Charli XCX joins fans calls for NASA to name a planet after SOPHIE

Fans have created a petition asking NASA to name a planet after the late producer SOPHIE, who died tragically over the weekend at age 34. Following an immense outpouring of grief and mourning for the pioneering artist (read our own tribute here), fans all over the world have united in consoling each other by sharing touching tributes online, and have supported calls for the newly discovered planet, TOI 1338 b, to be renamed as a way of immortalising her.

Christian Arroyo, who created the petition, wrote, “Sophie Xeon, known mononymously as SOPHIE, was a highly influential singer, songwriter, and producer who was a great inspiration to the LGBTQIA+ community. Her messages, actions, and music left an insurmountable impression on many LGBTQIA+ individuals. She always pushed a message of individuality and expressing your true self which resonated throughout everything she did.”

They continued, explaining the reason behind the choice of the planet in question saying, “When artist renditions of TOI 1338 b (a circumbinary exoplanet discovered by Wolf Cukier and fellow scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center) were featured in the press following the 235th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu, many fans noticed the similarities between the interpretations and the aesthetic sense of SOPHIE’s visual work, specifically the cover for her 2018 album Oil of Every Pearl’s UnInsides.

“I am requesting, at the discretion of the incredible scientists who discovered the planet, that TOI 1338 b be named in honor of the great LGBT+ influence, SOPHIE. Her fans would love to pay homage by having her name be remembered in this way and for her influence to continue to flourish for years to come.”

At the time of writing, the petition has over 44,000 signatures. Charli XCX also shared the petition online after posting an emotional and deeply personal message about her grief of her late friend recently.

“I can’t explain how I feel and I can’t encapsulate what a unique person she was in one small social media post. I will honour SOPHIE in my own time personally, in my grief, through my memories, through my work, through writing things only I will read,” she wrote.

Words by Emma Jones
Image: Cover art shot by Charlotte Wales

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