A number of services offer novelty gifts of naming a star in remembrance of somebody. Although none of these services can allow you to name the star officially, as recognised by the International Astronomical Union, you will typically receive a guarantee that this service will not allow another customer to name the same star. Naming a star after someone in remembrance allows you, and everybody else who knows about it, to look up at the night sky and find the star that honours a loved one.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Navigate to the website of the star-naming service that you would like to use. Some options include the International Star Registry and Star Foundation, although many other companies provide similar services.
Choose the gift package you would like to purchase. Most basic packages will include a certificate with the star name, number and coordinates. Deluxe star packages typically will put the certificate on a plaque or in a frame and provide star charts and other astronomical information to help you find the star in the night sky. Some companies offer special packages for naming a star in remembrance of someone, so be sure to look out for those.
Type the name of the star on the order form. Be sure to type it exactly as you would like it to appear on the certificate, including proper spelling and capitalisation. Typically you use the full name of the person in whose memory you are naming the star, but you may choose to name it something else that was especially meaningful to that person.
Indicate on the order form that the star is being named as a memorial star. This will ensure that the certificate and associated materials use the correct wording for naming a star after someone in remembrance.
Type in the address to which you would like the star certificate shipped. This may be either your address or the address of the friend or family member closest to the person for whom you are naming the star.
Complete payment for the star-naming package through the website. You may be directed to a page where you can print a certificate from your home printer to use until the company's official certificate arrives in the mail.
Tips and warnings
- Remember that naming a star after somebody is a novelty gift. The star's actual name in the official International Astronomical Union database will not change, as nearly all stars are identified officially solely by a number. In addition, other novelty star-naming services may name the same star after somebody else.
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