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Q: Astrology ( No Answer,   6 Comments )
Subject: Astrology
Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: paul5553-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 22 Dec 2005 06:23 PST
Expires: 21 Jan 2006 06:23 PST
Question ID: 608849
Hi There 

I've bought a Star as a present and had it named after ny neice.It's
in the constellation Capricornus with its co-ordinates and
instructions on how to locate it.Can you find a company that could
supply a photo of it?


Request for Question Clarification by answerfinder-ga on 22 Dec 2005 06:29 PST
It is possible that it already appears in a photograph which is on the
internet. Have you its coordinates and any catalogue number?

Clarification of Question by paul5553-ga on 23 Dec 2005 07:20 PST
Hi There

Its co-ordinates are 21;41;39.427 in Capricornus.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Astrology
From: qed100-ga on 22 Dec 2005 11:00 PST
I gotta ask: 

   Why have you paid someone good money for something you could have for free?
Subject: Re: Astrology
From: pinkfreud-ga on 22 Dec 2005 11:10 PST
This may be of interest:
Subject: Re: Astrology (which is NOT astronomy BTW)
From: dprk007-ga on 23 Dec 2005 07:29 PST

Further to Pinkfreud's excellent link, The IAU (International
Astronomical Union) is them ONLY organisation that can NAME
astronomical bodies.

Anyone who charges a fee to have a star named after you is a Scam
Artist and a Scumbag.

If you want to name this star after your niece go ahead and do it. It
will not and never will be an official name and no one (else) will
really care. Of course it is not a crime either , you just don't have
to pay anyone to do it.
Yours Truly

Subject: Re: Astrology
From: iang-ga on 23 Dec 2005 09:54 PST
>Anyone who charges a fee to have a star named after you is a Scam
Artist and a Scumbag.

Agreed! Have you seen the sponsored links on this page?  But
regardless, those coordinates don't make a lot of sense -  21;41 could
be somewhere in Capricornus, but if 39.427 is supposed to be the RA
it's not even close!

Ian G.
Subject: Re: Astrology
From: iang-ga on 23 Dec 2005 15:26 PST
>but if 39.427 is supposed to be the RA

Sorry, that should be Dec, not RA!!

Ian G.
Subject: Re: Astrology
From: leistra-ga on 19 Jan 2006 16:15 PST
I agree with what everyone is saying about the "star-name-buying"
racket; it would be just as official for you to pick out an arbitrary
star in the sky and give your niece a nice certificate declaring that
to be "hers".  But what's done is done, and there's no point beating
yourself up about it -- the fault is the seller's, not yours.

That said, I suspect that the Dec is supposed to be -39, rather than
+39, if it really is in Capricornus.  The epoch of the coordinates
isn't given, of course, but we'll assume they're 2000 (it matters
because, due to the precession of the equinoxes of the Earth,
celestial coordinates do not remain fixed).

The coordinates are imprecise enough that, even with our assumptions
(that it is the sign of the declination, rather than the
constellation, that is wrong and that they are in 2000 coordinates) it
doesn't uniquely identify a star; there are several in the region.

You can get images, given coordinates on the sky, from a couple places:

1.  The image server of the Two Micron All-Sky Survey is publicly
available; however, I don't think the links to images generated by a
search are persistent, so you'll need to do the search yourself.  Go

and enter, without the quotation marks, "21:47 -39:26" in the
"Coordinates or Object Name" field.  Set the subimage size to the
maximum (enter 1024 in the "subimage size" field), and press "Submit".
 (The other fields are not of interest to you, and it looks basically
the same in each band, so they don't matter either.)  You'll get an
image with a coordinate grid overlaid and a circle marking your search
point (and a bunch of other information that won't be of interest to
you).  There are a few stars in the field, so go ahead and pick one --
the closest to the circle or the brightest or whatever.  You can now
save this image and print it out or whatever.

2.  You can get larger-scale images from the Palomar Sky Survey, which
has the advantage of being taken in visible light rather than the
infrared and coming with white stars on black, rather than the
reverse.  This is at

Do the same thing; enter the coordinates (21:47 is the RA, -39:26 is the Dec) 
and set the image size (play around until you find one you like; 10x10
is good).  Make sure to set the file format to GIF, rather than FITS,
so you can see it with ordinary image-display software.

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