Who is the International Star Registry?

- Please beware of copycat companies that have similar sounding names and/or lift material from our website without permission.
It is good to ask: what stars do they claim to name? For example, there are only a few thousand stars that are visible without a telescope. (They have never been available for naming through us.) But we have already named two million stars worldwide. How many stars have they named? Are the stars named again and again by them? Just what exactly is a bright star? Or an extra bright star? Or a visible star? What is a binary star? (The nature and science of ‘binary stars’ is much more complex than it might first sound.) Where are they located? How are the records kept? -

 

All our affiliates around the world have the name 'International Star Registry'

and use the distinctive logo that you see on this website.

 

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The International Star Registry (ISR) offers one of the most exciting gift opportunities in the world. ISR recognised the desire for assigning names of loved ones to the stars and started archiving star names in 1979. The integrity and uniqueness of the star name assignments have been maintained ever since.

Based in Illinois, USA, ISR has offices worldwide and offers an internationally coordinated service. Since 1979, over two million stars have been named to celebrate special occasions, honour individuals and reward excellence. You can view all the stars online at our dedicated website:   https://www.starregistry.net/Stars/Default.aspx

 Every star in our listing comes from the 'Guide Star Catalog' which is widely recognised in the astronomical community as the most accurate source of the location of stars. Over 15 Million stars are listed by astronomical coordinates or catalogue numbers. These stars are as yet unnamed and bright enough to be seen with a small telescope (100-150mm/4-6" or better). ISR employs sophisticated computer systems to plot each star selected for naming on its own individual skychart. Each star is named once only. The stars thus named are not "owned", nor is their scientific identification altered. The stars visible to the naked eye are not available for naming because they already have scientific and historical names.

ISR's astronomical listing is not scientific but symbolic. The stars are recorded alphabetically rather than by size and location. Registering stars by name is of both personal and historical significance. Because the stars are listed according to the names assigned to each, centuries from now our descendants will be able to look up the volumes of "Your Place In The Cosmos", and locate the actual star named in the sky.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the sole internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and surface features on such bodies. By policy, the IAU and astronomers do not name stars, galaxies, craters on the Moon, or features on the planets for living individuals. So if someone wanted to name a star for a living friend or loved one, not even the IAU can accommodate this. 

Objects are sometimes named by the IAU to honour certain deceased persons. These names are proposed by national IAU representatives and voted on every three years. In contrast, objects such as comets and asteroids are named after their discoverers, and official IAU numbers are also assigned.

The ISR service is totally independent of IAU and is not recognised by any scientific organisation.

ISR is a commercial gift service providing individuals with the opportunity of naming a real star in honour of someone special to them. ISR has an ongoing commitment to assist good causes and charities, such as The Starlight Children's Foundation, to raise funds right here in Australia and around the world.

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For your information, we attach an assessment of star naming by an astronomer.

Astronomical Foundation

May 31, 1989

To: Ms Elaine Stolpe, Marketing Director International Star Registry
1821 Willow Road
Northfield, IL 60093

Dear Ms. Stolpe,

Thank you for sending copies of letters you have received questioning the validity of naming of stars through the International Star Registry (ISR). ISR provides a novel gift of naming stars for loved ones. There will always be those who criticise this activity based upon incomplete information about how stars are named and what role we astronomers have in naming them. I will try to give you this astronomer's perspective.

Professional astronomers are really not in the business of naming stars; and, except for bright stars, usually refer to the stars by position coordinates - i.e. numbers. In AD 1603, astronomers Johann Bayer established the system of names we still use for bright stars. Stars are named in order of brightness in their constellation using letters of the Greek alphabet. For example, Alpha Tauri is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, Beta Canis Majoris is the second brightest in the constellation Canis Major. These bright stars which define the constellations often have more than one name. For example, the two stars mentioned carry popular names of Aldebaran and Mirzam, which come from Arabic astronomers. And the Chinese, Hindus, Incas and Mayans have their own names for these same stars!

Stars which are too faint to be seen with the naked eye generally have no name at all - and with good reason. It would be too large a task! In our own Milky Way galaxy there are over 100 billion stars, most of which are too faint to be seen or photographed. Stars, and other celestial objects, after they are studied, are catalogued by position coordinates, magnitude (brightness), and other physical characteristics. There are literally dozens of catalogs. To keep track of all this information, and to provide astronomers with a database and cross-reference services, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), office in Paris, has established a catalog and data centre in Strasbourg.

Objects are sometimes named by the IAU to honor certain deceased persons, such as the Challenger astronauts. These names are proposed by national IAU representatives and voted on every three years. In contrast, objects such as comets and asteroids are named after their discoverers, and official IAU numbers are also assigned. By policy, the IAU and astronomers do not name stars, galaxies, craters on the Moon, or features on the planets for living individuals. So if someone wanted to name a star for a living friend or loved one, not even the IAU can accommodate this.

The International Star Registry service is totally independent of the IAU. ISR has named more than 300,000 stars over the past 10 years, and maintains a good faith record of the names by U.S. copyright in book form and in a vault in Switzerland. ISR is the largest and best known organization which engages in this delightful novelty. People who gift an ISR name are looking for a truly unique way of expressing their feelings. I doubt that these people expect astronomers to use the new names. As we approach the 21st century, our perspective is turning more and more toward the universe we are beginning to explore. ISR registers a name for a star and, in doing so, provides the opportunity to expand interest in the science of astronomy- for which the ISR is to be commended.

I hope this description on how stars are named helps answer the concerns expressed in the letters. In my opinion, ISR is not misleading people about the service it provides.

Very truly yours,

James J. Rickard,

Ph. D.Executive Director.
Astronomical Foundation
751 Seventh Avenue San Diego California 92101 * (619) 237-0505 ****

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