Who names Stars?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

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
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mgb_phys
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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
 
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  • #3
chroot
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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
Vanadium 50
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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
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Well, what about these certificates where you can "buy" a star and give it as a gift. Is that bogus?
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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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
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Great. I think I'll start selling pulsars.
 
  • #8
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
 
  • #9
mgb_phys
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  • #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]
 
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  • #11
Redbelly98
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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
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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
DaveC426913
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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]
 
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  • #14
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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
ideasrule
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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
DaveC426913
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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.
 

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