We’re knee-deep in Valentine’s Day festivities here at CG, so I thought I’d take a moment to help you figure out what not to buy your significant other. One thing you don’t want to get them? A star, or any other sort of celestial property. I have just as much right to sell you the Great Wall of China as a company has to sell you a star or an asteroid. Don’t be fooled!
The big company out that lets you “name” stars is the International Star Registry. It sells kits that ostensibly let you name stars. Considering there are literally billions upon billions of stars in the observable universe it’s safe to say the International Star Registry won’t be running out of “product” any time soon.
But, wait, are you actually “buying” a star, or even giving it an official name?
There’s exactly one internationally recognized institution that has the authority to name stars and other celestial objects: the International Astronomical Union. You can’t go around willy-nilly buying up the naming rights for stars. That’s just not how it works.
Now, that’s not to say it’s not a romantic (if hack) gesture, naming a star after your loved one, but there’s really nothing official about it.