Can YOU Really Name a Star or Buy Land on the Moon

In this article I am going to discuss if it is possible for a normal person to buy something in space. There are many websites that will offer you the opportunity to name a star, but is that genuine?

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), founded in 1919, is the organisation responsible for naming stars and defining what celestial objects are, among other things. 

This includes what a planet is and what a dwarf planet is. When a new star is discovered, the IAU get a panel of astronomers together to discuss what name it should have. Now they usually just give it a code based on its location in the night sky.

But in some circumstances if there is an object that has cultural significance these have been used as names for stars in the past. But that is rare these days.

So as these companies have no real authority the result is that you are essentially buying a row in a database and a very expensive piece of paper when you buy a star name from one of these companies.

So does that mean it's impossible to actually name something in space? Well, no it is not impossible.

To do it, it is going to require a lot of hard work what you can do is discover something if you discover something you get the opportunity to name it. So, for example, if you were able to discover a new moon over a planet, which has not been done by amateurs in a long time. Then you get to put forward several names based on the associated mythology of the planet. Therefore, if you discover something near Neptune, it will be based on some mythological creature that has to do with the ocean that you have to introduce, and because you discovered it.

When the panel of IAU astronomers gather around to discuss the new name your suggestions will be given priority that is obviously quite difficult.

The easiest way to name something in space is to discover an asteroid. This also gives you the greatest freedom when it comes to naming. If you discover an asteroid not only, do you get to name it. The name must be less than 16 characters long and does not have to do with mythology. You can name it pretty much anything you like if it is also not rude or offensive in some way and it is not some kind of historical political or war leader or something like. In general, you can name it any anything you like. So, you can give it several names and again a panel of IAU astronomers will look at these names and most suitable will be chosen unless none are appropriate then something will be assigned.

So, the only way you can genuinely buy the name of an object in space. As far as I am aware would be if someone discovered something and then they made an agreement with you to name it what you wanted.

But what of the other companies offering to sell acres on the Moon or Mars or other celestial objects and is this actually legal and real? Well on these websites they often say that the Outer Space Treaty denies governments the ability to claim a celestial object so the United States did not claim the Moon. But they say that the Outer Space Treaty doesn’t preclude companies from claiming objects so they say because of this they can simply claim an extra-terrestrial object and they own it. 

And that this gives them the right to sell off those rights but there is a problem with that. The outer space treaty does say that for any company to claim any celestial object it needs to be approved by the government that that company is based in. And as far as I am aware no government has ever approved this.

Wouldn't it be interesting if one of Elon Musk's rockets landed on the moon and you tried to charge them rent for it? That probably will not work. 

The problem is with owning anything it usually there is usually a whole system to back it up. If you buy a piece of land in the United States, the United Kingdom, or France, if someone goes on that land they will be arrested for trespass. Or so on or you can charge rent and so on there's laws in place to support that.

According to what I read, even if a company does claim use of a section of the Moon, they can only claim it while physically present on the Moon. If you are mining a section of the Moon, you can claim ownership, however, as soon as your vehicle leaves, you cannot claim ownership.

So again, I do not think it is worth anything and it is not generally a good idea. All of this has been tried before back in the past when people claimed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and were selling them in newspapers and so on, claiming that the seafloors will be valuable in the future. 

They were right the sea floor would be valuable, but they had no right to claim it so does that mean it is impossible to own a bit of space?

Well, yes there is in fact there is a proper legal way of owning a bit of space and it is completely genuine there is no trick involved and that is to buy a meteorite. From an actual genuine meteorite dealer there are a few of them on the internet. You want one that has been around for years do not buy anything off any internet auction sites or anything else like that. It is best to buy a genuine meteorite from a dealer who knows what they are selling. This is a great way to own something from space, and the best part is that you can hold it in your hand.

If you would like to see me talking about this then please watch the episode below!


I get commissions for purchases made through affiliate links in this article.

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