The International Astronomical Union, the worldwide federation of astronomical societies, accepts and uses _only_ those names. They can also direct you to the local astronomy club or society where enthusiasts will be happy to show you (and your friend!) A: The reason to give a celestial object a designation or name is to facilitate locating, describing, and discussing it. Your email address will not be published. A: It will be likely unique in that company's name list. True, the ‘gift’ of a star may open spankbang someone’s eyes to the beauty of the night sky. For bodies in the Solar System, special procedures for assigning official names apply, but in no case are commercial transactions involved. The answer is complicated. Q: Surely the courts will recognize the name I have paid for? Some of these cultural names may eventually be approved as official IAU proper names for these stars. However, no countries, authorities, or scientists in the world will recognize "your" name for the star. So why pay a markup for buying your stars one at a time? The adopt-a-star program, called the Pale Blue Dot project,is run by a non-profit organization that is not affiliated with or endorsed byNASA. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919. Private groups in business to make money may claim to "name a star for you or a loved one, providing the perfect gift for many occasions." At the moment, there is no private organization that has rights to name a star so that it would be recognized worldwide. HR 7001, HD 172167, Alpha Lyrae) and proper names (e.g. Q: Who is the International Astronomical Union (IAU)? As you can see from any Google search, the only "official" star registry is published by the International Astronomical Union, or IAU. And names are not sold, but assigned according to internationally accepted rules. "The International Astronomical Union (IAU - http://www.iau.org) is the only body that can officially name a star. These efforts have stemmed from necessity as sometimes designations/names have been ambiguous or confusing. Since prehistory, cultures and civilisations all around the world have given their own unique names to the brightest and most prominent stars in the night sky. In other words, typing "Forever Tom" into the Hipparcos star … The International Astronomical Union (French: Union astronomique internationale) unites national astronomical societies from around the world. Enjoy! Your email address will not be published. Q: All this sounds negative and grouchy. Q: OK, I found a dealer myself; what will I get from them? primarily in the solar system (where also treaties negotiated through the United Nations apply). Among other activities, it acts as the recognized authority for assigning designations and names to celestial bodies (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) A: Sorry, much as we would like to, we are not under the illusion that the IAU can eradicate charlatanry: It has survived and thrived for countless centuries in many disguises - some far more dangerous than this particular example. Each star has a specific set of coordinates and characters, for example: RA … RA is the abbreviation for Right Ascension and dec is the abbreviation for declination. But there are more than enough stars for everybody who wants to buy the name of one. Names are fine for small groups of well-known objects, like the planets or naked-eye stars, but are simply not practicable for catalogues of millions of stars. The IAU would appreciate being informed, with appropriate documentation, of all cases of illegal abuse of its name, and will pursue all documented cases by all available means. 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