24 Sextanis is a subgiant star, located in the constellation Sextans, orbited by two recently identified planets. They are called Sex b and Sex c. One of the discoverers of planet Sex c is a Caltech professor named John Johnson.
National Geographic has a thing or two to say about this cheeky little coincidence as part of a discussion on wide, un-standardized variety of naming conventions for newly discovered planets and planetoids.
Sometimes newer stars get named after the instruments or techniques used to find them, giving us exoplanets with names such as OGLE-TR-56b.That's thanks to the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE), which was designed to study variability in starlight.
The issue has led some people to suggest we should formalize a naming convention for exoplanets based on mythology, although at 473 planets and counting, we could run out of Greco-Roman names real fast. Still others have said to save the proper names for habitable, Earthlike worlds.
Suggested, via Submitterator, by Ted Chamberlain
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.