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Make Mother’s Day Out-of-this-world

Make Mother’s Day Out-of-this-world

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Coretta Scott King

Who can adore a handful of dandelions, a finger painting, or a popsicle stick picture frame just because it came from you? There are few people in the world who will ever love us like our Mother, except perhaps our grandmother.

Whether the special woman you wish to honor for Mother’s Day is your Mom, your Grandmother, your favorite Aunt, the mother of your children, or someone else who has loved you like a mother, when you buy a star kit and name a star in the sky, it is an honor that will shine forever.

Many of us have heard that you can buy a star or name a star, but what does that really mean? It’s natural for people to feel connected to the Heavens. For thousands of years, mankind has been naming stars, mapping patterns in the sky, and recording celestial objects. From the creation of early star names and their place in ancient mythology and navigation, to multiple modern scientific catalogs, there have been dozens of different star catalogs created.

But with so many different catalogs of the stars, who decides how to name a star within the scientific community? Beginning in 1919, The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was established with the objective is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy. For scientific uniformity, it is the only body that names celestial objects for scientific use.

But scientists do not own the stars. You can buy a star package and name a star this Mother’s Day to show your Mom she is a bright star in your sky! Starting in 1979, International Star Registry broke with scientific tradition and began naming stars that had only been numbered in previous star catalogs. When you name a star it will be listed alphabetically with its telescopic coordinates will be permanently copyrighted in the only published listing of named stars in the world.

Because the star names are published in these hard covered volumes, designed to become family heirlooms, centuries from now your great grandchildren can locate these star names in the books and, using the telescopic coordinates, locate the star you named in the sky. 9 volumes of the book Your Place in the Cosmos (Library of Congress Catalog No. 84-63015) have been published and copyrighted in the United States. Each star named is unique. The coordinates are derived from the NASAHubble Guide Star Catalog and each star is named only once. When you name a star for a loved one, it is intended to be a beautiful, memorable gift. Astronomers do not use the names they assign to the stars.

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