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We might think of stars and planets as perfect spheres, but in fact these celestial objects typically have bulges at their equators that make them slightly squat and oblate. These equatorial bulges are primarily due to the spinning motion of stars and planets. The faster a star spins, the more pronounced the bulge at its equator becomes. Every now and then, however, astronomers will spot a slow-spinning star that is especially round.
Such is the case with the star KIC 11145123. First identified by the Kepler Space Observatory, this star lies about 5,000 light years from earth. Following extensive observation and analysis, astronomers have concluded that this is the roundest star they’ve ever found - just 0.0002% away from being a perfectly spherical object. It could also be the most perfect sphere ever found in the natural world. Prior to the discovery of this star, Mercury and Venus were the roundest objects ever observed. Astronomers will have to perform closer examinations of these two planets to determine whether or not they’re as perfectly round as KIC 11145123.
Rather than measuring the shape of the star directly, the astronomers used sound waves to determine just how round the star really is. By measuring the frequencies of sound waves as they bounced from the star’s surface to its interior, the astronomers were able to measure the star’s radius at different latitudes. After compiling the data recorded from the sound waves at various latitudes, they were able to establish a complete picture of the star’s spherical shape. In addition to its slow rotational speed, the astronomers think the star’s remarkably round shape could be due to a weak magnetic field surrounding its equator. This field could effectively act as a belt that restricts the star’s equatorial bulge.
Astronomers are discovering new stars every day, and at International Star Registry you can claim your very own piece of the night sky. Browse our star naming kits online, and find a star for you or a loved one today.
In 1996, when the Hubble Space Telescope was still in the early years of its mission, NASA engineers conceived the idea for its eventual replacement. Now, 20 years and $8 billion later, the Hubble’s successor is complete and ready for testing.
With a mirror that’s nearly 3 times as wide as the Hubble’s, the James Webb Space Telescope will allow astronomers to peer further into the dark vacuum of space than ever before. It’s powerful enough to spot a bumblebee on the moon, but the James Webb’s mirror won’t be pointed at a spot inside our solar system. Instead, it will be pointed deep into the heart of our universe.
Using the new telescope, astronomers hope to observe stars that were born just 150 million years after the universe sprang into existence with the big bang. By studying some of the earliest stars in the universe - stars that have now been dead for billions of years - scientists hope to learn more about how matter was dispersed from the big bang to form the modern universe we know today.
But the James Webb will be useful for more than just looking into the universe’s distant past. It will also help scientists to find potentially habitable exoplanets. By pointing the telescope at planets in neighboring solar systems in the Milky Way, astronomers expect to be able to collect valuable data about the planets in question, such as whether they have enough water to have an ocean.
To operate effectively, the James Webb telescope will have to be extremely cold - just 45 degrees Fahrenheit above absolute zero. That’s why it will be launched about a million miles from Earth to a Lagrange point in a distant orbit around the sun. Once the telescope has reached its destination, an umbrella-like shield the size of a tennis court will be unfurled to protect it from the heat of the sun. This will be the most critical part of the telescope’s deployment. If the sunshield fails to unfurl, the James Webb will be crippled too far from Earth to repair. Fortunately, the sunshield has undergone extensive testing to make sure everything will go off without a hitch.
Once the James Webb begins its mission in 2018, astronomers will be able to view untold numbers of never before seen stars. At International Star Registry, you can claim a piece of celestial history with a star of your own. Browse our star naming kits online, and find your star today.
Until very recently, astronomers estimated that there were about 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe. No doubt that’s a whole lot of galaxies, but a new mathematical model coupled with data from some of the world’s most powerful telescopes have lead astronomers at the University of Nottinghman to believe that there are actually many more galaxies than that in our observable universe. Now, the astronomers believe there are at least 10 times more galaxies than we once thought.
This means that there could be upwards of 2 trillion galaxies in our observable universe.
By observable universe, we mean the parts of the universe from which light has reached Earth. Because the universe is so vast and light moves at a finite speed, we can never get a clear picture of the entire universe in its current form. When astronomers use powerful telescopes to observe star systems in distant galaxies, they are effectively looking back in time at light from the universe’s past. There are some galaxies that are so far away from us that none of their light has reached Earth yet. Likewise, these galaxies aren’t part of the "observable" universe.
In studying the rates of galaxy mergers in the observable universe, the astronomers found that galaxies tend to start out small, and then clump together to form larger galaxies as they age. By studying these growth rates and then running them backwards, the astronomers were able to estimate the total number of galaxies in the observable universe. Based on their estimates, the astronomers concluded that roughly 90 percent of the galaxies in the observable universe are simply too far away to be viewed with modern telescopes.
In 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch into a high orbit and take up a torch that the Hubble has carried for more than 25 years. Once this new, more powerful space telescope is up and running, we may be able to see more of these hidden galaxies in the far reaches of our universe.
There are new stars being discovered every day, and you can claim your very own with the International Star Registry. Whether it’s a commemorative item for yourself or a gift for a loved one, our star packages provide a unique opportunity to leave a lasting mark on the universe. Browse our star naming kits online, or contact us today to learn more.
There is nothing quite like seeing a comet in the night sky. Is there another object that can fill our hearts with fear and our minds with curiosity? I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything else. A comet is the universe’s way of saying, "Hello. I’m out here and I’m full of wonders." All we really can do is wave back with our eyes and politely say, "Hello. We think you’re beautiful."
Along the outer edges, or close to it, of our galaxy is a comet, recently discovered (well, back in 2012). Gender-neutral of course, the comet has been named ISON. It is a big one and has the potential to be one of the brightest things in the sky, spectacularly bright.
As it nears Earth in December, there is uncertainty regarding how it will act around the sun. In other words, it could be stripped away, as it comes face-to-face with the sun’s intense thermal and gravitational environment on Nov. 28. So, there is the chance that the comet will be all disintegrated and we won’t get a chance to see it gargantuan in the sky.
Of course, that is all hearsay - no one knows what will happen, but we are sure of one thing: the comet is getting brighter like some flashlight with a never-ending supply of strong batteries. The comet also seems to be evolving. Just a few short days ago, there was a sudden burst of activity, like an explosion, and ISON seems to have sprouted wings, as if it downed a gallon of cosmic Red Bull. These pictures have gone viral with many people claiming that the comet is some kind of angel while others are coming up with doomsday scenarios. Both would be wrong.
The wings that we see in these photos could be a fragment or fragments that broke off. Other analysts believe that the wings might be caused by galactic dust, or we can point the finger at that mischievous solar wind. Regardless of what caused the wings, ISON is still ridiculously beautiful; you can’t put a price on it!
Although you won’t be able to name ISON, you can still have your name immortalized in the cosmos. Contact International Star Registry today!
Life is a pile of rubbish, don’t you think? The days don’t seem to get any better, and the nights even worse. We’re all drowning in a pool of loneliness and there are no lifeguards in sight. That’s the way it goes though, so we shouldn’t get too bent out of shape about it. The human condition is, to put it best, so-so. Deep down, all we really want is to make a mark on something, anything - to be immortalized one way or another. You may be wondering, "Why the nihilism?" Well…
Although the government shutdown is over for the most part, its effects are still lingering in the air. It has affected the American psyche. I mean, how could something so massive be carelessly shut down? Is there anything sacred or dependable left in this world? Does anyone or anything care about us? Pondering these questions may result in the shrug of your shoulders, but yes, there is something out there that cares about you, something you can rely on, something that will always be there, especially when need it the most. Yes, I’m talking about the stars in the sky!
There’s no better therapist or psychoanalyst than the stars at night. No matter what struggles you might be going through, staring up at a glimmering star or admiring the geometrical fortitude of a constellation will always put your mind at ease. It’s a big world out there and an even bigger universe, so know that you’re a tiny microscopic piece in fate’s cosmic puzzle. It may be microscopic, but it’s still a piece and knowing that is enough to get through the day. You might want to be a bigger piece of the puzzle and that’s totally understandable, fine even, but that’s not how this cosmic puzzle works. You might not grow into a bigger piece, but the puzzle you’re a part of gets smaller, so you seem bigger. The fact to take from this is that you don’t get bigger, but the puzzle gets smaller. That’s what the stars are all about, especially when they’re gridlocked in a beaming dot-to-dot drawing in that therapeutic night sky.
In other words, you can’t shut down the stars, so don’t even bother to try.
With that said, what are you waiting for? Don’t you want to name a star, to have your name immortalized in its gridlocked luminescence? Contact International Star Registry today!
When you look up at the night sky, what do you think about? Do you suddenly yearn for the life of a versatile astronaut, determined to blaze past the stars like some criminal racing up the Pacific Coast Highway, the cops hot on your trail? Perhaps you mull over your first kiss or the "one" that got away. Maybe, just maybe, you list off the things that would make you truly happy and you contemplate readjusting your life accordingly. The stars make us think. They turn each of us into a good-natured criminal, wanted by cruel, cruel reality.
Additionally, there’s perhaps no better relaxant after a long, rough day than having a glass of red wine and staring at a clear, pulsating sky. Stargazing is healthy, as it vacuums up the stress dirtying up our mental carpets. The Milky Way is a celestial highway meant for our eyes. If we don’t let our eyes hop from star to star, they’ll turn on us and betray us in the daylight. Give them what they want, a bit of that star-sustenance, and life will seem a little bit better.
When all’s said and done, we should be graffiti artists and writers, tagging the stars with our names. Tagging, of course, is the most basic writing of an artist’s name. In the case of the graffiti artist, it is a personalized signature, as if he or she is signing a check or a receipt. Naming a star is the same as tagging a city wall; it’s a declaration of your throbbing life, your gargantuan dreams, so validate your (or a loved one’s) dreams by buying and naming a star. We won’t be astronauts anytime soon, floating in space and spray painting Sirius, Canopus or Arcturus. International Star Registry is the next best thing, but keep one thing in mind...
The star you’re naming could be dead. Yes, dead. As in not living. As in not breathing in that universal "air." As in no luminous blood flowing through its gaseous body. Yes, your star could be dead.
Although the stars seem eternal (I mean, they’ve always been there for us!), we’re on a completely different timeline or, as Phil Plait of Slate.com writes, "We live on a much shorter time scale than the stars. [...] When looking at stars, you’re actually looking into the past. Many of the stars we see at night have already died." While that may seem bleak, it’s pure science, as Plait’s article points out.
You see, light is the fastest thing in the universe. Because of this, it takes light more time to get to our eyes (300,000 kilometers per second). Just take the sun, for instance; when we see the sun, we’re seeing it as it were eight minutes ago. The other stars are, of course, farther away than the sun, so when we see them Olympic torching up the night sky, we’re seeing their past selves, as they were thousands upon thousands of years ago.
However, the chances are that are rather low that your star is dead. It takes a long, long time for a star to a die, so really, there’s nothing to worry about, especially concerning the stars we can see with the naked eye. Pretty cool to think about, isn’t it? What say you?
Did you know that every year there is an astronomer photographer of the year? Awarded by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in conjunction with Sky at Night Magazine, the winning entries are on exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from September 19, 2013 to February 23, 2014. The astronomical photos demonstrate artistry as well as an acute understanding of how human curiosity works, tapping into our collective imagination regarding the mysteries of the cosmos.
These photos capture seemingly everything within our solar system to deep space, including transit of Venus, comets, nebulae, aurorae, the sky viewed from earth, shooting stars and much more. The winner of this year’s competition is Mark Gee for his photo titled "Guiding Light to the Stars.’ The picture is a dazzling, almost sobering look at the night sky, where the stars and their shines form a lighted pathway off into the distance. The photo is truly breathtaking, as it reminds us to keep our eyes on the future and our feet on the lighted path or, as Jack Kerouac puts it, "The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great that I thought I was in a dream."
At International Star Registry, you can find and buy your very own star! In other words, you can own a piece of the mystery. Looking up at the night sky, you will know that your star is out there and maybe, just maybe, someone is photographing it. Heck, your star might even be an astronomical photo of the year!
Finding a way to celebrate the life of a recently deceased loved one can be an important part of the grieving process. As a person grows to accept the reality that a spouse or a cherished relative has departed this life, it’s often healthy to look for ways to commemorate that person’s memory.
Naming a star after a deceased loved one is a great way to make sure that their remembrance can be cherished for generations to come. Stars are symbolic of heaven and the angels, and that strong association will put you and your family at peace when they think about a loved one’s final resting place.
The lasting value of naming a star after a person will never truly degrade. Any star you pick will still be hanging in the night sky long after a picture frame cracks or a floral arrangement wilts. You will be able to show your children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren the patch of sky that commemorates the beloved man or woman they may never have been able to meet.
Finding an original way to memorialize the passing of a loved one can make the experience more fulfilling and help people move on with their lives more quickly. Our various packages include many mementos, including personalized sky charts, official naming certificate and other gift items that include the name of the loved one you’re commemorating.
The Star Registry can be an important friend in a time of emotional distress. Contact us today to ask about our memorial packages, and we will help you find your loved one a place among the stars.
For years, people have been buying and naming a star for the one that they love. Many believe this is the grandest gesture of all since stars take millions of years to burn out. This implies that the love for their special someone will last a lifetime, and beyond.
Naming a star for your loved one is a great, unique alternative for a birthday gift. It not only expresses the everlasting love you hold for that special someone, but it is not every day a star is named after them. Gift cards are nice, money is cool, jewelry is beautiful, but it has all been done before. For the person who has everything, a named star is a great gift!
When you name a star for your loved one, you can choose from a variety of gift packages that include keepsake necklaces or other mementos. The star will be registered and published and you will receive a certificate along with the date, name, and coordinates of your named star. You can search for the star together to make the moment that much more unforgettable.
Purchasing a star in the name of the one that you love is a memorable gift that they will treasure forever. It won’t break or get thrown in the depths of a closet to be forgotten about. They will always look up to the sky and know that that bright, twinkling star is theirs. While stars appear small from Earth, this is the largest and most heartfelt gift you could ever receive.
There’s a period in a relationship, just before engagement, when you’re deep in love and you’re not sure how to show it. This happens when both parties aren’t ready for marriage, and nobody wants to send the wrong message. This is totally normal; many couples have this phase. Luckily, there’s an awesome opportunity in front of you. We mean literally awesome; a genuinely awe-inspiring gesture awaits you.
"Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us." ? Neil deGrasse Tyson
Consider naming a star after your significant other. Since scientists have discovered that our bodies consist of the same elements they found in stars, people view our celestial kin differently. This shows that no matter what happens, in this life or the next, that star will be there along with his or her memory of you. Asking one to remember you forever is a strong move, and it lets your boyfriend or girlfriend know you care. Since this gesture is not commonly paired with engagement, if you’re not ready to propose, your significant other won’t be expecting a ring at the end.
Alternatively, because of the significance of this gesture, it does make a great entrance toa marriage proposal if you are ready for that. You can deliver the proposal underneath a nighttime sky, and you can present the star with the ring. We promise.... Tears will ensue.
The birth of a baby is one of life’s greatest miracles that causes people to think about their place in this world, and, more importantly, in the universe. We find ourselves celebrating new life by looking to the stars, pondering the cosmos and what "it" all means.
New babies get a lot of gifts, like pacifiers, diapers, mittens and cribs. While those are standard baby gifts, what else is there to buy a baby? How about something really spectacular, and unique? Why not name a star in the sky after the baby? That’s a gift that lasts a lifetime, and will have people talking!
The International Star Registry ® gift package allows you to name a star in the sky whatever you want, so take advantage of this opportunity by naming a star for the new baby in your life.
Star names are copyrighted with their telescopic coordinates in the book, "Your Place in the Cosmos," so future generations can identify the star name in the directory and, using a telescope, locate the actual star in the sky. How cool is that?
The International Star Registry ® gift package comes with a parchment certificate, framed or unframed, showing off the name of your choice, dedication date, and telescopic coordinates of the star. Imagine the look on the faces of a newborn’s parents when they see that gift! You can tell them that you think their new baby is a "star," so there should be a star named after them. A star registry gift puts smiles on the faces of friends and family.
In addition to the certificate, gift packages include an informative booklet with charts of the constellations, plus a larger, more detailed chart with the star you name encircled in red.
Since 1979, The International Star Registry ® has impressed hundreds of thousands of people with such a unique gift idea. After all, who wouldn’t want a star named after them? When that little baby grows up, they’ll always remember you as the person who named a star after them.
When loved ones leave us, the sadness can also leave a hole in our hearts. We try to keep hold of great memories spent together, and to also look for ways of preserving the life of someone who meant so much.
International Star Registry offers a unique service of being able to pay tribute to someone special with naming a star. The ability of naming a star after a lost one is a great way to remember and honor their life.
Every time you look up in the sky, you’ll remember the important mark that person left on your life, which is the beauty of what stars are able to do for us.
For those who have lost their life battling for our country, naming a star pays a beautiful tribute to the impact their role in the military played on our country’s freedom.
You can choose a name of up to 35 characters. In your star packet, we provide you with a beautiful certificate with the name of your star as well as a booklet on astronomy and coordinates for locating the star.
There are various options for ordering a star to name, all of which is easy and convenient. Most importantly, you’ll be using one of the universes most beautiful things, a star, to always remember the life of someone special.
When it comes to getting married, it is customary for the bride and groom to buy a special gift for their soon-to-be spouse. The wedding gift is supposed to be one of significance, a symbol of ever-lasting love and faith.
The market for wedding gifts is competitive and repetitive. Odds are, couples come up with the same idea for wedding gifts. If you want a gift that is truly to unique to your wedding, consider naming a star.
Even though other people might choose to name a star as well, only one will be marked for you and named the name you and your loved one chose. You can name your star after your upcoming or recent wedding, your new last name, a significant "true love" motto or anything else that’s symbolic to the love you share.
We give all of our star naming customers a complete packet with constellation coordinates for locating your star. Plus, your star’s name will go into our book, "Your Place in the Cosmos".
With our services, you’ll be able to gaze into the night sky and feel a great sense of happiness knowing that out there, there’s a star shining as a testament of the love created between you and your spouse.