Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space Science

Adopt-a-Star To Fund Research 82

Travis writes "An international collaboration of astronomers is taking a unique approach to funding their research, through an 'adopt-a-star' program. Preparing for the launch of NASA's Kepler satellite next February, the group will help characterize thousands of stars that the mission will be searching for evidence of Earth-like planets. For a small donation, early adopters get a certificate by email and updates when any planets are found around their adopted star."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Adopt-a-Star To Fund Research

Comments Filter:
  • Sol (Score:5, Funny)

    by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot@jawthesh[ ].com ['ark' in gap]> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:15PM (#24021389) Homepage Journal
    I call dibs on "Sol" ;-)
  • by CowboyNealOption ( 1262194 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:18PM (#24021431) Journal
    Maybe people could adopt individual grains of sand at the beach, to raise money to help keep the beaches clean. The hard part is writing the chosen names with a sharpie on each grain of sand.
    • Maybe people could adopt individual grains of sand at the beach, to raise money to help keep the beaches clean. The hard part is writing the chosen names with a sharpie on each grain of sand.

      This can be done on a grain rice (I've seen it done, but with a fine, fine writing/drawing instrument, not a sharpie), but on a grain of sand I think you need to start getting microscopic.

      • Maybe it's just me... but I'd be surprised if you HADN'T seen someone writing on a grain of rice.

    • by cmacb ( 547347 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:12PM (#24023549) Homepage Journal

      You beat me to it.

      I sort-of fell for the Name-a-Star scam back in the 80s (sort-of because I knew the list wasn't completely official, but it made a nice change of pace from flowers as a gift... you mean, every scientist in the world isn't regularly referring to this speck in the sky by my mothers name?). So now we are starting all over again, but this time "it's for a good cause"?

      How about adopting carbon atoms as a way to cure global warming:

      (1) For $10 set to my PayPal address I'll insure that a specific carbon atom *with your name associated with it!* doesn't find its way back into the atmosphere.

      (2) Profit!

      Or has Al Gore already thought of this?

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:19PM (#24021445)

    ...vanity plates were bad.

  • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:21PM (#24021485)
    How long before I get emails from my so-called star saying:"I've been captured by a bunch of NASA thugs wearing white coats and black spectacles. OMG they want to delete my itunes library I don't give then $10,000!!!!Please send $10,0000 to....
  • to start a competing company.
    I will only allow people to name stars that are visible from a rural town.
    I woudl do it via bidding, with the starting bid based on how bright the star is.
    Sol would start at 250k, the north start 1000K and down to a minimum of 40 bucks.

    *Visible from the naked yes only valid at time of purchase... No not 'night time' but I don't want to be liable for future pollution.

  • by Electric Eye ( 5518 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:27PM (#24021589)

    I remember hearing all those commercials that you could name a star after someone. I was actually dumb enough to do it for a girlfriend. When we got the "chart" the star was.... made up! They actually put a black dot from a magic marker on it.
    This sounds oddly familiar.

    How about getting NASA's money back from George Bush's bogus faith-based programs?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jd ( 1658 )
      If you trace far enough in that direction, you (almost always) eventually reach a star. There are only a handful of places in the sky where there are "holes" big enough to see the light from the first galaxies.

      This gets me onto another train of thought. Maps of early cosmic radiation tend to be based heavily on extrapolation and calculation, rather than direct observation, because there simply isn't enough sky that does not have any stars, gas clouds, nebulae, pulsars, magnetars, black holes, quasars, etc

      • Depends on how precise you are with your coordinates. Also, there are a lot of places where there are dust clouds and such in the way, so while there may technically be stars behind them, they're undetectable from Earth.
    • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @04:07PM (#24022197) Homepage

      I remember hearing all those commercials that you could name a star after someone. I was actually dumb enough to do it for a girlfriend. When we got the "chart" the star was.... made up! They actually put a black dot from a magic marker on it.

      Black? That sounds suspiciously like she didn't get a star named after her, she got a black hole instead.

      The people at the registry told me that this was because they heard your girlfriend was an oversized groupie who had a reputation for sucking stars and anything else in the vicinity...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by syousef ( 465911 )

      What I want to know is what moron decided that starting a similar scam would be a good way to get funding. Any credible astronomer will denounce such nonsense as the star registry so for a credible organisation to start doing this is madness. Someone with too much marketing training and too little scientific training needs to get the sack (or at least a severe reprimand).

    • This is a bit more legit, I think. After all, it's not like they're claiming that you'll be officially associated with the star or anything (much like adopting a whale, say). You're just funding science related to that star, and they're acknowledging it. Obviously, no one else will really care, but if you feel like it, you get the pride of having funded a (very specific) scientific endeavor.
      • What if the star goes Nova? Do you get your money back? Do you have to pay for damages? If it becomes a neutron star, do I have to adopt it all over again?

        So many questions!!!!
    • Perhaps I can also interest you in your best psychic reading ever! [californiapsychics.com] (or your money back!)

      God, I am sick of those commercials on the radio around here.

      On another, loosely related note; Is it true that you can't buy crap like "Airborne" in Europe? Not that it doesn't mean there aren't morons there too - I ask because someone from Amsterdam wanted to "go shopping" to pick up that and other placebos while she was here...

  • by kiehlster ( 844523 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:27PM (#24021595) Homepage

    I remember in high school the who baby care/egg care thing where you (and a pair of classmates) had to take turns watching a fake baby or an egg for a few days. That was my first thought on adopting a star. Oh dang, my star esploded! Does that mean I get a zero on my report card?

    Meanwhile, other classmates are laughing because their star is not going anywhere for another 2 million years.

  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:29PM (#24021631)

    oh, THOSE kinds of stars. Never mind.

    LoB

  • by PingXao ( 153057 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:29PM (#24021635)
    In the NYC area there's a company that advertises frequently on local radio. International Star Registry will actually name a star after someone and actually register the name in book form at the US Copyright Office. All for only $50. Makes a great gift.

    I hope Adopt-A-Star is prepared to compete with the likes of this sham business that preys on the gullible. They must be making money because their ads are frequent around the holidays and they've been on for years. It's disgusting that real science goes wanting for lack of funds but sleazebags make money hand over fist.
    • ...I hope they have excellent lawyers and maybe a few heavily-armed grunts. International Star Registry is bound to go after them, but with luck the lawyers will figure out a way to counter-sue ISR for all the money it has. The grunts? Well, technically, they'd be there because rich people don't like stopping being rich and definitely don't like their revenue stream drying up and might do something really stupid. OJ doesn't pay anything of his fine because his money is overseas and/or otherwise unreachable.
    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      I too was disappointed to discover what a sham these name-a-star services operate. My hope for this service is that names get recognised by BigOfficialStarNameConsortium, and updated in databases such as those used by Celestia or Stellarium.

      How cool would it be to give a certificate to a loved one, and then look it up in Google Sky to see it's actually recognised?

    • They are definitely still going strong. I have done extensive work doing education and public outreach at observatories. At least once a year, someone would come in and ask if we could find the star for them that they had named..... it's sad to see the look on their faces when you explain that it's a scam......
  • by Vituperator ( 863044 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:31PM (#24021663)
    This reminds me of that Flight of the Conchords episode...

    Murray: There's something I need to talk to you about. It's not good news. Planet Jermaine. It's supernova-ed. Yeah, there's nothing left of it apparently, just a huge gaseous cloud and the beginning of a black hole.

    Jermaine: When did this happen?

    Murray: About 4 million years ago.
  • U.S. only (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If this is an "international collaboration", then why do you need a US address to donate using a credit card?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For a small donation, early adopters get a certificate by email and updates when any planets are found around their adopted star.

    A certificate? If I adopt the star I want DEEDS for any planets that are discovered. And rent when folks get there.

    • The certificate gives you the right to homestead whatever you put a fence around, assuming you get there before anyone else and/or can kill off whatever may already be there.
  • So, do I have to clean up the litter around it every month?

  • by tillerman35 ( 763054 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @03:55PM (#24022029)
    I went to their web site, but apparently all the stars have already been adopted by Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Madonna.
  • What's Rocky Mozel gonna think of this effort to muscle in on the action?

  • didn't Heinlein predict dishing out intergalactic real-estate we don't actually own?

  • I'll pass. (Score:2, Insightful)

    For $10 donation I'd expect to give the star a proper name of my choosing, instead of arcane stellar classifications like LBV 1807-21.
  • Giving Alms? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Markvs ( 17298 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @04:15PM (#24022301) Journal
    Since when is making a donation to a Public Charity either News for Nerds or Stuff that matters?

    "White Dwarf Research Corporation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research and public education on topics relevant to white dwarf stars." http://www.guidestar.org/pqShowGsReport.do?partner=networkforgood&ein=74-2924755/ [guidestar.org]

    ...there's nothing that states on their page nor on any other I could find that they actually work WITH NASA on any sort of project, nor that any money donated will go to THIS project.

    Basically this is just a fundraiser. It could just as easily been for the research into finding Natalie Portman's image in a bowl of hot grits.

  • With all of the hangers on and other assorted junkies orbiting around her some of them might be able to be considered planets.
  • Might as well get a pet stone and name it.

    Not only are they cheaper, but you're also 100% sure it's not a scam (since you either only pay when you get the stone or you pick the stone yourself) AND it's 100% yours so nobody else has it at the same time as you.

  • Just so long as the planet orbiting it is not called Livinum with a moon called "LV-426"....
  • Up there with selling land on the moon, There have been many "Adopt a Star" scams like this by con artists and scammers. I've attached some below. That these astronomers are doing the same thing is shameful.

    Star Registry from $15 Name a Star after Your Loved One Unique and Personalized Gift www.XXXXX.com

    Name A Star From $19.95 Buy A Star? Yes. At StarNamer®. Top quality with no compromises www.XXXXX.net

    Name a Star After Someone A gift that will last a lifetime Name a star! - Now only $18.95

  • As long as when the planet orbiting a star I name launches an invasion, so that it is forever known in history as the "INVASION FROM PLANET POOHEAD-6"

  • The pet rock made millions, I sure as hell look forward to this dwarfing that "entrepreneurship" or this planet truly is narcississtic.
  • For a small donation, early adopters get a certificate by email and updates when any planets are found around their adopted star.

    Do I get mineral rights? I need a stellar-sized nuclear fusion furnace to generate heavy metals (typically gold and platinum) from hydrogen and helium to fund construction of and to power my interstellar death ray. And I want to name it Fluffy Love Pumpkin.

  • I'd pay money for officially naming a star, but not for "adopting" one.

  • Aside from the obvious Larry Niven geek jokes:(I get to name *my* star Hearth heh.. No wait. 61 Ursa Majoris!) Would this charity have an indemnity clause should the star system be already occupied and named by another intelligent species? If it was already occupied by said species they then would send their interstellar solicitors and possibly militia to earth to charge those involved!
    • Who would be held accountable?
      What would alien punishment or sentencing encompass??
      Would we be liable???
      what if it i
  • For a small donation, early adopters get a certificate by email and updates when any planets are found around their adopted star.

    What they should do is sell the rights to name any planet found around the adopted star.

  • I'll adopt Halle Berry, if she will come and stay at my place.

  • Whats gonna worry me is when people either claim someone stole their star or there is commercials before movies about how wrong it is to make and sell pirated stars. And how do you know which star is yours anyway? Ooh Oooh dibs on that one.

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

Working...