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The Pale Blue Dot Project

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)

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Comments on: "The Pale Blue Dot Project" (2)

  1.   I don’t see how this meaningfully differs from the other star-naming scams.

      Once you “adopt” a star, all you get for it is a fancy certificate.  You still don’t have any claim over that star, or over any planets that might be found around it, or any resources that might ever be discovered in connection with it.

      I don’t see any evidence that you get anything from this that you don’t get from the other star-naming scams.

      The only thing I see that comes anywhere close to counting as a meaningful difference is that they aren’t actually claiming to name the star after you; just that in some undefinable way, you are “adopting” a star.

      In the end, it’s the same thing.  A way to separate gullible fools from their money, by pretending to sell them something that isn’t theirs to sell.

      I’m very surprised and dissappointed that you would endorse such a thing.

    • ” I don’t see how this meaningfully differs from the other star-naming scams.”

      Really? You even point out the crucial difference:

      “The only thing I see that comes anywhere close to counting as a meaningful difference is that they aren’t actually claiming to name the star after you; just that in some undefinable way, you are “adopting” a star”

      Well yes. That is a rather important distinction I would say. Star naming scams go out of their way to fool you into thinking that you are doing something official with your ‘naming’. That alone puts miles of difference between it and the star naming scams, and puts on a completely different moral level.

      “In the end, it’s the same thing. A way to separate gullible fools from their money, by pretending to sell them something that isn’t theirs to sell.”

      I have to ask: do you say the same thing about businesses and organizations that support the ‘adopt a highway’ program? The money from both goes towards a cause (cleaning the highways in that case, supporting the Kepler Satellite scientific research in Blue Dot). They are not supporting someone’s profit margin. In both cases the customer knows that star/highway is not going to be named after them. It is a way of support a cause or need.

      ” I’m very surprised and dissappointed that you would endorse such a thing.”

      I am sorry you feel hat way, because as noted in the this was brought up before (on the old blog). In fact Phil Plaitt, The New England Skeptics Society, Skeptics Guide to the Universe and many more groups have endorsed this program. Space.com, Sky & Telescope, Universe Today, and more have also supported it. I would say that I am in good company in supporting what is a charitable effort.

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