View Full Version : How to find a star

2003-Dec-25, 07:11 PM
I got a christmas present where a star has been named after me. It gives all the coordinates and numbers for this particular star, but I would like to find some more information on the internet about this star and galaxy. I would especially like to get some pictures of the particular star.

The information I have is Name - M33, Triangulum galaxy, NGC598, PGC5818
Database reference Unique Star allocation- 608161

Finally, I am also confused about the Rise, Transit, and Set times it gives for the star. I has written:
Rise time = Dec. 26, 2003 11:38:51 LMT
Transit time = Dec. 25, 2003 19:31:23 LMT
Set time = Dec. 26, 2003 03:19:59 LMT

I thank you in anticipation for anyone who can help me!

Richard White

2003-Dec-25, 07:55 PM
Uh oh... I've got some bad news for you. A star wasn't really named after you. The only organization that is able to name stars is the International Astronomical Union, and they only give them numerical designations - to make them easy for astronomers to find.

Here's a FAQ on the subject:

That said it's entirely possible that there is actually a star in the region of sky that your certificate identified; however, they're usually very faint stars, much dimmer than is visible with the unaided eye. You'll need a telescope to see it for sure.

Do a search on Google for an astronomical society in your location and find out when they're having an observing night. If you supply the coordinates to some of the astronomers there, they should be able to get the telescope pointed in roughly the right direction.

The coordinates sound a little strange to me. Usually astronomers define the position of a star by two properties: Right Ascension & Declination. It works like latitude and longitude on the Earth.

Maybe someone else in the forum will be able to shed more light on it.

2003-Dec-28, 03:20 AM
The object refered to here is not a star but a galaxy called M 33 located in the constellation Triangulum.
It's R.A. is 01:33:54.0 and Dec is 30:39:00.
Mirach is the nearest significantly bright star. M33 will be at a 7:30 position from Mirach.
The nearest constellations are Andromeda directly to it's right. Pisces is lower right. Aries is lower left, and Perseus is upper left.

This should help you find it, but like Fraiser said, it's not something named after you or anyone else, but a whole galaxy millions of light years away. There are a lot of pictures of it already on the internet. Just use M33 as your search words.

As for the times for rise transet and set, I'm guessing is in the Mountain Time Zone, and the transet time is wrong. Transet time means the time it is at it's highest point in the sky, and impossible for it to be on the day before it rises and sets. It may rise on one day, then transet and set the next day, or it may rise and transet on one day, and set the next day.

I hope this helps you, and that your present giver didn't spend very much money for the name, because he/she got hoodwinked.