Naming Stars: A Scam or Legitimate Organization?

  • Thread starter frankinstein
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Stars
In summary, the International Astronomical Union is the governing body responsible for naming all celestial objects. Newly discovered stars are not given proper names and are only designated with numbers. Historical names for the brightest stars are generally taken from Arabic language. There are companies that offer to sell star names, but these are not recognized by the IAU and are considered fraudulent. Additionally, there are no laws preventing the selling of stars or capturing extraterrestrial life.
  • #1
What organization is the official namer of stars?

The reason I ask is with all the new Earth sized planets being found and the eventual identification of those with at least water and perhaps signatures of life by spectral analysis, the planet first found as such, I believe at least, should be named "Bruno's Star" after Giordano Bruno who put forth the idea of extraterrestrial life in 1584.


Frank
 
Astronomy news on Phys.org
  • #2
frankinstein said:
What organization is the official namer of stars?
There isn't one.
The very brightest stars have historical (generaly Arabic)names, then the next systematic attempt was to name them after the constellation and greek letters in order of brightness. Then everybody creating a star catalog names (or rather numbers) the stars in their own scheme.

So Betelgeuse is also α Ori = brightest star in Orion, and:
HR 2061 = Yale Bright Star Catalogue
BD+7°1055 = Bonner Durchmusterung (bonn observatory)
HD 39801 = Henry Draper Catalogue
SAO 113271 = Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog
FK5 224 = Catalogue of Fundamental Stars 5th ed
HIP 27989 = Hipparcos Catalogue
 
Last edited:
  • #3
The governing body which is responsible for the names of all celestial objects (stars, planets, galaxies, etc.) is the International Astronomical Union.

To my knowledge, newly discovered stars are never given proper names.

- Warren
 
  • #4
Also, just to be pedantic, the Bayer designations for stars in Orion isn't completely based on brightness: Rigel is almost always brighter than Betelgeuse, but it's Beta Orionis. The belt is Delta, Epsilon and Zeta Orionis, even though Epsilon is the brightest and Delta the dimmest.
 
  • #5
Well, what about these certificates where you can "buy" a star and give it as a gift. Is that bogus?
 
  • #6
flatmaster said:
Well, what about these certificates where you can "buy" a star and give it as a gift. Is that bogus?
Um - yes. The International Astronomical Union is the organization that names celestial objects.

The certificates for start names are only valid for the buyer, the one giving the gift, and the one receiving the gift.
 
  • #7
Great. I think I'll start selling pulsars.
 
  • #8
flatmaster said:
Great. I think I'll start selling pulsars.


Regarding selling and extraterrestrial life..What if you could go to one of those stars. Legally you could, if their technology where vastly inferior to ours, capture them and sell them as pets! There's no law preventing it? Of course you'd have to innoculate them against any stuff that they could catch here, but as far as their stuff harming us? I guess you'd have to keep them in a jar, aquirium or something to isolate them?

I can just see the new Animal Planet show, "The Alien Whisper". LOL

Frank
 
  • #10
Nobody has the right to name star.
There are companies who are offering to attach names to stars while making the designations seem official, providing a fancy certificate and directions for locating the newly named point of light. It's not hard to grasp the romantic or otherwise wondrous reasons someone might have for buying a star name, especially as a gift. Pretty much nothing, beyond some very expensive paper.

Only the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has the right to officially name celestial objects. According to the IAU, apart from a limited number of bright stars with historic names, stars do not have proper names. Where historic names exist, these names are, with a few exceptions, taken from the Arabic language:

Also some stars are named after a person.

http://www.ichatscience.com/ [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #11
frankinstein said:
Regarding selling and extraterrestrial life..What if you could go to one of those stars. Legally you could, if their technology where vastly inferior to ours, capture them and sell them as pets! There's no law preventing it?

I sure hope there isn't. I like to think that people who would want to create such a law would not get voted into public office in the first place.
 
  • #12
Well, I don't see you can attach a name somewhere in the database while actually using the star's offical number name for all intents and purposes. Just more money for the sake of science. It's sort of like state education lotteries. Take a silly thing ignorant people want to spend their money on and use it for good.
 
  • #13
frankinstein said:
Regarding selling and extraterrestrial life..What if you could go to one of those stars. Legally you could, if their technology where vastly inferior to ours, capture them and sell them as pets! There's no law preventing it?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_law" [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #14
flatmaster said:
Well, what about these certificates where you can "buy" a star and give it as a gift. Is that bogus?


In one word, yes!
 
  • #15
Waveform said:
In one word, yes!


They are nothing but evil frauds intended to take advantage of people's stupidity. They charge money for writing star names in a book. Well, I'd gladly write your name in a book and mail you a totally useless certificate for a tenth of the price they charge!
 
  • #16
ideasrule said:
They are nothing but evil frauds intended to take advantage of people's stupidity. They charge money for writing star names in a book. Well, I'd gladly write your name in a book and mail you a totally useless certificate for a tenth of the price they charge!
So, basically, you're evil and cheap.
 

1. Who has the authority to name stars?

The authority to name stars lies with the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a global organization of astronomers. They have a specific set of guidelines and procedures for naming celestial objects.

2. How are stars named?

Stars are named according to the IAU's guidelines, which involve using a combination of letters and numbers based on their location in the sky. For example, the brightest star in a constellation is designated with the letter "Alpha", the second brightest with "Beta", and so on.

3. Can anyone name a star?

No, only the IAU has the authority to officially name a star. However, there are many companies that offer "star naming" services for a fee. These names are not recognized by the scientific community.

4. How many stars have official names?

As of 2021, there are over 300,000 officially named stars in the IAU's catalogue. This number continues to grow as new stars are discovered and named.

5. Can stars be renamed?

Yes, stars can be renamed if there is a compelling reason to do so. This may happen if a star's previous name was deemed offensive or if it was discovered that the star already had a different name in another culture. However, the IAU tries to avoid renaming stars unless absolutely necessary.

Suggested for: Naming Stars: A Scam or Legitimate Organization?

Replies
10
Views
1K
Replies
49
Views
2K
Replies
14
Views
445
Replies
8
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
894
Replies
14
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
913
Back
Top