The new planet was discovered by a 17-year-old intern at NASA.
A petition has been launched calling for the planet, TOI 1338 b, to be named after SOPHIE. The late artist died on 30 January, in Athens, following a sudden accident when SOPHIE tried to view the full moon.
The petition reads: “SOPHIE was a highly influential singer, songwriter, and producer who was an source of great inspiration to the LGBTQIA+ community. Her messages, actions, and music left a lasting impression on many LGBTQIA+ individuals. She always pushed a message of individuality and expressing your true self that resonated throughout everything she did.”
“SOPHIE released an album in 2018, titled Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides. On the cover art for the album, SOPHIE sits surrounded by water in an ethereal setting. Recently revealed images TOI 1338 b, a planet discovered in the summer of 2019 by Wolf Cukier, bear a resemblance to the setting pictured on the cover to Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides.”
“I am requesting that TOI 1338 b be named in honour of SOPHIE, in honour of a great LGBT+ influence.” [sic]
The planet TOI 1338 b was discovered by Cukier three days into his NASA internship in 2019. NASA’s TESS satellite picked up on two stars orbiting each other. Flagged as a eclipsing binary – whereby the two stars eclipse each other from view – upon examining the data Cukier found TOI 1338 b. The planet is almost the size of Saturn, and 6.9 times the size of Earth. It’s the only planet in the TOI 1338 system.
After the announcement of SOPHIE’s death, artists such as FKA twigs, Sam Smith, Arca and Midland have paid tribute the pioneer online. Charli XCX took to Instagram yesterday (2 February) to say: “She taught me so much about myself without even realising. I wish I had told her more how special she was, not just her music, but her as a person. I love you and I will never forget you Sophie.”