Selling Stars! – Star name marks observatory openi

Forums General Discussion Selling Stars! – Star name marks observatory openi

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    Posted by TonyAngel at 08:31 on 2012 Oct 10

    Anyone know who was responsible for "buying" the star?Press Association Fri, Oct 5, 2012A star has been named in honour of Scotland to mark the opening of the first public observatory at the UK’s only designated dark sky park.First Minister Alex Salmond was handed a certificate for the "Alba" star, which means Scotland in Gaelic, as he officially opened the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory.The centre is at the edge of Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park on the Craigengillan estate, near Dalmellington, Ayrshire, and was founded by estate owner Mark Gibson.The observatory’s dome was designed in, and flown over from, Australia and features a rotating, retractable roof to enable viewing through a robotic telescope. It also has a lecture room and an outdoor elevated deck for naked-eye observation.East Ayrshire Council said it hopes the centre will attract visitors from across the world, increasing tourism and helping to regenerate the area.Viewing will not be restricted to night-time, the council said. Daytime visitors can experience real-time links with observatories in Australia and other parts of the world. The observatory will also be used as an educational resource for schoolchildren and students.Mr Gibson said: "This is a day of celebration and the achievement of a dream. What we have here is something incredibly precious and incredibly exciting. This is the only public observatory within a ‘gold tier’ dark sky park in the world. It will inspire people of all ages and backgrounds with a sense of wonder at the vastness and beauty of the heavens."Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, which spans 300 square metres, was awarded its status by the International Dark Sky Association in November 2009 during the International Year of Astronomy. The observatory will not be open to the public immediately because the telescope is still being calibrated.Mr Salmond described the observatory as "no less than stunning".He said: "Curiosity about science and a passion for learning more about the world around us are the cornerstones of ensuring the next generations of innovators upon whom Scotland’s future depends."


    Posted by Callum Potter at 10:44 on 2012 Oct 10

    Oh dear…I am sure that none of the astronomers would have got involved in this.Probably one of Salmond’s PR people…Callum


    Posted by Richard Miles at 11:32 on 2012 Oct 10

    Hi Tony,I see that the same organisation "Star Listings International" have already given the same name, "Alba", to three different stars:On 2008 Nov 09, GSC 1076 2358 located at RA 20:09:31.20, Dec +10:17:24.0On 2009 Aug 20, PPM 101969 located at RA 12:31:51.93, Dec +23:16:11.0On 2012 Oct 05, PPM 150158 located at RA 06:15:12.76, Dec +06:53:36.2There does not seem to be any objection to giving lots of stars the same name in their Registry! They just have an extra entry which is the name of the person for whom the star has been so-called ‘named’ to justify it being unique.This is a real money spinner for someone. If you search their Registry at: seem to be thousands upon thousands of stars with the text "star" in their name.Richard


    Posted by Richard Miles at 11:37 on 2012 Oct 10

    Certainly got the mark of the press/media/PR people on it given their statement that "Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park … spans 300 square metres".It’s a typical example of the sorts of mistake the press make, in this case getting the area of the dark park out by a factor of 1 million!Richard


    Posted by Callum Potter at 13:50 on 2012 Oct 10

    Hilarious – i hadn’t spotted that one Richard.C.


    Posted by Nick James at 20:35 on 2012 Oct 10

    Bizarre isn’t it.Perhaps the BAA should take this up as a money-making opportunity? I have the USNO B1.0 on my hard disk here and that has a billion stars in it. We could sell stars online for a few quid each and we could absolutely confirm that no one else had the same BAA star (apart from the odd catalogue duplicate). Variable stars and other stars of more interest could go for more. No money back would be offered for stars that went supernova but we could offer observing sessions for particularly rich and/or stupid mugs who might like to see their star through a telescope.What could possibly be wrong with that?Nick.


    Posted by TonyAngel at 07:45 on 2012 Oct 11

    Why stop at stars? Galaxies would make more money, especially with a ccd image 🙂 – say £100 for a mag 10 spiral.


    Posted by Nick James at 19:37 on 2012 Oct 11

    Tony,Good point. Why own a measly little star when you can have an entire galaxy.You’d have to be careful to exclude the associated dark matter though since you might otherwise be done by trading standards…Nick.

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