Naming a Star Through NASA: Myths and Realities

The concept of naming a star is one that captures the imagination. What could be more enchanting than having a celestial body bear your name or that of a loved one? Various companies offer "star-naming" services, often accompanied by ornate certificates and star maps.

However, can you actually name a star through NASA? What are the realities behind this captivating idea? Let’s delve into the facts and myths surrounding this topic.

The Myth: Naming a Star Through NASA

A popular misconception is that NASA, the United States' space agency responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research, offers a service that allows you to name a star.

The truth is, NASA does not have a program or service that enables the public to name stars. To do this, for example as a gift, one must utilize a Star Registration Service.

In fact, the naming of celestial bodies, including stars, is not a commercial venture but a scientific process overseen by international governing bodies. The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the organization responsible for naming celestial objects, follows strict guidelines and nomenclature rules.

Commercial Star-Naming Services

Despite the fact that NASA and other official organizations do not offer star-naming services, there are multiple companies that do. One of these companies is, they provide the unique gift idea to name a star in the night sky and to receive a star certificate with all the details about the star, such as coordinates, distance and more.

The IAU and Naming Celestial Bodies

The IAU is the only organization with the authority to name celestial objects officially. These names serve as standardized identifiers used by scientists worldwide. While the IAU does recognize the sentimental value people attach to the idea of naming stars, it clarifies that the only names that have scientific validity are the ones that they approve.


While naming a star through a commercial service can be a poetic or sentimental gesture, it's important to know that such names are not officially recognized by any scientific body, including NASA or the IAU. The scientific naming of celestial bodies serves a functional purpose, and while the allure of having a star named after you is tempting, the reality is more grounded in scientific standards and international protocols.

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