StarChild Question of the Month for March 1999

Question:

How can I buy a star?

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Answer:

Cartoon joker holding sign that says stars for sale.
When you talk about "buying stars" or "naming stars" for yourself or a friend, you are most likely referring to the claims of one of the commercial companies who promise to do this for you for money (something of the order of $US 50). You can do this, but it is not official. Your name will not be listed in any file except the one the company who takes your money keeps. In fact, one of these companies was even issued a violation for deceptive advertising by the State of New York Department of Consumer Affairs.

The International Astronomical Union is only OFFICIAL agency which names stars and other celestial objects. There are standardized rules for how objects get their names. None of these rules involve the exchange of cash!

For more information, see: http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/StarNaming.html

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