FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are constellations?
Astronomers divided the sky into areas, as perceived from the earth, so as to create a consistent spherical map, rather like the markings on a football. In this way, 88 areas or constellations were formed.
Star names – how do they arise?
Only a handful of stars bear names, arising from Arabic, Greek and Roman mythology. The vast majority of stars are referred to only by their astronomical co-ordinates or catalogue numbers – they are unnamed and there are millions and millions of them.
Over the centuries, astronomers have devised various different star catalogues/listings. They refer to stars by numbers or co-ordinates. The Universal Star Listing is a register that refers to stars by name – your chosen name – and is thus personal rather than scientific.
Will my star name be officially recognised?
Naming a star is a symbolic rather than scientific gift. Our register would never be used by the scientific community although it is a perfectly valid register. Scientists refer to stars only by their astronomical co-ordinates or catalogue number. Referring to and listing stars by name – the name you choose – we have created a symbolic and personal rather than astronomically significant listing.
Will I be able to see the star that I have named?
Only a handful of stars are visible to the naked eye. Our register only refers to stars that are outside naked eye visibility. Therefore, to view the star you will need a pair of binoculars or a telescope. In most cases, a telescope is required.
Will I be able to see the constellation?
You should be able to spot the constellation with the naked eye. Clearly, some constellations are easier to spot than others. How often and for how long each year the constellation is visible, will depend upon 1). the constellation's location in the universe and 2). from where in the world you are star-gazing.
Are stars named more than once in your register?
A star is only named once in our register. The name that you have chosen will be recorded in our register
Can the star I've named be named in another company's register?
Noone (or everyone) owns the stars - choose your viewpoint. There are over a hundred different scientific registers that catalogue stars. Each refers to stars independently. A non-scientific register of star names is no different. We produce our symbolic register independently and do not co-ordinate or interact with another company's register. Even though there are millions of stars, a star in our register could be referred to by another name in another company's register.
Can I buy a star?
This is not really an FAQ, but we include this question for completeness! Clearly, you cannot buy a star. The stars belong to all of us or none of us, whichever you prefer, and they are not for sale. Naming a star is a symbolic gift idea which obviously does not involve any legal title / ownership.