Free “Star Naming” is ending

Many years ago, I noted that you could name a star and get the name recorded in the Library of Congress for free — with just a tweet. This is possible because every single tweet is currently being recorded in the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress has announced starting January 1, 2018, it will only record tweets on a selective basis.

You still have a few days left. Name any star. Create and print your own certificate.

Most importantly, go outside, look up, and enjoy the night sky.

Update. I wrote on Facebook in response to a friend who noted this could be “the perfect anniversary gift”:

You’re not limited to naming just one star. In researching this post, I found a bunch of star registries. Most of them don’t claim to get them “registered” with the Library of Congress, just recorded in their “registry.” I have a Google Sheets spreadsheet handy… ;-)

For that matter, you’re not limited to naming just stars. Name a galaxy. There’s one 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda that you could (re)name. Then, in a dark spot on a romantic summer evening, you could find 200-400 billion stars honoring your love — no telescope or binoculars needed. :-)

Update 2. If you’re lost in the night sky, I have a book recommendation for you.

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2 responses to “Free “Star Naming” is ending”

  1. shelby Avatar

    two small, probably stupid questions: 1) how do you annotate exactly which target star you want to name? and 2) how do you know that someone else hasn’t named *that* star after the love of their life?

  2. Brent Logan Avatar

    Haha! You’re now starting to understand star naming. On to your questions:

    1. Any star that you can see, in fact, any star that you can find on a star chart already has a scientific designation, if not an informal name. You’re not naming a star, you’re renaming it. For ease, you could buy a planisphere and circle “your” star.
    2. If you’re going to limit yourself to stars visible without binoculars or a telescope, you have less than 10,000 stars to choose from. If you’d like the chosen star to be visible from the city, you’ve limited yourself to about 35 stars to choose from. Odds are, someone already has a pet name for each of those. Renaming is fine. After all, I renamed Sol. ;-)