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NASA to remove offensive nicknames from cosmic objects

(KWWL) — NASA announced on Wednesday that they'll refrain using nicknames they've deemed offensive on certain cosmic objects.

The agency published a statement explaining how they'll no longer refer to the planetary nebula NGC 2392 as the “Eskimo Nebula," further saying that the term "Eskimo" is as a colonial term with a racist history.

They will also refer the 'Siamese Twins Galaxy' as NGC 4567 and NGC 4568 from now on.

“I support our ongoing reevaluation of the names by which we refer to astronomical objects,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters, Washington, in the news release. “Our goal is that all names are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion, and we’ll proactively work with the scientific community to help ensure that. Science is for everyone, and every facet of our work needs to reflect that value.”

NASA further stated they will be working with diversity, inclusion, and equity experts in the astronomical and physical sciences to review nicknames in the future.

"These nicknames and terms may have historical or culture connotations that are objectionable or unwelcoming, and NASA is strongly committed to addressing them," said Stephen T. Shih, Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASA Headquarters, in the news release. "Science depends on diverse contributions, and benefits everyone, so this means we must make it inclusive.” 

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