I have heard that you can buy a star and have it named after a loved one. Is this
Some companies make this claim, but they have no more authority than you do to name
a star. Astronomers use established cataloques to identify stars by catalogue numbers or by celestial coordinates. The brightest stars in the sky do have names, but these names date back well over 1000 years and are used by tradition. Most of
the stars that a star naming company will "sell" are very dim, requiring a telescope
and very dark skies to find. No astronomer will ever acknowledge the names used by a star naming company.
I have already purchased a star from a star naming company. Have I been ripped off?
You certainly may feel that way if you have been misled. The various star naming companies
have no more authority to name stars than you, and some may not make that point very
clear. However, the value that you get from the purchase may still be high if you
have some sentimental meaning attached to it. In this case, it is truly the thought
I have purchased a star/had one purchased for me. Can I come to the planetarium or
observatory and see my star?
Often such stars are very faint -- too faint to see even with most telescopes. The
stars are almost always too faint to be seen in planetariums, since planetariums only
show stars visible to the unaided eye. In some cases, the star isn't even visible
from Toledo. For these reasons, we cannot show such stars. If you would like some
information about the constellation that star is in, we would be happy to point it
out to you during or after a public planetarium show.
Even so, I am still interested in purchasing a star. Can you give me a phone number
or web address for one of the star naming companies?
We do not have or keep information on how to contact star naming companies.