How to Name a Star After Someone

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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There aren't very many things more romantic than promising a loved one the stars, and for a small fee and with minimal legwork you can make good on your word. Founded in 1979, the International Star Registry alone has facilitated the naming of over 500,000 stars, with some purchased by celebrities like Wynona Rider and Nicole Kidman. You too can own a piece of the heavens and as you'll discover there's a star for every budget.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Choose your muse. Whether you're remembering a relative who has passed on or dazzling your sweetheart, make sure the person you choose will be delighted to linger in the night sky.

  2. 2

    Decide what extras are important to you. When it comes to naming a star after someone you can go as minimalist as a fancy certificate or as extravagant as a star naming kit complete with star maps, astrological CDs and DVDs and stuffed animals. If you're naming a star after dear Aunt Betsie who passed away when you were a teenager, she probably doesn't need the stuffed animal.

  3. 3

    Shop around. Although the International Star Registry was the first company to capitalise on the idea of naming a star, they are no longer the only "star in the heavens." There are dozens of options available to you ranging in price from nearly £130 down to Free Name a Star that, as the name states, registers your star name for free.

  4. 4

    Know your place in the heavens. Many companies give you an option of whether or not you'd like the star you're naming to be visible from Earth without a telescope. If this is important to you make sure to specify when registering your star name. As an added bonus, some websites allow you to choose the astrological house where your star will reside.

  5. 5

    Present your gift and stand back and bask in the waves of adoration from the thankful recipient.

Tips and warnings

  • As neat as the novelty of naming a star after someone is it's just that--a novelty. The only scientific body with the authority to officially assign names to stars is the International Astronomical Union and they usually just stick to boring numbered coordinates. The companies who are offering the service of naming a star after someone in essence just award a certificate and keep their own independent, unofficial registries of star names. But in the spirit of "it's the thought that counts," having a star named after you still makes for a pretty fun gift.

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