The scientists who discovered the newest element want to name it “copernicium” to honor Nicolaus Copernicus, the astronomer who proposed the heliocentric theory of the solar system, the BBC reports. Element 112 was discovered in fusion experiments 13 years ago and added to the periodic table a few weeks ago.
“The idea was to go backwards, to honor someone who was not greatly honored in his lifetime," researcher Sigurd Hoffman told Popular Science. Barring any unforeseen objections, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry will endorse the name after a 6-month discussion period.
(Read more periodic table stories.)