When it comes to making a gift, many people want to be creative and unique. Naming a star after someone is an idea that has recently gained significant popularity. But people still wonder: is it possible to really name a star after someone?
Several companies provide stars as gifts. They point out that each star is allocated a single time but naturally, it cannot be named officially after a person. Star naming is all about the idea and the fun that people can have with it.
National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center explains what happens when a new star is discovered and has to be given an official name.
The International Astronomical Union is the entity responsible for providing stars with the names they are officially acknowledged with. Most stars are given such names as soon as they are discovered.
Certificates provided by star registration companies have solely decorative value. When it comes to really naming a star, the procedure becomes slightly more complex.
The official star naming procedure has been approved on June 30 1988 and is used till present day.
Names accepted and used by the International Astronomical Union and astronomers worldwide are never offered for sale.
Some star naming companies are misleading people by including official steps and the procedures used to name a star. Though some of these steps seem to involve quite serious documentation, it is impossible to get a celestial body named after a person through a simple payment.
National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center also claims that the star charts that companies present on their websites are modified. These maps are presented to give purchasers a chance to decide which star exactly they want to name.
According to the report, some museums may also use the sale of stars to raise some funds. Such institutions, however, explain that the purchase is merely symbolical.
So, what does it take for a star to receive its name officially? Well-known stars have been named long time ago and these names are used officially till present day.
In 1603, a new star naming system was launched. J. Bayer was the person who created a new constellation atlas, giving stars letters from the Greek alphabet. Bayer used a letter and the name of the constellation to label all stars in it.
These techniques are used for the naming of bright stars. When it comes to less distinguished and faint stars, the procedure is somehow different.
Bonn Observatory created its catalog of faint stars in 1837. Other official catalogs were created by Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Harvard College Observatory and many others. These catalogs have received international recognition and are used by academics and astronomers all over the world.
According to official documents, these academic catalogs are the only documents that can apply for recognition and acknowledgement. Though it sounds great, the commercial naming of stars will never be legalized.
If you want to surprise someone you love, purchase a star naming certificate from one of the many companies providing such services. Remember that this is just for fun. Refrain from trying to discover this special star up in the sky. Chances are that it is not even there. Star naming is all about originality and uniqueness and many people enjoy its, though the process holds no official value.
Jamie Highland writes about various family and baby topics. For more info or to check out the star baby shower theme or some baby shower gifts, visit My Baby Shower Favors. If you want more articles, visit our site and click on the Contact Us link.