You're not actually buying a star with the International Star Registry, you know

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We’ve started to receive a few e-mails from the International Star Registry saying the usual “name a star after your loved one for the holidays.” I just wanted to remind you that while naming a star after your honey bunny is cute and all, and may well make for a romantic gesture, you really ought to know that doing so is, in the eyes of the scientific community, not exactly official.

There’s only one internationally recognized organization that can name stars. It’s called the International Astronomical Union. These are the guys who name all the celestial bodies, including stars. Normally the names aren’t anything flashy like “Dorothy” or “Rose” or “Blanche” or “Sophia” but rather are a combination of numbers and letters that describe their location.

The International Star Registry clears up any star-ownership misconceptions you may have with this:

We do not own the star, so we cannot sell it to you. This is like adopting the star. This star is associated with that special someone. It is something you can point at to know that there is something special out there for you.

So paying to name a star is tantamount to pointing to a mountain or a pretty flower and telling your gal, “Let’s name this mountain Gigantor.”

You literally could buy a cheap telescope, point out a random star, and say, “Hey, from now on we call that star Stephanie.” It holds just as much weight in the scientific community as an International Star Registry-named star.

Fun? Sure. Actual science? Nope.

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