Unveiling the Legitimacy of Naming Stars: A Scientific Exploration

Is Name a Star Legit? Separating fact from fiction

When it comes to naming stars, many people are intrigued by the idea of immortalizing their loved ones or capturing a special moment in the vastness of the night sky. Star naming companies have grown in popularity in recent years, promising a unique and personalized gift. However, amidst the allure and romance surrounding these services, it is crucial to examine the legitimacy and scientific basis behind naming a star. In this article, we will delve into the subject and separate fact from fiction by exploring the scientific and legal aspects of star naming.

The science of star naming

Stars, those luminous celestial bodies that grace our night sky, have been named and catalogued by astronomers for centuries. The scientific community follows a systematic approach to naming stars based on their positions, properties, and other characteristics. The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the internationally recognized authority for assigning astronomical names, has established a set of guidelines and nomenclature rules to ensure consistency and accuracy in this area.
Contrary to popular belief, the names assigned to stars by companies offering “name a star” services are not officially recognized by the scientific community or the IAU. These commercial companies often provide customers with certificates or symbolic representations of star names, but it is important to understand that these names have no scientific or legal validity. The names assigned by such services are typically not used or recognized by astronomers in their research, and they do not appear in any professional astronomical databases.

The legal implications

While the naming of a star by commercial services may be a sentimental and symbolic gesture, it is important to recognize that it does not confer any legal ownership or rights over the celestial body. The IAU, as the authority responsible for astronomical nomenclature, does not endorse or recognize the names assigned by these companies. Stars are not considered private property that can be named or claimed by individuals.
It is also worth noting that celestial bodies, including stars, are subject to international space law, which prohibits any person or entity from appropriating or claiming ownership of space objects. Thus, the act of naming a star by a commercial service does not carry any legal weight or confer any rights in the eyes of the law.

Understanding Commercial Nature

Companies that offer star naming services operate primarily as commercial enterprises. They capitalize on the emotional appeal of naming a star and provide customers with a range of personalized products, such as certificates, star maps, and commemorative items. These offerings are often marketed as unique gifts for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, or memorials.

It is important to approach these services with a critical attitude, recognizing that the primary value lies in the sentimental and symbolic aspect rather than any scientific or legal validity. Consumers should carefully evaluate the offerings and understand that they are essentially purchasing a symbolic gesture rather than a scientifically recognized name for a star.

Alternative Ways to Honor Loved Ones

While naming a star may have a certain appeal, there are alternative ways to honor and remember loved ones that have greater meaning and impact. Here are some suggestions:

1. Establish a memorial fund or scholarship in the name of the person you wish to honor. This allows for a lasting contribution to a cause or field of study that aligns with their values or interests.

2. Plant a tree or create a garden in memory of your loved one. This can serve as a living tribute and a source of comfort and beauty.

3. Donate to a charity or non-profit organization that was important to the person you wish to honor. This can make a positive difference in the lives of others and continue their legacy.

Remember, the most meaningful tributes often involve actions that have a tangible impact on the world around us, rather than symbolic gestures in the vastness of the cosmos.


While the idea of naming a star may have a certain romantic appeal, it is important to separate fact from fiction. Naming a star through commercial services has no scientific or legal validity. The names assigned by these companies are not recognized by the scientific community or the International Astronomical Union. Instead, they are symbolic gestures of sentimental value. When it comes to honoring loved ones, exploring alternative avenues with tangible impact often proves more meaningful. So while naming a star may be a beautiful idea, it is important to approach it with a clear understanding of its limitations and to explore other avenues of commemoration.


Is Name a Star legit?

It’s important to note that naming a star through commercial star-naming companies does not hold any scientific or legal weight. While these companies may provide a certificate and registry entry for the named star, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the internationally recognized authority for assigning names to celestial objects, does not recognize these commercial names. So, from a scientific and official standpoint, naming a star through these companies is not considered legitimate.

What is the International Astronomical Union (IAU)?

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the official organization responsible for assigning names to celestial objects, including stars, planets, and other astronomical bodies. It consists of professional astronomers from around the world who work together to establish scientific standards and nomenclature for celestial objects. Their authority is widely recognized in the scientific community.

Can I really buy and name a star?

Yes, you can buy and name a star through various commercial star-naming companies. These companies offer packages that include a certificate and registry entry for the named star. However, it’s important to understand that these names are not recognized by the scientific community or the International Astronomical Union (IAU). They hold symbolic value and are primarily intended as novelty gifts or sentimental gestures.

What can I do if I want to give someone a star as a gift?

If you want to give someone a star as a gift, you can still purchase a star-naming package from one of the commercial star-naming companies. While the named star won’t have any scientific or official recognition, it can still be a thoughtful and symbolic gesture. Alternatively, you could consider other astronomy-related gifts, such as a telescope, astronomy books, or a visit to an observatory, which can provide more tangible and educational experiences.

Are there any legitimate ways to name a celestial object?

Yes, there are legitimate ways to name celestial objects, but they involve a formal scientific process and are typically reserved for professional astronomers and researchers. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) oversees the naming of celestial objects based on their guidelines and conventions. New discoveries or significant astronomical objects may be named through this official process, but it is not something that can be done by individuals through commercial services.