Naming Stars

Posted by barb on May 12, 2005 in Science Musings |

Hopefully anyone reading this blog already knows that buying star names is a total crock. However, I thought I’d share this FAQ from the IAU on Naming Stars. The IAU (International Astronomical Union) is the organization that assigns names (or designations) to celestial bodies and the features on them, and their names are the ones that are recognized internationally. They don’t sell star names. If they don’t sell star names, then anyone else you might send money to for a star name is just BS.

The FAQ, though, is rather entertaining and written with a sense of humor (yes, scientists do have a sense of humor, believe it or not). Here’s a sample:

Q: Surely the courts will recognize the name I have paid for??

A: Try to contact your lawyers. Chances are that they will either laugh their heads off or politely suggest that you could invest their fees more productively…

Q: But what about the companies that sell pieces of territory on the Moon and other planets? Those are within reach, we know, so surely I own the piece that I have bought?

A: See the answer to the previous question. As a minimum, we suggest that you defer payment until you can take possession of your property…

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May 12, 2005 at 5:45 pm

Hee hee.. Yeah, well, my parents got me one for Christmas one year when I was young so I’m sure that one is good. Like, before the IAU started getting all uppity and stuff.

May 14, 2005 at 9:36 am

I certainly wasn’t talking about *your* star! That’s one’s ligit 🙂


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