Naming a star after someone is definitely one of the best gifts you can ever give them. It is thoughtful, meaningful and extremely unique.
There is a misconception that naming a star is an expensive and complicated affair. This is not true at all! It is a very simple process that can be completed online—you don’t even need to leave your home.
Here is a complete breakdown of how to name a star after someone and register it:
What Does Naming a Star after Someone Mean?
Naming a star after someone means that you can pick a star and give it a name of your choosing, which gets entered in a star registry. The same star cannot be named by anyone else and you receive a certificate with the details of your registration.
People often believe that NASA is somehow involved in the process. This is not true, in fact, NASA itself is not authorized to name stars. The International Astronomical Union is the only organization that holds the power to assign names to stars.
Naming a star does not mean that you ‘own’ it. Private citizens are not legally permitted to own or scientifically name celestial objects. You are allowed to name a star unscientifically or present it as a gift to someone.
Here is a step by step step-by-step guide to naming and registering a star as a gift:
How to Name a Star
Follow these 6 simple steps to buy a star name online:
Step One: Choose a Package
Look for an online star naming service – like Star Register. Most of these give you many options like naming a star, naming a supernova star, naming twin stars, etc. Pick one that fits your budget. The most basic package starts at $34.99 and costs go up depending on the package you choose.
If you want to have physical documentation of naming a star, it will cost more, so plan your budget accordingly.
Step Two: Pick a Star
Once you’ve chosen a package that suits your needs, it is time to pick a star. Here are some factors you can consider while choosing a star:
- The stars you can see from your location or the location of the person you are giving it to.
- If the gift marks a special occasion, you can pick a star that corresponds to a specific location and date.
- You can choose stars by constellations too. If there is a specific constellation that holds meaning for you or you want to choose a star in the same constellation as your special one’s zodiac sign, you can locate a star by constellation.
When you’re picking a star to name, pay attention to where it will be visible from. Not every star will be visible from your location, some only stay in range for a part of the year.
Make sure you choose one that is at least in the same hemisphere. Choosing a constellation is a simpler way to pick a star, as it will be part of an easy-to-locate group.
Step Three: Name the Star
Go to the order form you’ve been filling and type in the name of your star. There are no limitations on the name, you can call it anything provided the name is under 20 characters.
It doesn’t have to be a proper name, it can be an event, location, or any other special word or inside joke. If it fits, you could even get two names together to make them linked ‘together forever’.
Double-check for mistakes or typos. Technically, you can correct any mistakes if you catch them before the package is sent to you, but it is best to avoid that situation and get everything right the first time.
Step Four: Pick a Date
Along with a name, you also need to enter a date for your star. It doesn’t need to be the current date, you can choose any date that holds meaning for you.
Put simply, enter the date you want to connect to your star. It could be someone’s birthday, an anniversary, the date of someone’s passing or a future date.
If there is no special day linked to the star, you can just enter the current date. Most people who name stars pick the current date for their star.
Step Five: Personalize Your Gift
Now that all the formalities are done, take a look at the different personalizations offered by the star naming service. Typically, they offer photographs, star maps, framed star certificates, etc.
If you want, you can also further customize your gift by getting the photograph or coordinates of the star printed on gift items like mugs, t-shirts, keychains or stationary.
Naming a star is a pretty special gift, it is recommended that you give it to someone on a special occasion like a birthday, anniversary, engagement, etc.
Step Six: Receive the Gift
Confirm your order details and make the payment. All the items in your package, along with the star certificate, will be shipped to the address provided by you in the order form.
You will also receive the coordinates of your star, which can be used to locate it in the sky. Just enter the coordinates on Google Sky and you will get an image with your star in the center of your screen.
The coordinates have 3 characters: RA which stands for right ascension, Mag for magnitude and another abbreviation which will stand for the constellation your star is in. Anyone can locate the star online with these coordinates.
Naming a star after someone is a timeless gift that will be cherished forever. It is very simple to name a star after someone and there are so many different packages to choose from that everyone will find something that suits their budget.
It is a great way to celebrate special moments or to remind someone how much they mean to you. Name a star after someone and they will remember this gift for years to come.