Why Stars Change With The Seasons

Have you ever noticed that your favorite constellation is not always visible in the night sky? For example, the belt of Orion the Hunter is easy to spot in the winter, but nowhere to be seen in the summer. Where do the stars go? The short answer is that they are still out there shining during the day when you can’t see them. To understand, remember that the earth rotates on its axis every day, while revolving around the sun every year and you can only see the constellations at night, when your part of the earth is facing away […]

Hawaiian Star Gazing: Past and Present

What do stargazing and Hawaii have in common? A lot it turns out. The largest research observatory in the world is located on Mauna Kea, the Big Island of Hawaii. Arrive at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station (VIZ) before dark, so you can enjoy the exhibits and the best sunset on the island. The VIZ is named after the Hawaiʻi born astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. Did you know that you can see the stars better at the 9,200 foot VIZ, than you can at the 13,796 foot […]

Star Watch With Your Kids For Father’s Day

Want to have fun with your kids on Father’s Day? Make a game out of viewing objects in the night sky. It can be silly or serious, depending on the age and interest of you children. Try Night Sky I Spy. The “spy” names a constellation or prominent star and says something like “I spy with my little eye a Big Dipper, where is it?” or “I spy an elephant, where is it?” The players then try to point out what the “spy” sees. If you need some help recognizing summer constellations, check out Sky At Night Magazine. You can […]

Observatories and Planetariums Near Me

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the night sky? Did you know that most states have an observatory or planetarium open to the public? For example, there are two observatories within an hour’s drive of Name a Star offices in Bend, Oregon. Pine Mountain Observatory has multiple telescopes and free camping. In the summer volunteers often bring out their own telescopes to assist visitors in stargazing. View the night sky from over a dozen telescopes at Trip Advisor’s top rated observatory, Sunriver Observatory. Participate in a laser-guided constellation tour outdoors or come during the day to visit the […]

How to Enjoy the Night Sky

Families are spending lots of time together during the COVID-19 shutdown. Why not take your kids outside for a fun and educational look at the stars? Here are a few tips if you are new to stargazing.   Dark skies are best for viewing the night sky, so turn out the lights or go to a park away from city lights and people (remember to keep safe distances).  It takes about 10 minutes for your eyes to reach the first stage of dark adjustment and a couple of hours to reach optimal performance, so be patient as more stars become […]

Can I name a memorial star for a pet?

Pet Memorial Stars From Name a Star Pets are our best friends and loyal companions. We love them like a member of the family and grieve when we lose our fur baby. Animals are so important to us that 42 of the official 88 star constellations are animals. There are dog constellations like Canis Major and Canis Minor, plus a special one for hunting dogs, Canes Venatici. Cats are represented by Leo and Lynx. Horse lovers have Pegasus, the winged horse and Equuleus, the little horse. Mesopotamian, Greek, and Roman mythologies include many interesting stories about the animal constellations. As […]

How To Name A Star

  Star Naming and Viewing Still Fascinates Star naming has existed since ancient times. Stars that were visible to the naked eye were named in different languages by people from far-reaching parts of the world. All cultures created magical stories about the stars, which often included grouping the stars into constellations.      With the aid of the telescope, professional and amateur astronomers have discovered many more stars. These new stars are surveyed and their coordinates are located very precisely. Then they are given official identification numbers that are published in several star catalogs.   The International Astronomical Union (IAU) […]

World’s Oldest Star Naming Service, Name a Star, Unveils New Website

BEND, Ore., Nov. 15, 2016 — Name a Star, a unique gift-giving service where people can buy a star and name a star after a someone special , today announced the release of its new website, designed to make the star naming process even easier. Founded in 1978, Name a Star is the oldest star naming service in the world.  Name a Star allows thoughtful gift-givers to buy a star with confidence from the original star naming service. You can assign the recipient’s name to a star that would otherwise just have a number in a catalog. While the name is […]