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Garrette
2005-Dec-27, 05:01 PM
I haven't posted here in a very long time, but have a need now. Plus, I couldn't get Search to work so I don't know if this has been discussed.

The major local radio station here (WHAS840 in Louisville, Kentucky) has been airing commercials for the International Star Registry which offers to "name a star" for you. For a price, of course.

Without going into details, it's a scam, though when I called their offices (they didn't answer my email) I got some weaseling that may be sufficient to protect them from lawsuits. I talked to a supervisor; their VP of Operations wasn't available and his schedule is unpredictable because he "works for other companies, too," so I have to take my chances on calling back.

Anyway, I have emailed the radio station and their parent company (ClearChannel Communications) along with the talk show host during whose program the commercials aired. I got a response from the host saying that she has no say over commercials but she'd forward the email to management. No response from anyone else.

I've also lodged complaints with the Better Business Bureau (this company is listed) and the FCC.

It seems a straightforward thing to me: Only the IAU names celestial objects yet ISR claims to do it for a price. So I want the commercials pulled.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Has anyone dealt with them before?

Note: When I called and spoke with a supervisor, she insisted that the naming is only a "Novelty Gift." She had no real response when I asked her why neither the website nor the commercials say that.

aurora
2005-Dec-27, 05:30 PM
Point them to

http://www.angelfire.com/tx4/hoaxdetective/scams_02.html

which has some basic info.

I wonder what happened with the legal case in New York?

See http://www.naic.edu/~gibson/starnames/isr_news.html

Garrette
2005-Dec-27, 06:32 PM
Thanks, Aurora. I didn't know there were others, but I had hoped.

I'll forward these.

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Dec-27, 06:45 PM
I do a monthly radio segment with Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute, and we talked about this. It has not aired yet, but I'll link to it from my blog when it does.

Garrette
2005-Dec-27, 06:59 PM
Great, BA. I look forward to it.

Fortis
2005-Dec-28, 12:41 AM
The Star Registry concept was nicely spoofed by the International Number Registry (http://home.columbus.rr.com/realnumbers/). ;)

Garrette
2005-Dec-29, 04:49 PM
I've tried calling the company and spoke for a while with a supervisor who insisted that the idea is just a "Novelty Gift." When I pointed out that this is not how it is portrayed on their web site or in their radio commercials she waffled. I mentioned the Better Business Bureau and she proudly stated that they are listed with the BBB to which I responded that it is not a permanent status and that verified complaints are kept on file with the BBB.

She said I should talk to their VP of Operations, Mike Hazelrigg, but unfortunately he wasn't available because he "works for other companies, too."

I've tried calling back to speak with Mike but have been put off each time. I've also left my phone number but have received no calls.

So I have filed complaints with the FCC (no response from them yet) and the BBB. I have a BBB tracking number and an email which states my complaint has been forwarded to the ISR for response.

I'm putting together a complaint for the Kentucky Attorney General's Office, too, as that is where the commercials I've heard have aired.

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Dec-29, 08:18 PM
I called the head of ISR, Rocky Mozel, many times trying to get an interview with him before writing the ISR chapter in my book. He never called nor emailed back (which I mentioned in that chapter as well).

Draconis
2005-Dec-29, 09:44 PM
I went and read through their website. At the very bottom was the following disclaimer:

International Star Registry star naming is not recognized by the scientific community.
Your star’s name is reserved in International Star Registry records only.

Seems a bit pointless then, doesn't it? Registering a Star Name that is recognized by no one - except the ISR. :doh:

http://www.starregistry.com/

Fortis
2005-Dec-30, 12:18 AM
One thing that makes it all particularly awful is when one of the tabloids, such as The Sun (a UK rag), has a full page spread announcing that they have had a star named after the latest tragic child victim. In these cases you have the public as a whole being suckered into believing that it means something and will be a memorial to some poor unfortunate.

[Edited to add...]
At which point the description of it being a "novelty gift" sticks in the throat.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Dec-30, 07:14 PM
I went and read through their website. At the very bottom was the following disclaimer:

International Star Registry star naming is not recognized by the scientific community.
Your star’s name is reserved in International Star Registry records only.

Seems a bit pointless then, doesn't it? Registering a Star Name that is recognized by no one - except the ISR. :doh:

http://www.starregistry.com/
Sounds Like, Fine Print, To Avoid a Lawsuit ...

But, Will It ...

Be ENOUGH!

Draconis
2005-Dec-30, 07:22 PM
I suppose that depends on how far or how vague they make their claims in expressing their "service" in commercials and in writing. If stated incorrectly, they could violate that disclaimer, and open themselves to legal action, yeah.

Garrette
2005-Dec-30, 07:31 PM
Well that's embarrassing, Draconis. I searched their website (I thought I did it thoroughly) for language like that. I did find some waffling in their TOS, but nothing as clear as you found.

It probably gets them off the hook for the website part.

It does not, I think, get them off for their radio spots which, as far as I can tell, do not make such a disclaimer.


And I have not received a call back yet.

George
2006-Jan-03, 11:57 PM
Confession time....

About 25 years ago, my wife registered me, and herself, with them as a surprise sweet gift. We received fairly artistic certificates(?) registering our stars located in Sagitarious, IIRC. [Hmmmm, maybe there is hope for Georgecentricity. :razz:] I did tell her, in a nice way, it was bogus.

As charming as it was, it is misleading at best.

Another is Star Foundation (http://www.starfoundation.net/). Here you can buy a star, as opposed to just naming a star.:naughty:

You have to really look close to find the disclaimer stating only the IAU has the authority to name stars.

Has there been any discussion to allow an offical IAU star naming fund raiser, say for Hubble? Reserving the brighter stars for honoring scientists, naming all the 9th to 15th magnitude stars would produce stellar revenues of....$6.5 billion (at $50 a pop). Throw in whole galaxies with z > 1 and you can green shift into an additional $13 trillion (at $100 a pop). [HST, with life anew, will have to help, of course, as full color will be required, probably.]

"You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?""...George B.S. [Bernard Shaw] ;)

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-04, 01:01 PM
snip
Has there been any discussion to allow an offical IAU star naming fund raiser, say for Hubble? snip

My guess is that there is probably something in thier charter to prevent it. And being a non-profit, there are also some legalities involved.

George
2006-Jan-04, 02:32 PM
My guess is that there is probably something in thier charter to prevent it. And being a non-profit, there are also some legalities involved.
I'd bet you are correct. However, if a major fund-raising activity would produce a major financial advance to astronomy, would an IAU amendment, or whatever, be warranted? They would not have to be directly involved, as I would assume a separate agency would be contracted for the effort. Governments could tax it, so they should cooperate. :) . [(Borrowing another Faraday idea. ;))]

I can think of several examples: State Governments are in the gambling business; selling bricks with one's name on them is done by public schools (school organizations apparel sales, of course, are far greater); Governments lease their lands to private individuals (e.g. oil companies and ranchers); the devout allow Bingo; etc.

Of course, I am not suggesting the IAU become commercialized, however, but whenever a governmental entity has a monopoly on a valuable item, it might be worthwhile to consider a potential greater good by offering it to the public.

I admit, I am a businessman by profession and I do not know have the full picture to assess its viability; that is why I am asking more than saying.

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-04, 04:02 PM
snip
I can think of several examples: State Governments are in the gambling business; selling bricks with one's name on them is done by public schools (school organizations apparel sales, of course, are far greater); Government's lease their lands to private individuals (e.g. oil companies and ranchers); the devout allow Bingo; etc.
snip

I don't remember the laws or any details (which could be limited by state anyway) but in my experience (I was Pres of a 501C3 org for about 3yrs) we had to be very careful about raising funds. There were governement formulas that placed limits to ratios of donations vs fundraisers vs investments vs expenditures vs grants etc. I don't know if it varies by registered charter, but I would think selling star names would throw all those formulas out of whack.

George
2006-Jan-04, 04:31 PM
If the program were taxable, governments might allow less red tape; incorporating is not that hard compared to 501c3 formation. [No doubt you have some interesting 501c3 qualification stories.]

I suppose the biggest headache would be obtaining cooperation with most governments. This would have to be an international venture, obviously. [If we wait too long, we'll have to work with other planets. So we better address it now! ;).]

As long as people from every nation are willing to financially support noble astronomy and space causes (e.g. saving Hubble), with the added benefit of having their name on a star, why not find a vehicle which would produce a means to this end. If astronomy wants to sow and reap more, better to use a John Deere than just the mules. :)

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-04, 05:13 PM
[No doubt you have some interesting 501c3 qualification stories.] No, it was done before I was born, and we had people who "remembered" how it worked. (that's why I don't know much)


I suppose the biggest headache would be obtaining cooperation with most governments. This would have to be an international venture, obviously. [If we wait too long, we'll have to work with other planets. So we better address it now! ;).]snip
(I think) That headache would be if the charter did not allow it, otherwise it would just be up to the IAU to both say "let's do it" and "who gets what"?

George
2006-Jan-05, 12:04 AM
Of course, there is one other possibility none have mentioned. If engaging the IAU in such a venture seems insurmountable, I wonder if a more honest, more noble, more fitting, more knowledgeable, more astronomical, just a bunch more wondeful site could be found to serve as a vehicle to unofficially name stars and receive funds ear-marked for the Hubble, or other special project, including heliochromology :). Net after expenses goes to the project designated. Let's think aBAUT this. It would be nice if this hypothetical site was also made up of skeptics that are a little uncomfortable with the disingenuous approach of the other star naming outfits, some might even call this...bad astronomy in today's universe. :)

Buyers would get not only star coordinates but classification, temperature, color (except for G and T class ;) ), spectral irradiance (assuming Sloan folks don't mind), size, distance, etc., plus an appropriate certificate artistically matching their designated fund preference.

[I suppose, in the worst case scenario, if the fund does not reach the level necessary for its use (e.g. HST repairs), the buyer would need to designate other preferences. ;)]

suntrack2
2006-Jan-08, 04:25 PM
I was searching this line " all stars are free of cost +s&h free". :)

George
2006-Jan-09, 01:58 AM
I was searching this line " all stars are free of cost +s&h free". :)
:) I suspect it's more of a "pick and pull" program.

Draconis
2006-Jan-09, 03:14 AM
I was searching this line " all stars are free of cost +s&h free". :)

Please send me E. Eridani via Fed. Ex. :)

Kebsis
2006-Jan-10, 12:46 AM
we should all start star naming companies

Fortis
2006-Jan-10, 03:13 AM
we should all start star naming companies
Perhaps we could all start companies that specialise in the naming of "star naming" companies?

If someone sends me $10 I will call the "International Star Register", "Grapefruit" (or anything else you like as long as it isn't defamatory.) It's new name will be recorded in a little book, and if there is enough interest I could register a copy with the Library of Congress. ;)

George
2006-Jan-10, 03:55 AM
Perhaps we could all start companies that specialise in the naming of "star naming" companies?

If someone sends me $10 I will call the "International Star Register", "Grapefruit" (or anything else you like as long as it isn't defamatory.) It's new name will be recorded in a little book, and if there is enough interest I could register a copy with the Library of Congress. ;)
:) That reminds me of the time I drove into Austin, years ago, to attend another association event, when on my left was a building - "Society of Assoiciations". It's an association to help associations. Hopefully, in time, there will be an organization for these societies. ;) IIRC, it's still there and probably quite beneficial, but I did laugh as I can become too associationally inclined.

Can we offer free plastic pet meteorites with each registered and certified patron. ;)

Lianachan
2006-Jan-10, 09:59 AM
Has there been any discussion to allow an offical IAU star naming fund raiser, say for Hubble? Reserving the brighter stars for honoring scientists, naming all the 9th to 15th magnitude stars would produce stellar revenues of....$6.5 billion (at $50 a pop). Throw in whole galaxies with z > 1 and you can green shift into an additional $13 trillion (at $100 a pop). [HST, with life anew, will have to help, of course, as full color will be required, probably.]

That would be terrible! The extent to which the world has been commercialised is bad enough. Having to contend with stars with names like Pepsi......... eugh!

Fortis
2006-Jan-10, 01:22 PM
Can we offer free plastic pet meteorites with each registered and certified patron. ;)
Of course we can, though there may be an additional $20 handling charge associated with each one. :)

Fortis
2006-Jan-10, 01:24 PM
That would be terrible! The extent to which the world has been commercialised is bad enough. Having to contend with stars with names like Pepsi......... eugh!
In a way, the absence of stars called Pepsi would indicate what the commercial world thinks about the ISR...

George
2006-Jan-10, 03:17 PM
That would be terrible! The extent to which the world has been commercialised is bad enough. Having to contend with stars with names like Pepsi......... eugh!
Or planetoids like Buffy and Xena? Actually, I wouldn't expect science to use all the registered names, as they could be in the millions eventually, and astronomy has a better system. Of course, there would be exceptions, the new perplexing large red galaxy found in the Hubble UDF would be ok, I suppose, if it were named Big Red. :)

Mathiasll
2006-Jan-23, 03:21 PM
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...

George
2006-Jan-23, 03:36 PM
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.

Mathiasll
2006-Jan-23, 03:59 PM
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...

George
2006-Jan-23, 04:51 PM
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.

HenrikOlsen
2006-Jan-24, 02:39 PM
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."

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-24, 02:44 PM
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

George
2006-Jan-24, 04:44 PM
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?

cjl
2006-Jan-26, 01:00 AM
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 :)

Dragon Star
2006-Jan-26, 01:18 AM
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.:doh:

Jens
2006-Jan-26, 03:36 AM
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.

Mathiasll
2006-Jan-26, 08:52 AM
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.

Ufonaut99
2006-Jan-26, 09:08 AM
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 (http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/star/?gclid=CIjt6bzy54ICFR-vJAodLwuBjw)


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.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-26, 03:33 PM
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 (http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/star/?gclid=CIjt6bzy54ICFR-vJAodLwuBjw)

That's bad - there's no disclaimer there at all that I can see. Time for some Aussies to write letters, I think!

aurora
2006-Jan-26, 04:09 PM
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.

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-26, 05:07 PM
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 (http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/star/?gclid=CIjt6bzy54ICFR-vJAodLwuBjw)

I assume that's in Sydney? :D 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).

Tobin Dax
2006-Jan-26, 05:34 PM
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? :D

peteshimmon
2006-Jan-26, 07:57 PM
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:(

George
2006-Jan-27, 12:50 AM
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).

Jens
2006-Jan-27, 01:47 AM
From that Syndney Observatory page:

Think someone could get away with a false advertising claim from these two sentences? :D

I don't think so, because it doesn't say "visible with the naked eye."

Jens
2006-Jan-27, 01:53 AM
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.

tony873004
2006-Jan-27, 06:08 AM
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.

peteshimmon
2006-Jan-27, 04:00 PM
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.

aurora
2006-Jan-27, 05:57 PM
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?

aurora
2006-Jan-27, 06:01 PM
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.

tony873004
2006-Jan-27, 06:15 PM
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.


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

aurora
2006-Jan-27, 06:24 PM
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.



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.

tony873004
2006-Jan-27, 06:45 PM
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.


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.

Gillianren
2006-Jan-27, 09:49 PM
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.

peteshimmon
2006-Jan-28, 10:37 AM
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:)

R.A.F.
2006-Jan-29, 07:10 PM
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??

tony873004
2006-Jan-29, 08:33 PM
Hi, R.A.F. Let me try to address the points you bring up.

Sounds like you're the one "making the assumption".

"Assumption" is your word, not mine. I said "estimate". And yes, I am the one making an estimate. An estimate is the only way to go since an accurate count of that many stars would be impractical.

What do you suppose these companies will do when they "run out" of stars.
I don't know what they will do. I could assume that they will recycle the names which would be a scam. But to assume that in the future that someone will commit a scam is not evidence that they are currently running a scam. I would guess that if they ran out of stars they would start using magnitude 11 stars.

Please point out the "fun" part...I seem to be missing it... To play Devil's advocate means to bring up the other side of an issue, without necessarily being on that side. There's many reasons a person might want to play Devil's advocate. Lawers do it all the time to help anticipate what the other side is thinking. In this case, I do it because having a spirited debate can be fun. I could argue both sides of this issue. But I look at this thread and see a one-sided argument. For the sake of a spirited debate, I bring up points on the other side. But people seem to want to trash me for bringing up the other side of the issue, rather than argue against the issues I raise, or the questions I ask. The exception is Gillianren who correctly made me realize that I should not have used the word "guaranteed" since it implies that every girl would react the same way. So you're right. Because people are trashing me instead of the points I make, it isn't actually any fun.


"A real name"?? What does that mean??
It means something like Bob or Fred, or California, or Sedna, rather than something commonly referred to as a designation like 2003UB313, or HD12345.

Does anybody here have any idea of how many stars have been named after people, or how many available stars there are? Without knowing this, any opinion that they're currently being recycled, or that they will one day run out is baseless.

R.A.F.
2006-Jan-29, 09:49 PM
"Assumption" is your word, not mine. I said "estimate". And yes, I am the one making an estimate.

Unless/until you can provide a basis for your estimate, I will call it as I see it...an assumption.


But to assume that in the future that someone will commit a scam is not evidence that they are currently running a scam.

Of course not...but we have ample evidence that it is a SCAM right now. That evidence is the fact that there are people willing to pay $50 for a certificate that they can print up on their home computer. The company strongly implies that the names are official, when in reality the only ones who will "recognize" it are the others who have spent $50.


...I look at this thread and see a one-sided argument.

That's because there is only one side to this argument.


But people seem to want to trash me for bringing up the other side of the issue, rather than argue against the issues I raise, or the questions I ask.

The "devils advocate" ideas you have presented are unreasonable and that's what I've said...just how is that "trashing" you??


Does anybody here have any idea of how many stars have been named after people, or how many available stars there are? Without knowing this, any opinion that they're currently being recycled, or that they will one day run out is baseless.

It's your claim...you are going to have to do your own "homework".

tony873004
2006-Jan-29, 11:28 PM
It's your claim...
No. Read the order of the posts. It was aurora who originally said "For one thing, the same star has been sold by multiple companies, all doing a similar scam. "

Nobody suggested Aurora do his/her homework. That's why I say this argument is one-sided. One side can say anything they want without providing references and go unquestioned.


Why do I feel like I'm being trashed? Because people say things like:
"I really can't imagine why anyone would defend the star naming scammers" when I never defended them, and "So why are you saying that ISR's scam should be the official scam?" when I never said that either. Don't you see the attitude in your responses "Please point out the "fun" part...I seem to be missing it... "? and "you are going to have to do your own "homework".


People could be replying with answers like:
*The IAU has the authority because...

*Even though more people than just astronomers enjoy the stars, astronomers have the right to designate the official naming body because...

Then they would be addressing the questions I asked without putting words in my mouth and aiming their attitudes at me. That's why I feel like I'm being trashed.


That's because there is only one side to this argument.Then how come the ISR hasn't been shut down by now? It's because there is another side to the argument. Any prosecutor knows if they tried to charge the ISR with fraud that the other side to the argument would be presented and the prosecution would lose. And keep in mind, me pointing out that another side to the argument exists is not the same as me endorsing their argument.


you are going to have to do your own "homework".
According to http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,49345,00.html the ISR has sold over a million star names. How many is this exactly? I don't know but it is probably fewer than 2 million or they would have said that instead. The article is 5 years old, so perhaps it is approaching 2 million by now.
In my 8 inch telescope with the 26mm eyepiece I have a field of view of about 0.4 square degrees. I can see stars down to about magnitude 10. Maybe a little fainter if I had a dark sky. When I point my telescope at a patch of sky that appears to the naked-eye as being empty, I can see at least 5 stars in each field of view. If I point my telescope at a random patch of sky, 10 stars is more likely. I can get as high as 200 stars per field of view if I point at a star cluster, or thousands if I point at a globular cluster. Or about 20 if I randomly cruise through the bright Milky Way band.
The sky contains 41253 square degrees. So there are 93,378 fields of view in the total sky. If we use 10 as an average number of stars per field of view, That's nearly 1 million stars. This suggests that they have indeed run out of stars magnitude 10 and brighter. Or perhaps they are close to running out if I use a number other than 10. But if they simply use stars as faint as mag 12, there are 10s of millions of stars at their disposal. If they run out of those, the simply swich magnitudes again. They needn't ever run out.

George
2006-Jan-30, 12:04 AM
Here is the number of stars by magnitude (http://www.stargazing.net/David/constel/howmanystars.html).

[Added: Here (http://www.phys.uu.nl/~strous/AA/en/antwoorden/magnituden.html)is another table showing lower estimates based on greater formulation.]

Delphi
2006-Jan-30, 12:10 AM
It's all a gimmick. You never legally name a star. I've had something similar here. Besides, something so beautiful isn't worth $50 to have it named after something. Stars are priceless in my opinion.

tony873004
2006-Jan-30, 12:24 AM
Thank you for that list George. I tried to Google for something similar but couldn't find anything.

Do my homework, part 2

But there are more than enough stars for everybody who wants to buy the name of one.
This is from the IAU's page denouncing companies such as the ISR.
http://www.iau.org/BUYING_STAR_NAMES.244.0.html

George
2006-Jan-30, 04:18 AM
Very appropriate link, tony.

They have some interesting comments in their Q&A that are enjoyable to see.


Q: Surely the courts will recognize the name I have paid for??

A: Try to contact your lawyers. Chances are that they will either laugh their heads off or politely suggest that you could invest their fees more productively...


Q: OK, I found a dealer myself; what will I get from them?

A: An expensive piece of paper and a temporary feeling of happiness, like if you take a cup of tea instead of the Doctor's recommended medicine. But at least you do not risk getting sick by paying for a star name, only losing money.
:)

Halcyon Dayz
2006-Jan-30, 04:24 AM
Barnard's Star
Kapteyn's Ster
Van Biesbroeck's Ster
Wolf catalogue
Gliese catalogue
Henry Draper catalogue
Lalande catalogue

Can anybody think of other stars that were officially named after people?

aurora
2006-Jan-30, 04:39 PM
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.



I know.

I have had people bring 12th magnitude stars to our observatory that they had "purchased".

There are only about 600,000 stars of 10th magnitude or brighter. (edited number because I read the able wrong).

I know that there are multiple companies that sell stars, but I do not know how many have been sold. In a different message I think you stated that ISR had sold more than a million. I suspect that some of their competitors have sold similar numbers, but even if they had sold only half as many then all the stars of 10th mag and brighter would have already been sold multiple times.

I have heard stories about even dimmer stars being "sold", down to 14th magnitude. And some of them were not even real stars.

Clearly, they sold all the stars on common star charts like Sky Atlas 2000 (which goes down to mag 8.5 if I remember correctly) a long time ago.

Actually, there is nothing to prevent ISR from selling the same star to more than one person. I do not know if they have done that yet, but I don't think their adverts say anything that would prevent them from doing that.

Edited to add quote from IAU:


The name you paid for can be ignored, forgotten, or sold again to anyone else by anyone at any time.

aurora
2006-Jan-30, 04:42 PM
But if they simply use stars as faint as mag 12, there are 10s of millions of stars at their disposal. If they run out of those, the simply swich magnitudes again. They needn't ever run out.

Actually, around 5 million (see the link that George provided).

Since I have seen a mag 14 star that was "sold", I would guess they are already past mag 12.

Edited to add: Just had a thought, do they only sell stars visible from the Northern Hemisphere? If so, that would reduce the available pool. Although with a magnitude 14 star, it doesn't matter much because most people that buy one will never see it, even if they have a big enough telescope it takes a lot of accuracy to find and identify a mag 14 star.

aurora
2006-Jan-30, 05:07 PM
this link:
http://home.carolina.rr.com/nirgal/buyastar.html
tells the story of an astronomer who had to use a source that went down to 15th magnitude to find the star.

More links:

http://www.enzerink.net/peter/astronomy/starfaq/

http://www.aoas.org/article.php?story=20050810094056612&mode=print

Also saw some references to past court cases where one star naming company has sued another.

tony873004
2006-Jan-30, 05:17 PM
Yes, it looks like about 13th or 14th magnitude instead of 12 before the available stars are in the 10s of millions.

That's a good point about northern hemisphere stars. About a quarter to a third of all stars are not visible at all from mid-latitudes, and the number shrinks for higher latitudes where a lot of Europe resides. You'd have to live at the equator for all stars to be technically visible, and even there, your view of the polar stars would not be good.

George
2006-Jan-31, 03:00 PM
Actually, around 5 million (see the link that George provided).
I found, I suspect, a more accurate table. The first link simply multiplied the prior cound by 2.91 for each gain in magnitude.

This star count table (http://www.phys.uu.nl/~strous/AA/en/antwoorden/magnituden.html)seems to be more accurate. The "Count" column is accumlative and has much fewer stars per magnitude than the prior site.


Since I have seen a mag 14 star that was "sold", I would guess they are already past mag 12.
Wow. That would have to be some kind of rip-off record if they sold that many star names (I presume, 2nd only to credit card companies charging > 20% interest. :sad: ).

aurora
2006-Jan-31, 04:30 PM
Wow. That would have to be some kind of rip-off record if they sold that many star names (I presume, 2nd only to credit card companies charging > 20% interest. :sad: ).

They have been selling stars (various companies) for more than 20 years (I found documents that they were doing it before 1985 at least).

peteshimmon
2006-Jan-31, 06:16 PM
There is a good article on page 28 of
Sky & Telescope, Aug 2000 with an editorial in
Sep and letters in Oct. Nothing more
beguiling than old S&Ts with half read
stories and excellent graphics! Anyway why
name a faint star in Draco as Procyon? Thats
the certificate they purchased. Last thing,
the old saying about no such thing as bad
pulicity applies here!

tony873004
2006-Feb-01, 02:45 AM
I just called the ISR at the phone number on their web site. I asked them if I buy a star, will I be able to see it? They told me I'd need a pretty good telescope. They're currently using stars in the 12-15 magnitude range.

That rules out most back yard telescopes.

George
2006-Feb-01, 03:19 PM
They have been selling stars (various companies) for more than 20 years (I found documents that they were doing it before 1985 at least).
My wife got mine in 1982 and I reciprocated on her b-day (for charm value only, of course). :shhh:

I suppose, their success underscores our desire to connect in some permanent way to the universe, along with our love for ownership for just about everything. Yet I suspect it is some of these same feelings which drive us to want to do more. That is why I like the idea of a IAU sanctioned entity using star naming money to support special projects (e.g. save the Hubble) which might not otherwise receive support. This gives you and I a chance to contribute to a project of our own choice, and still receive the charm inherent in having our own star, though we'll know science will still utilize their superior naming system.

George
2006-Feb-01, 03:37 PM
I just called the ISR at the phone number on their web site. I asked them if I buy a star, will I be able to see it? They told me I'd need a pretty good telescope. They're currently using stars in the 12-15 magnitude range.

That rules out most back yard telescopes.

So how much revenue might they have generated?

Let's say they started with 9th magnitude stars, eliminating the first 120,000 brighter stars. If they have completed stars through 12th magnitude, this means 2.34 million stars have been sold. If the average price is, say, $75, then sales for ISR alone would be $175 million. If stars through 13th mag. were all sold, the gross revenue is $462 million. If the other companies combined match this, about $1 billion has been collected for star naming. If half is in overhead, that would still generate 1/2 billion bucks that would go to projects that the little people, including me, would feel we were a part of; probably, even more than the more important government funded projects. [quickly added:] What are the chances for Hubble if the IAU sends NASA a check for $500,000,000 dedicated for its service?

ToSeek
2006-Feb-01, 03:56 PM
I'd be very surprised if their sales are in the millions. Out of all the people I know, I've only known one to have a "bought" star. That would make the count in the hundreds of thousands, rather than millions, which would make more sense to me.

NEOWatcher
2006-Feb-01, 04:19 PM
... Out of all the people I know, I've only known one to have a "bought" star ...
I think you just left yourself open :doh:
1. You don't know too many people to begin with.
2. You only associate with more intelligent people.
3. Most of the people you know don't have enough money.

tony873004
2006-Feb-01, 06:18 PM
A link I posted earlier said over 1 million sales, but the ISR's website claims hundreds of thousands.

I also only know of 1 person.

George
2006-Feb-01, 06:21 PM
I'd be very surprised if their sales are in the millions. Out of all the people I know, I've only known one to have a "bought" star. That would make the count in the hundreds of thousands, rather than millions, which would make more sense to me.
Are you counting me? :)

I really hope and believe you are correct, it is unlikely that they have generated the projected revenue I gave....YET. [A little mathematical hyperbole doesn't go very far around here. :)] I noticed at their site that one may choose a given constellation. This might explain why they are > 12th mag. since the more popular constellation's brighter (less invisible) stars may have been taken already.

Nevertheless, I still will plug for an IAU sanctioned enterprise dedicated to raise funds for worthy astronomy and space user defined projects, as well as, eliminate the majority of these shams. This plan will have its sticky points, but nothing to cause too much of a problem.

Alternatively, why not let BAUT do it! After all, this is BAD ASTRONOMY that is dedicated to making Bad astronomy into Good astronomy. Why not Bad star-naming into honest star-naming? BAUT would make it clear as to the minimal degree of official status of the purhcased star name, yet still they will come by the thousands, IMO, if for no other reason but to get a fancy BAUT certificate (with space art), some cool technical coordinates and data (spectral irradiance optional ;)), and the knowledge that a fixed percantage of the price will go to one of several needed astronomy projects which the buyer chooses. I am actually serious about this, no cornjunktive.

Allow me to ask, if this were offered, would you shell out $50 to $100 if this plan were offered?

For another $10, your name goes on a particular red boxing glove with the mission you've supported. :)

George
2006-Feb-02, 03:55 PM
Or maybe just a slightly sardonic approach, such as....

"Pick a star from here [url link], then enter the coordinates of the star of your choice, if the star is shown to be officially available, then insert your name (birth certificate not required), to officially register. This establishes an official name for the star and all names will be officially stored on our official hard drive (until it crashes). Download the official certificate, which will show the official coordinates, then insert your official name below the official artwork and place it at an official location of your choice."

At least it sounds official, IMO. ;)

pumpkinpie
2006-Feb-02, 04:04 PM
I've read of a planetarium that offers a similar program to what George proposed. For a set fee you can "name a star" and probably get some sort of certificate. I'd imagine it is one visible in the planetarium sky. It's a method of fundraising for the planetarium, supporting astronomy education. I know many people in the planetarium field are vehemontly against the ISR. But I haven't heard any complaints about what this planetarium is doing. The differences are that the planetarium is not doing it for profit, and they make sure there are no misconceptions about the name being officially recognized by any group.

George
2006-Feb-02, 04:34 PM
That is interesting. I tried to find the planetarium, but failed.

However, I did learn a few things along the google way.

Here (http://www.starnamer.net/faqs.html) is, at least, a star naming place that does qualify what you are buying.

This one (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4196/is_20000723/ai_n10634918) talks of some juicy issues in star naming, back in 2000.


Rocky Mosele, vice president of ISR, defends the practice of selling star names. "We provide a very unique gift that will be remembered for years and years," he said, adding that ISR is as official as any of the 26 different registries that astronomers use.

But Jim Craig, planetarium director at the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, N.C., said the registry exists only as long as the company stays in business. "It is as historical as publishing a list of groceries," he said. :) :clap:


With ISR claiming to have sold more than a million stars over the last 21 years, star-naming is a lucrative business.

Maybe BAUT shouldn't consider getting into this...


ISR filed suit in federal court against Oregon-based Name a Star, a family-owned company that has been issuing star certificates since 1978, for using the trademarked term "star registry." Other lawsuits are pending. I can't imagine, however, ISR would have much of a chance. I don't know the outcome, however.

The best deal, if one must have one, is probably buying Planetarium Deluxe (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00009ZL52/002-5119544-8492040?v=glance). You likely get cool software, plus you can register your named star.

[Edit: I went to the Planetarium software site. Looks like they have removed the star name offer.]

pumpkinpie
2006-Feb-02, 05:14 PM
That is interesting. I tried to find the planetarium, but failed.

I can't remember which one it was. I'm pretty sure it was in the US. If I ever come across it again, I'll post here.

George
2006-Feb-02, 05:19 PM
It wouldn't surprise me if the planetarium you suggest would not have dropped this if they were soured with a potential law suit, frivolous or otherwise (as may have been the case with the software folks).

Duane
2006-Feb-10, 08:07 AM
The sky contains 41253 square degrees. So there are 93,378 fields of view in the total sky. If we use 10 as an average number of stars per field of view, That's nearly 1 million stars.
Holy calculating digitalman! Looking at the star magnitude lists provided by George, and considering you can probably see up to about 10.5 or 11 on an excellent viewing night with your telescope (well ok REALLY excellent!), I have to say that this was a remarkably accurate estimate!

George
2006-Feb-10, 01:34 PM
Yes, that is cool.

What if you combine all the star naming companies? We might assume 2 million total have been "bought and paid for". If the average price is, say, $50/star, then $100 million in revenue has been generated. As the link stated, the selling feature is its gift quality. But, what if star naming were IAU sanctioned, plus the huge response I would assume would be created if the buyer had a choice of worthy projects to contribute to, and be a part of, saving the Hubble (or other cause). My guess sales would easily exceed 10 fold, even with the expressed statement that science would have a different naming system, and certain stars could be renamed (in case an astronomer discovers something unique).

Dave Mitsky
2006-Feb-11, 07:01 AM
From a dark site and with excellent conditions, an experienced observer can easily see 14th magnitude stars with an aperture of only 6 inches.

http://www.twcac.org/Tutorials/limiting_magnitude_table.htm

Pluto has been successfully observed by the professsional astronomer Brian Skiff with a 70mm Tele Vue Pronto.

http://www.pietro.org/Astro_C5/Articles/PlutoVisualLog.htm

http://www.pietro.org/Astro_C5/Articles/PlutoCurrent.htm

Dave Mitsky

peedeejones
2006-Feb-13, 02:06 AM
Here in Chicago one of the major talk radio stations has been advertising these star registry companies for years and I noticed that they currently have a Valentine's Day ad running.

I have often wondered how these companies get away with this and then I started thinking that I could theoretically do the same thing they are doing but I will name mountains after people and for a fee print their name in a book with a map showing the location of "their" mountain.

The difference is, I just know I would be sued immediately if I was the one running this sort of scam.

George
2006-Feb-13, 02:35 AM
This raises an interesting question - would anyone interested in real astronomy enough to buy a 6 inch aperature, or greater, telescope actually "buy" a star? Should be an interesting plot - y-axis is no. of people buying stars, x-axis is aperature. :)

Duane
2006-Feb-13, 02:55 AM
Here in Chicago one of the major talk radio stations has been advertising these star registry companies for years and I noticed that they currently have a Valentine's Day ad running.

I have often wondered how these companies get away with this and then I started thinking that I could theoretically do the same thing they are doing but I will name mountains after people and for a fee print their name in a book with a map showing the location of "their" mountain.

The difference is, I just know I would be sued immediately if I was the one running this sort of scam.

So use lunar or Martian mountains (or craters) instead. Basically the same deal as the star registry. Just make sure your company doesn't sell one of the mountains or craters twice.

Jens
2006-Feb-14, 05:01 AM
The difference is, I just know I would be sued immediately if I was the one running this sort of scam.

Well, I'd definitely sue you if you sold "my" mountain. I don't know if you know the one, Mt. Jens. It's on the border between Nepal and China, about 8,800 meters high.

Well, you might get sued, but I don't think you would lose. You can call mountains anything you want, after all.

As an interesting aside, the issue of "official names" sometimes comes up. For example, the country formerly known as Burma at some time declared that its "official English name" is Myanmar. Which is OK, but in fact it's not possible, because there are actually no "official names" in English. There are names used by the UN, or by the IOC, for example, but those are "official UN names," not "official English names." There is no body with the authority to decide words in English. Dictionaries give a general guide to usage, and have moral power, but they do not have any legal authority.

George
2006-Feb-14, 02:39 PM
There is no body with the authority to decide words in English. Dictionaries give a general guide to usage, and have moral power, but they do not have any legal authority.
Now ya tell me! I wish I would have known this back in English class. ;)

tony873004
2006-Feb-14, 05:16 PM
I've asked that question before and the general consensus seemed to be that Webster just grabbed control. If I spell color "colour" on a spelling test, I'd be marked wrong. But why? I imagine in the 1700 when US was still a British colony that we spelled it colour. At what point did somebody say it will now be spelled "color"? Who gave them the authority to do this? And if this never officially happened, but was just a result of the populace preferring that spelling then what right would a teacher have to mark a student off for that spelling. And why wouldn't "phone" become "fone" now that everyone texting their friends on their cell phones have popularized the spelling?

Although I'm not aware of an authorit for the English language, I've been told that the Spanish language does have an overseeing authority.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2006-Feb-14, 05:58 PM
I've asked that question before and the general consensus seemed to be that Webster just grabbed control. If I spell color "colour" on a spelling test, I'd be marked wrong. But why? I imagine in the 1700 when US was still a British colony that we spelled it colour. At what point did somebody say it will now be spelled "color"? Who gave them the authority to do this? And if this never officially happened, but was just a result of the populace preferring that spelling then what right would a teacher have to mark a student off for that spelling. And why wouldn't "phone" become "fone" now that everyone texting their friends on their cell phones have popularized the spelling?

Although I'm not aware of an authorit for the English language, I've been told that the Spanish language does have an overseeing authority.
Portuguese, Even More So ...

Around 1975, The Government of Portugal, Decreed their Spelling, Would Be Normalized, "ph" Became "f", "ck" Became "c", and Middle "y" Became "ll" ...

Spain, Is Only NOW, Doing The Same Thing; Didn't Mark Twain, Suggest Something Similar, for English?

Gillianren
2006-Feb-14, 07:37 PM
Heh. And no one's so diehard as the French, who are determined to avoid English's pervasive influence.

As far as the superfluous "u," I use it all the time, and I'm an American. However, if I were taking a spelling test (something I've obviously not done in a long time, given I'm 29), I'd spell it the way the teacher wanted me to. That's just sense. Though I did correct my fifth-grade teacher's spelling of "Phoenix," because he was wrong. (He meant Phoenix, Arizona.)

George
2006-Feb-14, 10:59 PM
...And why wouldn't "phone" become "fone" now that everyone texting their friends on their cell phones have popularized the spelling?
Shoot, look how they spell fonics - phonics!

"Phonics - A system of teaching reading and spelling that stresses basic symbol-sound relationships."

It's the blind leading the blind. :)

Jens
2006-Feb-15, 04:15 AM
Around 1975, The Government of Portugal, Decreed their Spelling, Would Be Normalized, "ph" Became "f", "ck" Became "c", and Middle "y" Became "ll" ...

Spain, Is Only NOW, Doing The Same Thing; Didn't Mark Twain, Suggest Something Similar, for English?

Though even there, it's a tricky issue. Because although one might naively assume that the Portuguese government "owns" Portuguese, in fact it doesn't, the biggest reason being that there is another, larger country where people also speak Portuguese. In that case, if I remember correctly, the Brazilian government also carried out a reform so the two are pretty much harmonized. But in the case of English, the Americans, at the initiative of Webster, I'm pretty sure, carried out some attempted reforms of spelling. Some of them caught on (like centre --> center, and colour --> color), but there were others that never caught on. In France, too, the French Academy does try to keep control over the language, but in that case as well, you have Senegal, Haiti, etc., and the French government has no sovereignty there.

So basically, everything's a mess. But it can't be any other way.

boppa
2006-Feb-15, 07:58 AM
If I spell color "colour" on a spelling test, I'd be marked wrong. But why?


well here in australia you would actually be marked correct
if you spelt it color- THEN you would be marked wrong

;-)

tony873004
2006-Feb-15, 09:44 AM
"spelt?" You guys are crazy! Australia, I've heard of it. Isn't that an island just off the coast of New Zealand?

Just kidding...

P. Edward Murray
2006-Feb-16, 01:25 AM
This really gets on my nerves.

Someone asked about a case in NYC. I don't know of anything recent but they were sued by I guess the D.A. in NYC a while back and they lost and had to pay a nice fine.

Interestingly enough, they advertise on WCBS 880 NYC which we can pick up here in metro Philadelphia. I've heard them on other stations as well.

A few years ago, some of us from sci.astro.amateur even caught them advertising on one of the PBS websites and e-mailed them.

After a while they discontinued mentioning I.S.R.

But.....

A few years ago I noticed that they were advertising on This past year I nmy local PBS affiliates website WHYY TV 12 FM 90.9. This past year they had donated a "Star" to WHYY's "Jubilee of Prizes" Mail fundraiser.

I've e-mailed WHYY and even e-mailed local Astronomy Clubs in the Metro Philadelphia area but have not gotten a response.

I'm not sure exactly what else we can do...

Oh, BTW, Sky & Telescope did write an editorial about them and The International Star Registry did threaten them....

To date, I have not heard anything to that extent.

Clearly they are fraudulent and so is that guy that sells fake Real Estate on the Moon and Mars.

One thing that we could do is to sue them as in a class action suit possibly..but I'm not a lawer and I don't have any money.

See my website and join my club....:)

http://mysite.verizon.net/ed1ward2/

Clear Skies!

Ed

noha
2006-Feb-16, 03:26 PM
I have been living in the U.S. all my life and i moved to London this year and when we were in the U.S. i didn’t think the differences would matter but they did. I mean they would ( some times ) understand what I am saying but it does make a difference and no offence but I don’t really like their accents :

In U.S. in London
Cell phone mobile
Pants trousers
Trash rubbish
Underwear pants
Apartment flat
Candy sweets
Eraser rubber
Vacuum cleaner hover
Sweatshirt jumper
Bathroom toilets
The most annoying ( I don’t know why this really ticks me off but )
Soccer Football

aurora
2006-Feb-16, 04:19 PM
I have been living in the U.S. all my life and i moved to London this year and when we were in the U.S. i didn’t think the differences would matter but they did. I mean they would ( some times ) understand what I am saying but it does make a difference and no offence but I don’t really like their accents :

In U.S. in London
Cell phone mobile
Pants trousers
Trash rubbish
Underwear pants
Apartment flat
Candy sweets
Eraser rubber
Vacuum cleaner hover
Sweatshirt jumper
Bathroom toilets
The most annoying ( I don’t know why this really ticks me off but )
Soccer Football

Trunk Boot
Hood Bonnet
Truck Lorrie
Dishwashing Liquid Washing Up liquid
Take out or Carry Out Take away

peteshimmon
2006-Feb-16, 04:56 PM
Lets call the whole thing off...

Swift
2006-Feb-20, 01:54 PM
Lets call the whole thing off...
You say tomato and I say tomato,
You say potato and I say potato,
Tomato, Tomato
Potato, Potato
Lets call the whole thing off.

You know, it doesn't work as well in print. :think:
:D

Gillianren
2006-Feb-20, 07:35 PM
I've got a tape of Monty Python, et al, called The Dead Parrots Society wherein the person has clearly never heard the song before, sings it with both versions of the words as they themselves pronounce it, and concludes, "I really don't see that they have a problem, here."

CJSF
2006-Feb-20, 09:33 PM
I've asked that question before and the general consensus seemed to be that Webster just grabbed control. If I spell color "colour" on a spelling test, I'd be marked wrong. But why? I imagine in the 1700 when US was still a British colony that we spelled it colour. At what point did somebody say it will now be spelled "color"? Who gave them the authority to do this? And if this never officially happened, but was just a result of the populace preferring that spelling then what right would a teacher have to mark a student off for that spelling. And why wouldn't "phone" become "fone" now that everyone texting their friends on their cell phones have popularized the spelling?

Although I'm not aware of an authorit for the English language, I've been told that the Spanish language does have an overseeing authority.

Actually, even into the 19th century, you could "get away with" color, colour, coler, collor, collour etc. There just weren't any real "spelling rules". Educated people would write the same word spelled many different ways IN THE SAME LETTER back then. Lewis and Clark, in their journal entries while traveling the American west, took quite a few "liberties" with spelling, some of them quite inventive, if I remember correctly.

CJSF

George
2006-Feb-20, 09:57 PM
Actually, even into the 19th century, you could "get away with" color, colour, coler, collor, collour etc.
What would English be without a little chromological character? ;)

badprof
2006-Feb-23, 03:13 PM
"spelt?" You guys are crazy! Australia, I've heard of it. Isn't that an island just off the coast of New Zealand?

Just kidding...

Actually it is a small island just to the north of Tasmainia! :shifty:

peteshimmon
2006-Mar-08, 07:02 PM
One last point on the subject. I wonder if
people have the right to see the long list of
allocated star names? The firms have been
stating for years the lists will be
deposited in main libraries.

tony873004
2006-Mar-08, 10:08 PM
One last point on the subject. I wonder if
people have the right to see the long list of
allocated star names? The firms have been
stating for years the lists will be
deposited in main libraries.
Yes, for $30 you can buy the book from them. Why would they pass up a chance to make and extra 30 bucks? It's actually a single volume of several books. I guess all the volumes would cost you a couple hundred dollars.

peteshimmon
2006-Mar-09, 06:25 PM
Well if something has been published then it
should be in the national library though I
think a CDrom is better. Not that this makes
the names official. But the hundreds of
thousands who have parted with money over the
years perhaps think some momentum has been
raised to cause some recognition.

George
2006-Mar-10, 02:33 AM
Has anyone commented on the header add now advertising above?

It states, "Int'l Star Registry (tm). We have named over 1,000,000 stars. Don't be fooled by imposters"
Ug!!!! :(

Gillianren
2006-Mar-10, 06:46 AM
Has anyone commented on the header add now advertising above?

It states, "Int'l Star Registry (tm). We have named over 1,000,000 stars. Don't be fooled by imposters"
Ug!!!! :(

Well, you know, we aren't fooled by impostors, which is why we aren't laying out the cash to register stars, right?

tony873004
2006-Mar-10, 10:40 AM
The ads must have changed. I don't see Int' Star Registry. Instead I see two other starnaming companies charging only $20 each:

stardeed and starnamer

This isn't an endorsement by BA. Google chooses the ads. That's how Google Ads work. We start talking about it and Google figures to send us ads relavant to our discussion.

George
2006-Mar-10, 02:05 PM
I understand. Yet it offers a flare of irony which adds character to the discussion. :)

[Added: There are three up there, now. Only $19.99 per star at stardeed. Ug.]

JohnW
2006-Mar-10, 04:38 PM
I understand. Yet it offers a flare of irony which adds character to the discussion. :)

[Added: There are three up there, now. Only $19.99 per star at stardeed. Ug.]
Yep, still there. Sigh.

As I suggested a couple of years ago (on this forum, I think, but it may have been elsewhere), if it's that important to have a star named after your dad/daughter/goldfish/whatever, why not just persuade them to change their name to Zubenelgenubi?

pghnative
2006-Mar-10, 11:24 PM
You can't be Sirius

NEOWatcher
2006-Mar-13, 01:08 PM
You can't be Sirius
Shirly he can. He's just presenting some Altair-nets.

George
2006-Mar-13, 02:06 PM
Shirly he can. He's just presenting some Altair-nets.
Wow, that was a killo post!

NEOWatcher
2006-Mar-13, 04:19 PM
Wow, that was a killo post!
Nope, this was 999.
Kilopost is here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=701838#post701838):dance:
This is now 1001 and counting.

Unregistered
2006-Oct-21, 11:16 AM
what is the matter with u?what difference does it make wether the star is actually recognised by the official organizations to be yours or not?it's a really nice gesture someone does for you.if you don't want the fancy certificates and stuff that you actually pay for just don't buy it.make your own.but it really doesn't make any difference if it's officially registered or not.not to anyone.

Fortis
2006-Oct-21, 09:40 PM
what is the matter with u?what difference does it make wether the star is actually recognised by the official organizations to be yours or not?it's a really nice gesture someone does for you.if you don't want the fancy certificates and stuff that you actually pay for just don't buy it.make your own.but it really doesn't make any difference if it's officially registered or not.not to anyone.
As one of the un-registered, we appreciate your insight into registration status. ;) :)

In reality, a lot of people believe that these things have some sort of official status. In the UK we have had newspapers (typically tabloids) that have had stars "named" after the tragic victims of horrendous crimes. To my mind, someone is being exploited here.

Kristophe
2006-Oct-22, 06:18 PM
In reality, a lot of people believe that these things have some sort of official status. In the UK we have had newspapers (typically tabloids) that have had stars "named" after the tragic victims of horrendous crimes. To my mind, someone is being exploited here.

Yeah. And ften times it's distraught people, or people who are trying to perform some sort of grand gesture who haven't been told that the only thing they've actually purchased is a piece of paper and a little bit of ink in a book no one will ever see. People aren't getting what they think they're paying for, and no one on the receiving end of the money is piping up to fill them in on the details.

It's just like people who go have psychic or astrological readings. You can say "Oh, it's all in good fun," but not everyone is in on it. They don't put up big signs saying "This is fake. Don't heed our advice."

So, what ends up happening is someone names a star after someone for their birthday, or they name a star after their friends just departed daughter, and those people go to a nearby observatory, or even to an amature star party and ask to see their star, or their daughter's star. They're not in on it. The observatory coordinator, or the Joes at the star party have never heard of the "Cynthia" star. What do you tell these people? That they've been scammed? That they bought a piece of cardboard? That something they thought would be recognized the world over, and possibly for thousands of years to come, will never be heard of by anyone outside some dusty room in offices of the "International Star Registry"?

It's not all in good fun when the only people having fun are those who collect the money.

peteshimmon
2006-Oct-22, 10:16 PM
Way of the World sadly. More we complain the
more we get labled killjoys. I used to like
looking at the horoscopes in the papers years
ago thinking they earned some poor soul a crust
to eat. Now they have premium phone lines and
I know they coin it. Find some lighthearted
ways to counter it all!

Fortis
2006-Oct-22, 10:47 PM
Way of the World sadly. More we complain the
more we get labled killjoys. I used to like
looking at the horoscopes in the papers years
ago thinking they earned some poor soul a crust
to eat. Now they have premium phone lines and
I know they coin it. Find some lighthearted
ways to counter it all!
Without going too far off topic (I hope) it is clearly all very cynical on the part of the newspapers. So-called "serious newspapers" publish horoscopes to boost sales but clearly do not give them any credence. If they did think that there was something to them, then why do they never give an astrological analysis of, say, the North Korean nuclear issue? Ho-hum... :(

thestarmonk
2006-Oct-25, 12:49 PM
things get real interesting when we start to talk about pluto and whether it's a planet or not. UT (http://www.universetoday.com), BA (http://www.badastronomy.com/), and Space.com (http://www.space.com/astronomy/)all have some good pages on this. I love to follow the discussion.

squid
2006-Oct-26, 11:38 PM
Media is corrupting our world, one step at a time...

Fortis
2006-Nov-28, 01:44 AM
From www.mystar.se

Disclaimer

Global Star Registry makes no legal claim to officially assigning names to stars in the Universe. Only the International Astronomical Union has the authority to assign names to stars and they only recognize stars by assigning them numbers. Global Star Registry does however, recognizes and acknowledges the names it assigns to stars. The name will be filed in a Registry Vault and recorded in a book, which is then registered in the copyright office of the United States of America.

By purchasing our Star kit you understand and accept that naming a star is only a novelty gift, and that no legal title is conferred or implied. We have no control over any other entity operating a similar service or the business of any scientific, governmental or other body. We cannot be held responsible or have any liability whatsoever if a star in our archives is referred to by another name or number or by any reference whatsoever in another register, catalogue, listing or other star reference in whatever form or size.
A lot, in fact I would guess most, of the customers of these various registrys are probably unaware that what they are buying is a novelty certificate with no validity beyond the company that they bought it from. I'm sure that people naming stars after dead loved ones don't believe that they are purchasing a novelty.

George
2006-Nov-28, 03:08 PM
From www.mystar.se (http://www.mystar.se)
Here (http://www.globalstarregistry.org/) is the English version.

One must dig a little to get to the diclaimer you've quoted. The principal pages imply ownership as is commonly understood.

The home page is brief in information but does place emphasis on ownership.


For just $85 USD you get a Star Kit from MYSTAR - Global Star Registry. The kit contains a signed certificate confirming the name and astronomical coordinates of your star. You also get a sky map showing where your star, which is marked, is located. The kit also contains a pendant engraved with the star's constellation and its exact coordinates! You can choose between getting the pendant as a necklace or a keyring.
http://www.globalstarregistry.org/images/trans.gif
Immortalise your own name or someone else's among the stars! A brilliant, unique gift that can't fail to please!


Going to the next likely web page....


[B]Your Star Certificate:
This signed and sealed Certificate contains the given name and astronomical coordinates of your star. 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.


There is no hint that "your star" will be the same as someone else's from another registry. The disclaimer is buried in the section we normally call the "fine print".

I personally don't have a problem with their program and this particular one looks rather impressive and can be effective as a charm. [In fact, I once thought we [BAUT] should do one to raise money for astronomy.] Our gripe is that it places unfair emphasis on ownership, no doubt improving sales. It is the disingenous sales approach that is polemic on all the registrys I've seen.

Chuck
2007-Mar-04, 03:22 PM
Buy a Parallel Universe (http://www.youruniverse.co.uk/index.html)

Authority for Universe Ownership allows you to purchase deeds to an entire parallel universe, customized to your specifications!

foreignkid
2007-Mar-04, 06:05 PM
Buy a Parallel Universe (http://www.youruniverse.co.uk/index.html)

Authority for Universe Ownership allows you to purchase deeds to an entire parallel universe, customized to your specifications!

Wow. I am amazed...

(In a bad way)

Tobin Dax
2007-Mar-04, 07:43 PM
I don't know, that seems to me to be a purely (and obviously) novelty gift. No "registering the LoC" crap, just a nice joke.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-10, 02:31 AM
consider it a learning experience for the alleged victims.

No, it isn't. They don't usually learn about it. It's a con.

Fortis
2007-Apr-10, 08:49 AM
they make a registry. and then another. and so on. they tell you everything in the ad... if you listen. are you trying to fix the planet? make it in your own image? you can read about that type of people in the news, history, etc. they are basically the ones that will cause all the havoc, death, and destruction as they try to get everyone to comply with their concept. consider it a learning experience for the alleged victims.
Hmmm. Are you familiar with the term "hyperbole"? ;)

Jim
2007-Apr-10, 12:55 PM
Folks, I deleted the posts from "unregistered." Somehow he/she/it got around the software and posted w/o registering. Let's not encourage this, okay? Thanks.

We now return you to your regular thread, already in progress.

ETA: Sheesh, there were two of them!

skygeex
2007-Aug-17, 10:36 PM
OK, I'll add to this now. Seems like the best thread to do it in, instead of starting a new one.

My daughter's boyfriend bought her a "Shining Star" as a gift. This is a teddy bear with a certificate of sorts attached to it that allows the recipient to go online at the International Star Registry web site to "name" a star. I'm not going to launch into my typical tirade about this scam, but as a journal-published amateur astronomer and celestial cartographer with some real science under my belt, I am obviously not a proponent of this line of "business".

At any rate, my daughter (who is 15) thought it was a cute idea, in spite of my rants against it, and went ahead and "registered" a star with a name of her choice. The "data" came back on the star she received. And I did a little checking.

The coordinates provided for the star she had just "named" are:

17 55 41.93 +52 28 46.54

First off, I look at those coordinates and, right off the bat, I know I'm heading into The Bogus Zone. Sexagesimal celestial coordinates don't normally come in this form. The decimal precision is non-typical. Since Right Ascension is expressed in hours (24 hours through a full sweep of longitude) instead of the way Declination is expressed (in degrees, with 90 degrees from the celestial equator to the each of the poles), the decimal precision necessary to express an exact position at the same resolution is different for RA than in Dec. So generally, the coordinates for a star look like this:

17 55 41.93 +52 28 46.5

The precision in RA needs to be greater than in Dec. We all know that. So that raises a flag for me right there. These guys don't even know enough about what their schilling to get the data in the proper format.

And of course, the next thing I do is run these coordinates through the VizieR service out of the CDS in Strasbourg. I use this service almost daily in my work. It's the best and fastest way to match a set of coordinates to an object in any of over 6000 published astronomical catalogs, including some very deep stellar astrometric catalogs like the Hubble Guide Star Catalog, the USNO catalogs taken from the POSS plates, the 2MASS and UCAC2 catalogs...all highly precise, and reaching deep into the faint magnutudes.

So, anyway...guess what pops out at those coordinates? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Oh, there's this amazingly faint 20th magnitude star about 3.5 arc seconds away, but are they really handing out stars THAT faint? And anything greater than a couple of arcsecs is not an inconsequential error when talking stars. These coordinates are bogus. If they are indeed expressed in equinox J2000.0 reference, they're pointing to open space.

Jeez, what a sham. What a joke. But yet they've managed to sucker over 1 million lemmings into handing over the bucks for it.

01101001
2007-Aug-17, 10:54 PM
Jeez, what a sham. What a joke.

Good tale, but it sure took the romance out of the teen crush.

Hey, send the boy to me. I'll sell him some numbers that actually point to a star for -- special deal for you only -- half the price!

RGClark
2007-Sep-08, 05:03 PM
We had a discussion on sci.astro about the possibility of raising funds for astronomy by having the IAU *officially* assign names to stars:


Newsgroups: sci.astro, sci.astro.amateur, sci.physics
From: "Robert Clark" <rgregorycl...@yahoo.com>
Date: 5 Mar 2005 10:26:25 -0800
Local: Sat, Mar 5 2005 2:26 pm
Subject: Could the IAU *officially* assign star names for a fee?

This thread discussed the companies that claim to name a star for a
fee:

From: "Brian Miller" <mille...@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 17:26:40 GMT
Local: Tues, Apr 13 2004 10:26 am
Subject: Naming a Star companies; NOT officially recognized
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/sci.astro.amateur/browse_frm/thread/6fc6631bbb1cf7b8

These companies and the names they assign have no official standing:

http://www.iau.org/IAU/FAQ/starnames.html

On this page the IAU mentions they use a numbering system for stars
because it makes cataloging and finding them easier. But there are
stars that do have names such as Barnard's star.
If names *were* officially assigned to very many stars that really
would not impact astronomers research. They could still use their
numerical naming conventions in their research.
So could the IAU say offer to officially assign the name of a star in
perpetuity for say a $1000 fee? At least one of these star naming
companies claims to have had 1 million customers. At $1,000 each that
could amount to $1 billion. I'm thinking about this going strictly into
astronomy: building new telescopes, funding new space missions etc.
One problem might be suppose a couple of hundred years hence we visit
these systems. You might want to assign the name of the star to an
explorer who first visits it. Or who colonizes a planet in the system.
A more current problem is that you would have cases where someone
would want to name a star "Adolf Hitler". It would be easy to filter
out these requests. But some would not be so easy for an international
union. Would "Karl Marx" be acceptable? Would the "Josef Stalin"? There
are many other such examples.
Note also that world-wide this could conceivable be a yearly income on
this level. For a billion dollars yearly going stricly into
astronomical research I think many astronomers would accept the idea of
their favorite stars being assigned individual names.


Bob Clark

jayvinton
2008-Jan-26, 01:06 AM
You seem to be up in arms about very little. They air out here in Hawaii also. Seems that if anyone expect it to be anything more than a novelty for their loved one, they are a bit misguided.

If they have language that states that it is not recognized, and the naming is for novelty gift purposes, they are covered and the onus is on those that buy this silly "gift" thinking it is anything more.

Me thinks you are up in arms because it offends you personally, that is not enough to cause a case against them.

Personally, I haven't noticed Betelguese having changed to Fred lately. ;-)

aurora
2008-Jan-26, 06:21 PM
You seem to be up in arms about very little. They air out here in Hawaii also. Seems that if anyone expect it to be anything more than a novelty for their loved one, they are a bit misguided.


See my message in this very same old thread, from a year or two ago. Tell me how you would deal with someone who came to your observatory to see a star that they had purchased for a recently-dead loved one. (which was just one of the examples I listed that have actually happened to me, more than once).



If they have language that states that it is not recognized, and the naming is for novelty gift purposes, they are covered and the onus is on those that buy this silly "gift" thinking it is anything more.


That is sort of the point. They do NOT have that language. They go out of their way to imply that it is completely official and will be recognized as the real name.

In fact, one of the companies was taken to court in one US state on that very issue. As I recall, the state won that case, but the company still does the same shyster stuff in other states. I can't speak to honesty in advertising laws in other countries.

Mr Q
2008-Feb-18, 07:14 PM
To save me a lot of reply reading (went through several pages), does anyone know if the star(s) "registered" can actually be seen? Are they currently officially named stars (visible with the naked eye) or stars that need optical aid to be detected? A very curious Mr Q

aurora
2008-Feb-18, 09:02 PM
To save me a lot of reply reading (went through several pages), does anyone know if the star(s) "registered" can actually be seen? Are they currently officially named stars (visible with the naked eye) or stars that need optical aid to be detected? A very curious Mr Q

They are not naked eye stars. They would have used those long ago.

Supposedly they would be stars that are listed in calalogs and would have an official designation.

Often, though, they are not real stars at all, and when an astronomer tries to help the poor sap who bought the star, they discover that there is nothing brighter than magnitude 14 at the given location.

I suppose they just randonly select some coordinates.

Gillianren
2008-Feb-18, 10:12 PM
I know that, on at least one occasion, someone got sold a splotch on a starmap.

Jim
2008-Feb-19, 11:27 PM
Well, it must be serious business 'cause it made the funnies.

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/pr/2008/pr080218.gif

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/pr/2008/pr080219.gif

jayvinton
2008-Feb-22, 12:34 AM
Well I am sure that it is uncomfortable having to deal with someone looking for "their" star, but in reality, life goes on, and, "unfortunately, You got duped" comes to mind as an honest answer for them.

There are people in the world that will buy anything and usually do. But I don't see it as a life altering thing for you or anybody. You and I and the other folks here are probably smart enough to know that it is bogus. You can't be the informational police for those that don't want to be policed.

I have no quarrel with you, but like everything else on BAUT, sometimes common sense takes a back seat to the art of sheer argument. Continue to champion your cause on this, I for one am out.

aurora
2008-Feb-22, 11:37 PM
Well I am sure that it is uncomfortable having to deal with someone looking for "their" star, but in reality, life goes on, and, "unfortunately, You got duped" comes to mind as an honest answer for them.


Well, if you wouldn't mind telling the person "you got duped" when they thought they had done something wonderful to remember a loved family member who had just died, then you are thicker skinned than I am.

We aren't going to end this practice, but we can certainly report it to the authorities when the purveyors clearly break the law on truth in advertising.

LordVido
2008-Feb-23, 06:09 AM
and while your at it, buy some land on the moon too......

http://www.lunarlandowner.com/

They claim to actually have a legal right to sell land on the moon:
http://www.lunarlandowner.com/what_is_this_about.htm

Think this will actually hold water if we ever actually start to colonize the moon?

As If.....

Mr Q
2008-Feb-23, 06:49 PM
Aurora - I thought you could at least see the "star" in a scope but just using coordinates? That is so sad. My friend's children got him a star (he's an astronomer and they thought it would be a nice birthday present) and it sounded like one of the hardest things in his life he ever had to tell someone (me) about the "star". He was so disapointed, I could'nt ask him anything about it (if it was visible,etc).

Speaking of named objects "out there", I have the honor (among a dozen or so first names) of having a crater on the Moon with my first (nick name) "Billy" and it's easily visible in any modest scope. The best thing about it is that I didn't spend a cent! I feel so bad for all those people out there who got duped with the star registry. I wonder how many out there bought land on the Moon or Mars? Thanks for the reply, Mr Q:silenced:

Gillianren
2008-Feb-23, 08:00 PM
You know, I think it would actually be easier to tell people they got conned if they spent more money. It's not enough to really make people angry at the price it is. It just kind of makes them sad. If it cost $250 or $500, that might be enough to really start angering people, but I think it would also make a lot less for the companies, since fewer people would be able to afford them. I'm not even sure if there is a bottom amount for how much each individual has to be defrauded for it to legally count. I'm also not sure if anyone (other than that greatest of lawyers, Jack McCoy!) could really make a legal case for fraud on this, anyway.

Jim
2008-Feb-24, 03:55 PM
Well, it must be serious business 'cause it made the funnies.

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/pr/2008/pr080218.gif

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/pr/2008/pr080219.gif

Just to complete the series...

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/pr/2008/pr080220.gif

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/pr/2008/pr080221.gif

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/pr/2008/pr080222.gif

As long as Star Registry (or any similar enterprise) is upfront about explaining that they aren't really naming a star or selling you property on the moon or Mars, that all you are buying is a fancy certificate (which you could make on your PC, but it's not "the same"), I have no problem with them making a buck or six.

However, when that enterprise fails to be upfront about this, or - worse - pretends that what thay are doing has any sort of scientific or legal standing, then I do have a problem. They are scamming the gullible.

And if that is way worse than telling that gullible person that Polaris hasn't been renamed to honor late Gramma Ruth. Telling them is upsetting, but it doesn't take their money.

saberscorpx
2008-Feb-25, 03:04 AM
I used to buy novelty stars like candy as 'dozen-roses-alternative' gifts.
(This was before any contribution-worthy Adopt-A-Star programs
existed).
The International Star Registry even offered me their Cluster Club Visa.

BTW, I'm still stuck with a star in Ursa Minor's bowl from a breakup before the certificate arrived.
A shame, being as it's in such prime celestial real estate.
Years later, I'm still looking for another qualifying recipient hottie with the initials 'TLS'.
Until then, the 11th magnitude sun just goes by 'Tough Luck, Saber'.


Stephen Saber
http://www.astronomyblogs.com/member/saberscorpx

Michealbold
2017-Jul-12, 12:23 PM
I have been checking various websites for a while now and I stumbled upon this one Name a Star (https://starregistration.net) and I was wondering is this legit or not? It looks legit to me and they are using a Star register which as they say is one of the largest amongst the world. So how is it, is this good enought for me to be naming a star? Might order one to check myself how they do their service because besides others this one looks more than legit than others.

Hornblower
2017-Jul-13, 10:11 PM
I have been checking various websites for a while now and I stumbled upon this one Name a Star (https://starregistration.net) and I was wondering is this legit or not? It looks legit to me and they are using a Star register which as they say is one of the largest amongst the world. So how is it, is this good enought for me to be naming a star? Might order one to check myself how they do their service because besides others this one looks more than legit than others.

That depends on what you mean by legitimate. It appears to me that nothing has changed in the 9 years since the last post before yours in this thread. This registration website works with International Star Registry, which if I am not mistaken is a commercial firm that uses its own proprietary star catalogue which is not generally used by professional research astronomers.

At the bottom of the home page they offer stars that are supposedly visible from any place on earth. To be true that would have to include the poles, which would limit you to stars in a narrow strip along the celestial equator, only a tiny fraction of the sky, and bright enough to see through the atmosphere just above the horizon. That raises a red flag as far as I am concerned. If you only wish to specify one that is visible at your location, I would recommend asking them to give precise coordinates and specify the epoch (J2000, etc.). If they have registered over 50,000 stars they probably have used up the bright ones, so you would need a telescope to see and identify whatever is left. I would insist on accurate coordinates and a good finder chart, along with a guarantee of a full refund if you are not satisfied.

Jens
2017-Jul-13, 10:32 PM
I'm sort of repeating, but I think it's important to be clear about what you mean by legitimate? Legitimate in what sense?

R.A.F.
2017-Jul-13, 11:01 PM
... I was wondering is this legit or not?

I have a "plot", too, given to me by my Son as a joke.


In other words, you can't fly to the Moon and set up a homestead, as you only "own" the certificate.


DOH!....

....obviously I thought this was about the Moon Plot "scam"....so take out all references to the Moon and replace with "star" and it almost works. :)

R.A.F.
2017-Jul-13, 11:10 PM
It's right there in the title...star...

Solfe
2017-Jul-13, 11:16 PM
I will license star names to would-be parents. If you want to name your child after any of my stars, say "Acrab" or "Segin" you just have to send me 1500 of whatever your earthy currency is. As an added bonus, I will allow you to append your child name with one of the following symbols: ℠, ®, ™, or © for an addition 150 of whatever earthy currency you happen to have lying around.

:)

Chuck
2017-Jul-14, 07:25 AM
I'll name anything for $10.00. Just send me $10.00, tell me what you want me to name, and tell me what you want its name to be.

schlaugh
2017-Jul-14, 02:22 PM
I'll name anything for $10.00. Just send me $10.00, tell me what you want me to name, and tell me what you want its name to be.
I'll do it for $9.

R.A.F.
2017-Jul-14, 02:47 PM
I'll do it for $9.

I'll do it for $2.


What?...I thought this was a bidding war. :)

Hornblower
2017-Jul-15, 12:18 PM
I see we have a flurry of posts lampooning this star-naming business. To get serious about questioning the legitimacy of it, let's look at a typical star in Stellarium. I clicked on Fomalhaut and got the following:

Fomalhaut, a name handed down from antiquity and subject to some linguistic permutations.
Alpha PsA, from Bayer's catalogue.
24 PsA, from Flamsteed's catalogue.
HIP 113368, from the recently created Hipparcos catalogue.
HD 216956, from Henry Draper's catalogue.

To that list we can hypothetically add:
John Doe's star, entered by something like International Star Registry into their proprietary catalogue for a fee paid by John Doe or by someone on behalf of him. Is this commercial product any more or less "legitimate" than the aforementioned astronomical documents? I would say that is in the eyes of the beholder. If John Doe and/or whoever acted on his behalf are happy with the service, there should be no issue technically. If ISR made a claim to which they cannot live up, they may be afoul of truth in advertising laws, but sellers of gimmicks like this usually have their lawyers vet their claims to stay out of trouble.

If a guest at a star party asked me for a look at a star from such a registry, I would have to ask them if the company had given them accurate coordinates and/or a good finder chart. I would explain that to the best of my knowledge, astronomers do not use that registry for locating and identifying stars.

R.A.F.
2017-Jul-15, 01:51 PM
The main point for me, is illustrated in the OP post...bolding mine...




The major local radio station here (WHAS840 in Louisville, Kentucky) has been airing commercials for the International Star Registry which offers to "name a star" for you. For a price, of course.


If you charge money to give an irrelevant "name" to a star, well, that's a scam, plain and simple.

grapes
2017-Jul-16, 02:04 AM
I'll do it for $2.


What?...I thought this was a bidding war. :)
I'll do it for $20, we're going to be the Starbucks of ... star bucks. O that's brilliant

Jens
2017-Jul-16, 03:13 AM
If you charge money to give an irrelevant "name" to a star, well, that's a scam, plain and simple.

I don't agree. As long as the person understands that all they are getting is a pretty certificate and that they are not getting an enforceable claim to a star, then it might even be a good way to get children interested in astronomy.

Chuck
2017-Jul-17, 06:38 AM
I don't think they're claiming to do anything they can't really do. They're just not mentioning that anyone can do it. I can give any star any name that I like and write it in a book. I don't need to pay someone else to do it. I guess they count on most people not realizing this and thinking that the International Star Registry must have some kind of needed authority to do so.

R.A.F.
2017-Jul-17, 12:54 PM
So all of these star naming business...

Star registration dot com...star namer dot net...star name registry dot org...online star register dot org...star registry dot com...star namer dot net...

...serve an actual purpose besides making money?


....and It's no secret how to get youngsters interested in space/astronomy/science...and it's certainly not by lying to them about imaginary ownership of something..

Just take them outside, and show them the sky...show them points of interest...show them the rings of Saturn.

Giving money to this organization is not how I would go about introducing science/space to a child... I would buy a child a "starter" telescope.

They'd certainly get more use out of it than they would a meaningless piece of paper.

Just sayin'

Eclogite
2017-Aug-30, 10:41 PM
This thread illustrates rather precisely why geologists have jealous feelings in regard to astronomers. It seems there are several companies selling, rather disreputably, star names, but you try to set up a company that will name sand grains, even if they are on quite a well known beach and nothing! Absolutely nothing! Now is that fair?

Hornblower
2017-Aug-31, 12:20 AM
This thread illustrates rather precisely why geologists have jealous feelings in regard to astronomers. It seems there are several companies selling, rather disreputably, star names, but you try to set up a company that will name sand grains, even if they are on quite a well known beach and nothing! Absolutely nothing! Now is that fair?

I hope you posted this in jest. A star, even a very faint one, can be found and positively identified if the customer has accurate coordinates or a good finder chart, along with a suitable telescope. A grain of sand will not remain in place on a beach and has no practical identifying marks.

Chuck
2017-Aug-31, 01:36 AM
Geologists could name years for money. There are billions of them.

schlaugh
2017-Aug-31, 12:32 PM
Geologists could name years for money. There are billions of them.

I expect the Year of the Sniveling Goat would fetch more than the Year of the Flatulent Dog.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Eclogite
2017-Aug-31, 03:39 PM
I hope you posted this in jest. A star, even a very faint one, can be found and positively identified if the customer has accurate coordinates or a good finder chart, along with a suitable telescope. A grain of sand will not remain in place on a beach and has no practical identifying marks.No practical identifying marks apart from mineral composition, isotope ratios, roundness, angularity, surface texture and internal structure for starters. Pinning down the location is a bit tricky, so we might need to go for sand grains in a rock rather than a beach. (And yes, it was in jest.)


Geologists could name years for money. There are billions of them.I like it. Send me your bank details and I'll cut you in for 10%.

Chuck
2017-Sep-01, 02:29 AM
Wavelengths of light could also be given names. And units of mass, length, area, and volume that don't already have names. And angles. And speeds. And durations of time.

cosmoita
2018-Dec-05, 03:02 PM
It's pretty obvious it's a symbolic present. I don't understand why the people complain about it...