appealing to the International Astronomical Union to rename the planet, HD 106906 b. Menhennet is rallying other Whovians with the hashtag #GallifreyFound and trying to garner 150,000 signatures — they’ve already gotten more than 125,000.

If you’re wondering why Menhennet chose to rename this particular planet, it’s not random: HD 106906 b resembles all depictions of Gallifrey from the series. Also, in the Doctor Who episode “Gridlock,” the Tenth Doctor describes his home planet: “The sky’s burnt orange, with the citadel enclosed in a mighty glass dome, shining under the twin suns. Beyond that, the mountains go on forever. Slopes of deep red grass, capped with snow.”

Although renaming the planet after Gallifrey has as much significance as naming a star after your boyfriend or girlfriend, how cool would it be to tell future generations of Whovians that if they look up in the sky, Gallifrey is actually out there somewhere? Very cool.