Can I buy or name a star? (Beginner)

I am thinking about purchasing star or a name for a star. There are many sites that let me do this. Which one is the best? Are any of them leigt?

I'm sorry to say that no company has the official capacity to name a star. The only organization that has that power is the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and they don't usually give the public many opportunities to suggest names for things. Even if they did, they wouldn't make you pay for it! It would probably be an essay contest or something like that.

If you do buy a star from a commercial star naming company, just be aware that the only place your chosen star name will be recorded is in that company's database, and it's just a "fun thing to do" as opposed to any kind of official record.

Finally, I would suggest an alternative to trying to name a star after a loved one or friend: find them their birthday star! A birthday star is a star that is exactly far enough away that the light emitted when that person was born just reached Earth on their special day. You can find more information here, and this website won't ask for your money: http://freeant.net/birthdaystar/

About the Author

Christopher Rooney

Christopher Rooney

Christopher Rooney is a second-year grad student at Cornell and currently editor-in-chief of Curious (meaning that anything wrong on the website is his fault). Christopher studies galaxies far, far away trying to find the galaxy where Star Wars took place trying to characterize star-formation at a time in the history of the Universe when stars were being formed extremely quickly. He also works on the detectors used to measure the light from these galaxies.

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