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Thread: International Star Registry

  1. #31
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    Its in sweden too, i posted in another forum without checking here, sorry. It goes under the name, www.mystar.se and what really suprises me is that people actually by this stuff...
    Last edited by Mathiasll; 2006-Jan-23 at 05:57 PM.

  2. #32
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    How charming. There is no disclaimer that I could tell. It does sounds so official...

    "The star name will be filed in a Registry Vault and recorded in a book, which will be registered in the copyright office of the United States of America."

    What does the Sweedish version say?

    I wonder if they can give me the same star that my wife got me? Their price seems a little high.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  3. #33
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    It also says that the star will be registererd in the copyright office of the United States of America. The swedish version that is. There has been very much advertising in radio and tv also, and also on the web. There is no mention in the ads about the fact that you are not actually buying a star...

  4. #34
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    Maybe we should point out to them that they are misleading people into thinking their patrons will really have a star named after them that would be in an official manner beyond just their own book, since the IAU will not recognize their naming.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  5. #35
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    From the faq of the swedish site:
    De namngivna stjärnorna registreras inte hos en officiell organisation, vetenskapsmän använder koordinater för att identifiera och lokalisera stjärnor. En stjärna består huvudsakligen av kokande gas som flyter omkring i rymden. Ägandeskap är därför ingen praktiskt möjlighet, däremot kan du namnge en stjärna och får namnet registrerat hos oss, det är det vi gör.
    "The named stars are not registered at an official organisation, scientists use coordinate to identify and locate stars. A star is mainly boiling gas floating around in space. Therefore ownership is not possible, but you can name a star and get the name registered with us."
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen
    From the faq of the swedish site:

    "The named stars are not registered at an official organisation, scientists use coordinate to identify and locate stars. A star is mainly boiling gas floating around in space. Therefore ownership is not possible, but you can name a star and get the name registered with us."
    And just how many things are wrong with that statement? :surprised

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen
    From the faq of the swedish site:

    "The named stars are not registered at an official organisation, scientists use coordinate to identify and locate stars. A star is mainly boiling gas floating around in space. Therefore ownership is not possible, but you can name a star and get the name registered with us."
    Of course, no one is selling ownership, but they are implying the star will "officially" have the desired name of the customer. Although, they do say "registered with us" should be a clue that there is a limit to how official the name would be.

    Is this how you would read it, or is there more merit as read in sweedish?
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher
    And just how many things are wrong with that statement? :surprised
    Well, I can count at least 3 things wrong in just 3 words of that statement

  9. #39
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    If someone bought me a star I would call them an idiot for doing something like that...Who actually thinks that they name that star you bought.

    Must be the worst scam I have ever seen.

  10. #40
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    I'm sorry to be a bit contrarian here, but I see little wrong with what they are doing, with the sole exception that they give people the idea that there is something official when in fact there isn't. But as long as that's stated, what's wrong with it?

    After all, it's completely legal for me to start an artificial language and call the earth or the sun whatever I want to. People sometimes make it seem like the IAU has some monopoly right on the naming of astronomical objects, but AFAIK that's not correct at all. They have a right to give some kind of official naming, but nobody can arrest me for using the North Star instead of Polaris A or whatever it's called. In fact, in Japanese people often refer to Vega as "Orihime," but that's their right. So I think in principle, people have a right to call things (and that goes for numbers, too, as shown by the spoof!) whatever they want to.

    Of course, if they are deliberately tricking people into believing that there is something more official, such as that their name will be recognized by the UN or IAU or whatever, then it may well be fraud.
    As above, so below

  11. #41
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    Jens: the thing is that they are doing just that, tricking people to believe that their "bought" star will be owned. It is not even until one reads the FAQ that one realise that there is nothing official about the purchase whatsoever.

  12. #42
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    OK, it's one thing for individuals to run this sort of thing, but I just went to BadAstronomy.com, but I just spotted this for the Sydney Observatory

    Sydney Observatory Name-a-star program enables you to name a star in the Sydney Southern Star Catalogue, a perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine's Day or to remember a loved one.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA
    OK, it's one thing for individuals to run this sort of thing, but I just went to BadAstronomy.com, but I just spotted this for the Sydney Observatory
    That's bad - there's no disclaimer there at all that I can see. Time for some Aussies to write letters, I think!
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  14. #44
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    As I have mentioned in other threads on this topic, one real problem is when people buy stars for dead loved ones, thinking they have gotten some permanent memorial.

    Then they come to a star party or an observatory and demand to be shown the star.

    If the astronomer plays along, then the astronomer is abetting a scam.

    If the astronomer tells them the truth, then he is breaking their hearts.

    I hate and despise the people who sell stars, because they force us to deal with this sad problem every year.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA
    OK, it's one thing for individuals to run this sort of thing, but I just went to BadAstronomy.com, but I just spotted this for the Sydney Observatory
    I assume that's in Sydney? How many Sydneys can you put in a sentence?

    I agree that this is a similar situation, but they make it clear what it is, and what you get, and where the money goes, and how localized the information is (In Sydney I think).

  16. #46
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    From that Syndney Observatory page:

    Stars are ... visible from Sydney.
    All stars are magnitude 6-10.
    Think someone could get away with a false advertising claim from these two sentences?

  17. #47
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    I still have a colour supplement article
    somewhere which first informed me of this
    star naming outfit. It was 1978 I think and
    they have been laughing all the way to the
    bank since! Anyway I have said this before,
    set up ac website that allocates you a star
    from a catalogue and sets up a colourful
    certificate that can be printed out. All for
    nothing! I suppose the temptation to ask for
    a fee is too powerful though. No seventies
    idealism anymore

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurora
    If the astronomer plays along, then the astronomer is abetting a scam.

    If the astronomer tells them the truth, then he is breaking their hearts.
    Good points, and the reason we have false advertising laws. Memorial issues are even tougher on everyone.

    This is another reason I think the IAU should step in and work with some of these operations to produce dedicated funds for astronomy needs by making qualified star names official. There are numerous ways to work with 3rd party providers to assure operations stay legitimate and the IAU does not have to conduct the sales operations directly. Yet, the funds would be controlled by the IAU. Hopefully, special projects would be advertised to the public to stir sales (e.g. Save the Hubble Telescope).
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin Dax
    From that Syndney Observatory page:

    Think someone could get away with a false advertising claim from these two sentences?
    I don't think so, because it doesn't say "visible with the naked eye."
    As above, so below

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurora
    Then they come to a star party or an observatory and demand to be shown the star.
    I could imagine you could try to get around this by patiently explaining that stars are given lots of different names by people using various languages around the world, and that astronomers don't deal with these "common names" but rather with a scientific vocabulary, just in the same way that doctors don't say "stroke" but rather lunar infarction or sub-arachnoid hemorrhage or whatever. And that in fact there are many names for each star, and that their name is just the name given by that particular system.
    As above, so below

  21. #51
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    Can I play devil's advocate here?

    Who gave the IAU the right to name stars? Is it just because the scientists choose to recognize the IAU? But more people than just scientists appreciate the beauty of stars. What if I chose not to recognise the IAU as the official namer of celestial objects? Then would they be commiting fraud every time they gave a name to a star or an asteroid?

    If I told my next door neighbor, whose name is Bob, that for $50, I'll forever refer to the Moon as Bob, would I be commiting fraud? I never promised him that anyone else would call it Bob, although I left out the fact that no one besides me would call it that.

    For the price of some roses and a box of chocolates, you can give your girlfriend an elegant star chart with her name next to a star. And this name is recognized by the ISR and the tens of thousands of ISR customers (I imagine anyone who buys a star name automatically grants their personal recognition to the other ISR star names. At least I'd put that in the small print if I ran ISR). Then you can take your honey out on a clear night with binoculars or a small telescope, and a bottle of wine, and find her star. Guaranteed SCORE!!! Major points! Even if you can't locate your star! More points than flowers and a box of chocolates will get you, and they get you a lot.

    What do you suppose would happen if tommorow scientists announced that they discovered evidence that suggested intelligent life on a star named SAO 56789 or HD 12345, and that it happened to be one of the stars that ISR named after someone? Would the media pick up on that? I imagine they would. The media would much rather call it "Rachelle" than SAO 56789 or HD 12345. Look how they've adopted Xena and Sedna. Their discoverer is not recognized by the scientific community as having the authority to name objects.
    Last edited by tony873004; 2006-Jan-27 at 06:28 AM.

  22. #52
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    One thing! The outfit gave me to understand the names would be put into
    the national library. So examine the records deposited and see how many
    times the brightest stars have been named However the operative words
    here are "would be"! It seems odd they would allocate stars to faint for
    backyard telescopes.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony873004
    What do you suppose would happen if tommorow scientists announced that they discovered evidence that suggested intelligent life on a star named SAO 56789 or HD 12345, and that it happened to be one of the stars that ISR named after someone? Would the media pick up on that? I imagine they would.
    Absolutely they would not.

    For one thing, the same star has been sold by multiple companies, all doing a similar scam.

    So why are you saying that ISR's scam should be the official scam?

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens
    I could imagine you could try to get around this by patiently explaining that stars are given lots of different names by people using various languages around the world, and that astronomers don't deal with these "common names" but rather with a scientific vocabulary, just in the same way that doctors don't say "stroke" but rather lunar infarction or sub-arachnoid hemorrhage or whatever. And that in fact there are many names for each star, and that their name is just the name given by that particular system.
    Basically, you are looking for a nice way to tell them that no one will ever use the name they just bought for their daughter who died. (I've had similar situations, including one where a father bought a star in memory of his daughter, so I am using that example here).

    Once they realize the truth, which would happen about two thirds of the way through your paragraph, they will realize that they just threw some money away and that there is no lasting memorial to their daughter.

    Which will make everyone in the room feel bad, including the astronomer.

    Except, of course, the people who work for the company that sold the star. For some reason, they seem to have no feelings about this at all, other than they want to make money.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurora
    Absolutely they would not.
    For one thing, the same star has been sold by multiple companies, all doing a similar scam.
    I doubt it. If they're using stars of Mag 6-10, typically only visible through a backyard telescope, there are far more than enough candidate stars for every company to never have to reuse a single star.

    Quote Originally Posted by aurora
    So why are you saying that ISR's scam should be the official scam?
    I don't recall saying that.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony873004
    I doubt it. If they're using stars of Mag 6-10, typically only visible through a backyard telescope, there are far more than enough candidate stars for every company to never have to reuse a single star.
    I think you are wrong. I know that they have gone to very dim stars, because people come to observatories to see them because they cannot find them from their backyard. I know that all the stars down to medium magnitudes have been sold multiple times.

    Quote Originally Posted by tony873004
    I don't recall saying that.
    See message 51 in this thread. You mentioned ISR several times and said the media would use their names:

    What do you suppose would happen if tommorow scientists announced that they discovered evidence that suggested intelligent life on a star named SAO 56789 or HD 12345, and that it happened to be one of the stars that ISR named after someone? Would the media pick up on that? I imagine they would.
    I really can't imagine why anyone would defend the star naming scammers. Clearly, they are in the "anything for a buck" school of business.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurora
    I know that all the stars down to medium magnitudes have been sold multiple times.
    You know, or you assume? Since you claim to know, can you provide a reference for this? How many star names have been sold by all the companies combined? How many stars of magnitude 10 or brighter are there?

    By the way, I could be wrong. I don't know these answers either. I do have a good estimate on the number of stars mag 10 and brighter, and it seems too high to me for them to ever run out of stars unless this name selling business really caught on.

    Keep in mind that I started my post saying that I was playing Devil's advocate, which means that for the sake of fun, I'm going to argue the other side.

    Quote Originally Posted by aurora
    See message 51 in this thread. You mentioned ISR several times and said the media would use their names:
    Mentioning ISR several times is not the same thing as implying that their scam should be the official scam.

    Suggesting that the media may prefer to call the star by a real name rather than a designation is not the same thing as implying that their scam should be the official scam.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony873004
    For the price of some roses and a box of chocolates, you can give your girlfriend an elegant star chart with her name next to a star. And this name is recognized by the ISR and the tens of thousands of ISR customers (I imagine anyone who buys a star name automatically grants their personal recognition to the other ISR star names. At least I'd put that in the small print if I ran ISR). Then you can take your honey out on a clear night with binoculars or a small telescope, and a bottle of wine, and find her star. Guaranteed SCORE!!! Major points! Even if you can't locate your star! More points than flowers and a box of chocolates will get you, and they get you a lot.
    In fact not guaranteed score, thank you. If my boyfriend ever pulled that number on me, which he wouldn't (largely because he's too cheap to spend the $50, but that's not the point), I would in fact explain the whole thing to him. At length. I imagine large numbers of the women here would as well--as would large numbers of other women who don't post here. I'd rather have the chocolate and the flowers--or a book, or a DVD, or nice dinner somewhere. Not all women are so ignorant as to fall for it.
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  29. #59
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    Heh Heh...I remember on Saturday morning
    television some 20 years ago, a promenant
    astronomy media person was judging some
    children in some small contest. The prize..
    ..yes a nice certificate naming a star. She
    self consciously fumbled it over to the kid.
    I could imagine the situation..arriving at the
    studio and a clever researcher thinks its a
    nice prize, she had to go along. At another
    time on a Halley program however, she called
    an "astrologer" a right twit

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony873004
    I do have a good estimate on the number of stars mag 10 and brighter, and it seems too high to me for them to ever run out of stars unless this name selling business really caught on.
    Sounds like you're the one "making the assumption". And while we're on that particular aspect of this SCAM...

    What do you suppose these companies will do when they "run out" of stars. Do you seriously think that they will discontinue what is essentially making free money?...hell no!

    Keep in mind that I started my post saying that I was playing Devil's advocate, which means that for the sake of fun, I'm going to argue the other side.
    Please point out the "fun" part...I seem to be missing it...

    Suggesting that the media may prefer to call the star by a real name rather than a designation is not the same thing as implying that their scam should be the official scam.
    "A real name"?? What does that mean??
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

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