We’ve complained in the past about the scammy ‘Star naming’ groups that pretend to name a star after you or a loved for for a ludicrous fee. These namings are in no way official and are little more than a way to separate you from your money.
But maybe you still want to have a loved one’s name immortalized in the stars in some fashion? Well they won’t name stars after you, and you have to have at least some fame to get an asteroid named after you, but there is one option: Adopt a Star from the Pale Blue Dot Project.
Its easy to do – and only costs $10 that goes to supporting scientific research. All you do is pick one of the 100,000 in the Cygnus constellation. This is the region that the Kepler satellite pointed at to try and find extra-solar planets! You get to pick the star, and if you are really lucky it might have a planet circling it (you might have to wait a long time until the data is analyzed) . If you do you’ll get a special notification.
Why is this cooler than ‘star naming’ scams? Here’s why:
1) Its real. You are adopting a star, not having someone write down your name in a phony ‘star list’ that is not recognized by any astronomical organization. Your star’s name will not change but it will be designated on the Pale Blue Dot Project.
2) You pick the star, instead of some random guy handing out the stars.
3) Your money goes to scientific research instead of some scam artists pocket.
4) Your star might have a planet circling it! How cool is that?!
5) You’ll get a printable certificate. You’d get one from the star-namers but the Pale Blue Dot Project’s is much cooler.
6) You can use PayPal and be done in seconds!
A lot of the brighter stars have already been adopted since the PBDP has been going for a couple of years now, so when choosing a star you might have to zoom in to get to the unadopted stars.
Help support science! Adopt a star!
(Note: this is an updated version of a story from our original blog)