International Star Registry

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International Star Registry
Industry Marketing
Founded 1979; 38 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.


International Star Registry of Illinois started in 1979 by John and Phyllis Mosele. The company claims to have named about 2 million stars since its formation and published these copyrighted names in a series of books. The International Astronomical Union is the only scientific organization that names stars and other astronomical bodies for scientific use by astronomers. It has been organizing their business of naming stars for people for decades. The present owner of the company is Rocky Mosele, one of John and Phyllis Mosele’s twelve children.[1] The company has published nine large volumes of the copyrighted book named Your Place in the Cosmos.[2]


Products and services are often marketed as gifts or memorials. Packages sold by the company include framed and unframed certificates, personalized jewelry, plush toys, and pet rocks identifying "naming" of a star as described in the book.[3] Naming services are limited to an entry in the book and carries no scientific or official authenticity according to professional astronomers as well as the company's list of frequently asked questions.[4][5][6][7][8]


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is an internationally recognized de facto 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.[9][10]

A minority of nations, Seventy-four[11] of the world's 195 nations are represented at the IAU by their national science or astronomy academies.[12] However, these academies in some sense represent the vast majority of the Earth's population even though they are not voted for or elected by the people causing unpopular results at times.[13] The IAU declines to answer consumer requests to locate stars or sell star naming privileges because such endeavors detract from its scientific mission.[14]

Commercial interests have stepped in to name stars for consumers as the IAU does not perform this service.[15] Neither the IAU nor commercial interests have legal authority to name celestial bodies, and as such competing authorities can issue names, possibly for the same body.[16] In 1998 the International Star Registry was issued a violation by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs for deceptive advertising for claiming "official" naming rights and have since discontinued this claim.[17][18]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reaching For The Stars". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "LC Online Catalog - Item Information (Full Record)". Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  3. ^ "Product Catalog". International Star Registry. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  4. ^ Strange Universe: The Weird and Wild Science of Everyday Life--on Earth and Beyond, Bob Berman, Times Books; 1st edition (January 6, 2004) ISBN 0-8050-7328-0
  5. ^ ISR FAQ, FAQ from International Star Registry
  6. ^ Di Justo, Patrick. "Buy a Star, But It's Not Yours". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
    Robert Naeye, editor of Mercury Magazine, a publication of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, puts it in no uncertain terms:
    "The star names sold by the International Star Registry are not recognized by any professional astronomical organization.
  7. ^ Philip C. Plait. Bad Astronomy. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-40976-6. 
  8. ^ "The OFFICIAL Star Naming FAQ" (archived at Internet Archive]
  9. ^ Andersen, Johannes. "Buying Stars and Star Names". IAU buying star names: International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  10. ^ "Now, people can name newly discovered planets, stars and other celestial bodies". The Economic Times. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "National Members". International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Independent States in the World". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "Pluto Demoted: No Longer a Planet in Highly Controversial Definition". Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  14. ^ "Buying Stars and Star Names". International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  15. ^ "Naming and Buying Stars - What you should know". Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Contests to name moons and exoplanets irk International Astronomical Union". Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  17. ^ Plait, Phil (18 February 2012). "International Hollywood Star Registry". Slate (magazine). Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  18. ^ "International Star Registry in Trouble". Arecibo Observatory. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  19. ^ "Your place in the cosmos: a layman's book of astronomy and the mythology of the eighty-eight celestial constellations and registry". Open Library. 1 January 1985. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 

External links[edit]