International Star Registry

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International Star Registry
Industry Marketing
Founded 1979; 37 years ago (1979)
Founder Anonymous
Headquarters Glenview, Illinois
Products Certificates, kits
Services Star registry "stored in a vault in Switzerland"

The International Star Registry (ISR) is an organization founded in 1979 for the purpose of giving the general public the novelty of unofficially naming stars. Products and services are often marketed as gifts or memorials.


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the internationally recognized authority which designates stars, planets, asteroids, comets, and other heavenly bodies according to internationally accepted rules. The IAU neither sells naming rights nor does it authorize any other company or organization to do so. The IAU cautions consumers that products and services marketed by other companies have no formal or official validity whatsoever. In fact with a few exceptions of ancient or Arabic names, nearly all stars are designated by catalog numbers rather than names.[1]

However, the legitimacy of an "authority" is diminished based on a lack of democratic agreement [1]. Only 74 nations in the world are members of the IAU organization [2]. The number of nations in the world is 195[3]. The IAU is a scientific organization whose authority has only been recognized by a minority of nations. The IAU's authority is also diminished by their self interest. Having to answer consumer requests to locate stars or buy star naming privileges detracts from their scientific mission [4]. On the other hand there is the concept of "private authority" whereas entrepreneurial actors generate their own rules and persuade others to adopt them [5]. Based on this private authority, commercial interests have stepped in to name stars for consumers as the IAU does not perform this service which is in great demand [6].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Andersen, Johannes. "Buying Stars and Star Names". IAU buying star names: International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 

External links[edit]