Every once in a while, you come across something really interesting on the Internet. In my travels, I recently discovered that, apparently, you can name your own star for about $20 bucks at Name A Star Live, Space Services, Inc.
So for all of you astro geeks out there like me, this may be of interest you.
I haven't used the service myself, but it appears to be quite popular as it's been featured in CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Forbes, Yahoo!, Time and CBS, just to name a few. There are several different packages to choose from, with the least expensive being $19.95.
Not a bad deal for having a part of the cosmos named after yourself or your loved one.
The package comes complete with a Star Certificate and also an Exclusive Launch Certificate which really caught my interest, "Your star name and dedication message will be launched into space aboard a real rocket on our next satellite. Available for download from our website after the launch occurs, containing a photo of the launch and all of the flight details."
Now I'm not really an advocate of space litter, however, I found that to be quite interesting. Put your telephone number on it and you never know, maybe "a gray" will call you up to say "Hello" someday. Just kidding, obviously.
There are also some cool addons that can be purchased like a Star Bear teddy bear, a framed professionally printed copy of your Star Certificate, a Star Chart to see where your star is located, a Planisphere Constellation Finder to find the constellation your star is located in, and an 8x10" Astrophotograph of your star's constellation with an inset picture featuring your star and it's neighbors.
If you care to step it up a notch, you can get the deluxe package that also includes Virtual Planetarium Astronomy Software which, "provides access to award-winning NASA images, astronomy and space mission websites, and 3-D photos of Mars. Use VP to locate your star, and to portal to the best space information on the web including interactive games and lessons. Developed by Rice University and NASA."
Last but not least, with the deluxe package you can, "View your star LIVE online with SLOOH— not a static picture, but actually see your star “live” in space from the comfort of your desktop."
This is a great way to make a special dedication to a loved one that is no longer with us. Send a message to the heavens for them. Or maybe you're looking for that special gift for your friend or loved one? I may have just found it for you . . .