Memorial Day Tribute: Naming a Star to Honor Loved Ones and Pets with Lasting Brilliance

Memorial Day Tribute: Naming Stars to Honor Loved Ones and Pets Forever

Honoring departed loved ones and pets through heartfelt star-naming tributes. Stars symbolize eternal beauty and a connection to something greater. Create lasting tributes by associating stars with cherished individuals or companions. Memorial Day holds deep significance, a time to remember and honor the departed. Pay tribute to loved ones by naming stars, and forming personal links with the heavens. Star-naming aids in coping with grief and finding solace in the vast cosmos. Memorial Day serves as a collective remembrance, uniting communities in honoring legacies. Reflect on shared memories with departed loved ones on this special day.

Star names extend remembrance, symbolizing their enduring presence in the night sky. Visit gravesites, hold vigils, and participate in ceremonies on Memorial Day. Honor the impactful legacies left behind by those who have passed away. Naming stars ensures their spirits shine brightly, providing comfort and healing. Stars represent continuity and a connection beyond ourselves, offering solace. Memorializing loved ones through star naming brings comfort and reassurance. Their essence lives on in our hearts and in the stars above. Naming a star as a memorial tribute is a poignant gesture. Link the celestial realm with personal experiences to find solace in grief. Memorial Day strengthens remembrance, honoring those who have departed. Meaningful acts of remembrance ensure the enduring legacies of our loved ones.

When it comes to honoring a deceased loved one or pet, naming a star provides a unique and heartfelt memorialization option. Stars have always held a special place in the human imagination, representing everlasting beauty and a connection to something greater. By associating a star with a cherished individual or companion, we create a lasting tribute symbolizing their enduring presence in our lives.

2022 Veterans Day free meals and restaurant deals around LouisvilleMemorial Day, an important day of remembrance, holds significant meaning in our hearts. It is a time when we honor those who have passed away, paying tribute to their sacrifices. Additionally, it serves as an opportunity to remember our departed loved ones. On this solemn day, communities gather to commemorate their impact and share cherished memories.

Choosing to name a star after a loved one or pet offers a personal and tangible connection between the heavens and our cherished memories. It acts as a constant reminder of their joy and love, helping us cope with grief and find solace in the vastness of the cosmos.

As Memorial Day approaches, we reflect on the memories and experiences shared with our departed loved ones. It is a time for visiting gravesites, attending vigils, and participating in commemorative ceremonies. Incorporating the act of naming a star into this remembrance can enhance the experience, providing a symbolic representation of their eternal presence in the night sky.

Moreover, memorializing loved ones through star naming helps us find healing and comfort. It offers continuity and a profound connection, reminding us that although they may be physically absent, their essence lives on in our hearts and in the twinkling stars above. This realization, especially on Memorial Day, brings solace and the reassurance of their enduring love.

In conclusion, naming a star to memorialize a loved one or pet is a poignant and meaningful way to honor their memory. It establishes a lasting connection between the celestial realm and our personal experiences, offering solace during times of grief. Memorial Day, a significant occasion of remembrance, complements this act by providing an opportunity to reflect and pay tribute to those who have passed away. Combining these elements ensures that the legacies of our loved ones continue to shine brightly, bringing comfort and healing to those left behind.

Constellation Virgo

Look for the Constellation Virgo the Virgin in May and Learn Why She Symbolizes Fertility and the Changing of the Seasons

Constellation-Virgo-The-VirginSymbolism: Virgo the Virgin represented as a maiden holding a sheaf of wheat or ear of corn, symbolizing fertility and harvest. Learn more about the night sky at the Star and Space Blog.

Mythology: Overall, the stories and legends associated with the constellation Virgo often focus on themes of fertility, agriculture, and the changing of the seasons:

  1. According to Greek mythology, the constellation Virgo represents the goddess Demeter, who was the goddess of agriculture, harvest, and fertility. Demeter was said to be the mother of Persephone, who was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld. In her grief, Demeter neglected her duties as goddess of agriculture, causing a great famine on Earth. Eventually, Persephone was allowed to return to the surface for part of the year, which symbolized the changing of the seasons and the cycles of life and death.
  2. In Babylonian mythology, the constellation Virgo was associated with the goddess Shala, who was the goddess of grain and fertility. She was often depicted holding sheaves of wheat or barley.
  3. In Hindu mythology, the constellation Virgo was associated with the goddess Kanya, who was the daughter of the king of the gods. She was known for her beauty and her devotion to the gods.
  4. In ancient Egypt, the constellation was associated with the goddess Isis, who was the goddess of motherhood and fertility. Isis was often depicted holding an ear of corn or a sheaf of wheat, which represented the bounty of the harvest.

When is it visible? Virgo is a popular constellation among stargazers, and it can be easily seen in the night sky during the spring and summer months.

How to find it? The bright star Spica makes it easy to locate Virgo, as it can be found by following the curve of the Big Dipper to Arcturus in Boötes and continuing from there in the same curve.It may be helpful to use a star chart like the ones that you receive from Name a Star, when you dedicate a star to someone.

History and Science: Virgo is one of the most ancient constellations, with records of its existence dating back to ancient Babylonian times.


The galaxy NGC 4380 by ESA/Hubble, CC BY 4.0

One of the most distinctive features of Virgo is the star Spica, which is the brightest star in the constellation. Spica is actually a binary star system, meaning that it is made up of two stars that orbit around each other. Spica is also one of the nearest massive stars to Earth, located just 260 light-years away. Virgo is home to many galaxies, including the Virgo Cluster, which is a group of more than 1,000 galaxies that are located approximately 60 million light-years away from Earth. The Virgo Cluster is one of the closest galaxy clusters to Earth, and it contains several well-known galaxies, including Messier 87 and Messier 49.

Stargazing In Chile

Chile is a paradise for stargazers of all ages and abilities. Learn about the 100 plus designated “dark sky” reserves and Name a Star’s newest licensee NombraunaEstrella


Moonrise over the telescope domes on Cerro Tololo, with the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds visible. (Photo by Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy).

Chile has some of the clearest and most breathtaking views of the night sky in the world. Located in the southern hemisphere, Chile offers a unique perspective on the cosmos, with constellations and celestial objects that are not visible from other parts of the globe.

The Atacama Desert, located in northern Chile, is considered one of the best places on Earth for stargazing. Its dry, clear air and high altitude make for near-perfect conditions for observing the stars. Many professional observatories, including the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory, are located in the Atacama Desert, making it a hub for astronomical research.

But even outside of the Atacama, the rest of Chile offers plenty of opportunities for stargazing. The country has over 100 designated “dark sky” reserves, which are protected areas where light pollution is strictly regulated in order to preserve the beauty and clarity of the night sky. These reserves can be found all over the country, from the Andes Mountains to the shores of Patagonia.

One of the most popular stargazing spots in Chile is the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, located in the Coquimbo region. This observatory is open to the public on certain nights and offers guided tours of the facility and the night sky. Visitors can also take part in a variety of stargazing events and workshops, including astro-photography courses and telescope viewings.

Name a Star is proud to introduce our newest licensee, Name a Star Chile. You can trust them to provide a unique gift for any friend or loved one. Choose Name a Star for any occasion, including birthdays, holidays, employee recognition, or honoring someone who has passed away.

The best time for stargazing in Chile is during the winter months (June-August), when the air is at its driest and the nights are longest. This is also the best time to see some of the more elusive celestial objects, such as the Magellanic Clouds and the southern hemisphere’s version of the aurora borealis, known as the “Southern Lights.”

Overall, Chile is a truly exceptional destination for stargazing, offering unparalleled views of the night sky and a wealth of opportunities for amateur and professional astronomers alike. Whether you’re a seasoned stargazer or just looking to catch a glimpse of the cosmos, Chile has something to offer everyone. If you can’t visit Chile, you can still name a star in the southern hemisphere.

Stargazer Gift Guide For 2022

Find bargains for the perfect gift for the skywatcher or astronomer on your 2022 Holiday gift list. Check out the ideas below from Name a Star. Stargazers  from beginner to advanced and young to old.

Know someone who is dreaming of becoming an astronaut, but currently a couch potato?  You could start that special person with a good pair of binoculars. If they are ready for a telescope, don’t waste your money on one that is difficult to assemble or too complicated. Here is a list of quality telescopes ranging from $100 to $2,000.

Don’t be confused by terms like focal length, aperture, reflector, and refractor. A reflector telescope uses mirrors and a refractor telescope uses lenses. A Catadioptric telescope combines the best of all of these features.

There are even travel telescopes, so stargazers can take their passion with them. They are lightweight, compact, and easy to set up. If the recipient lives in an apartment or space is at a premium, then this may be the best choice for them.

A gift of the stars is a great way to involve kids in science and a hobby that could last a lifetime. Get t the whole family off the couch  with the book 50 Things To See With A Telescope.

Not all gifts need to be wrapped. Why not plan an entertaining, yet educational group activity, like learning why the moon has craters? Make a dough out of flour and oil, then drop pebbles on this “moon surface” to see what kind of craters they make.

If your loved one has all of the gear they need, then take them on a dark sky vacation. One of my favorites is Kartchner Caverns. Whether it is a visit to your back yard or a trip to Arizona, get outside to enjoy the night sky.

If you really want to send that special person into space, name a star after them. Name a Star offers a variety of Holiday gifts. You can even put a special message on the certificate of registration letting them know what a special friend they are.

Fall And Winter Best Time To View Meteor Showers

Did you miss all of the summer meteor showers? No worries. The best meteor show of the year is coming in November. Learn the times and techniques for viewing nature’s amazing fireworks.

The Orionids meteor shower is active right now and peaks on October 20 and 21. Unfortunately the moon is near full, so you might not see much. Orionids are named after the constellation Orion, because the meteors seem to emerge or radiate from the same area in the sky as the constellation. Learn more about constellations at Name a Star. The meteors are actually dust from Haleys Comet. Be patient more meteor showers are on the way.

Meteors come from leftover comet particles and bits from broken asteroids. When comets revolve around the Sun, the dust they emit gradually spreads into a dusty trail around their orbits. Every year the Earth passes through these debris trails, which allows the bits to collide with our atmosphere where they disintegrate to create fiery and colorful streaks in the sky.

Chart showing number of meteors detected for 10 best meteor showers.
Meteor Shower Chart From NASA Meteoroid Environment Office

A little preparation will enhance your meteor watching experience. Most meteor showers are best viewed after midnight, so dress warmly and maybe pack some hot drinks. Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky. Lay flat to see as much of the sky as possible. A blanket or a beach chair works great.

Find a secluded viewing spot, away from city lights. Give your eyes 20 minutes to adapt to the dark. Avoid looking at your cellphone, if you get bored. The bright screen can ruin your efforts to adjust your night vision. Bill Cooke, the lead for the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, suggests “leave your phone inside“.

The Leonids peak during mid-November each year and are bright and colorful. They are also fast: Leonids travel at speeds of 44 miles (71 kilometers) per second. Orient yourself with your feet toward the east. The moon will only be about one third full, so this may be your best chance in 2022 to see meteors. But wait there is more.

The Geminids are usually the strongest meteor shower of the year and meteor enthusiasts are certain to circle December 13 and 14 on their calendars. The moon will be three quarters full on December 13th, so consider looking at the Geminids around Thanksgiving or Christmas, when the moon is less bright. Take a friend or loved one out meteor hunting and surprise them with a gift of their very own star from Name a Star.

Constellation Lyra The Lyre Of Orpheus Includes Interesting Double Stars

Learn about the double stars of the constellation Lyra and how Orpheus used his lyre to charm women and Hades the god of the underworld. He even saved Jason and the Argonauts from the lure of the Sirens.

 Symbolism: Lyra the lyre, a musical instrument with strings used in antiquity.

northern-constellations-lyraMythology: Lyra represents the lyre of Orpheus, the musician and poet in Greek mythology. There are many stories of Orpheus. In one he saves Jason and the Argonauts when his beautiful music quells the voices of the Sirens as they attempted to lure the Argonauts to their death on the rocky shores of the Sirens’ Island. In another story Orpheus descends into the underworld to bring his wife back to life. Orpheus charms Hades with his melodies, but ultimately fails to bring Eurydice back to the land of the living.

When is it visible? The constellation Lyra is best seen from June through October in the northern hemisphere and much of the southern hemisphere directly overhead. Follow the Name a Star Space Blog to learn what is coming in September?

How to find it? Lyra, the northernmost of the August constellations, is relatively small, and easy to find because its brightest star, Vega (Alpha Lyrae), is the the second brightest star in the northern sky, slightly dimmer only than Arcturus.

History and Science: First catalogued by the astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. Lyra is home to two variable eclipsing stars, Beta Lyrae and RR Lyrae, which are so close together that they exchange mass. These binary stars sometimes appear as one star as they rotate around each other. Beta and RR already have names, but many other binary stars exist that make perfect anniversary or romantic gifts at Name a Star.

The area corresponding to Lyra was seen by the Arabs as a vulture or an eagle diving with folded wings. In Wales, Lyra is known as King Arthur’s Harp (Talyn Arthur), and King David’s harp. The Persian Hafiz called it the Lyre of Zurah. It has been called the Manger of the Infant Saviour, Praesepe Salvatoris. In Australian Aboriginal astronomy, Lyra is known by the Boorong people in Victoria as the Malleefowl constellation. Lyra was known as Urcuchillay by the Incas and was worshipped as an animal deity.

Fathers Day Skywatchers Gift Guide 2022

Looking for a unique Father’s Day gift that gets Dad outside? Check out the ideas below for the stargazing dad from beginner to advanced.

father-son-telescopeWould dad like to get a closer look at the stars without becoming an astronaut? You could start him out with a good pair of binoculars. If dad is ready for a telescope, don’t waste your money on one that is difficult to assemble or too complicated. Here is a list of quality telescopes ranging from $100 to $2,000.

Don’t be confused by terms like focal length, aperture, reflector, and refractor. A reflector telescope uses mirrors and a refractor telescope uses lenses. A Catadioptric telescope combines the best of all of these features.

There are even travel telescopes, so dad can take it with him. They are lightweight, compact, and easy to set up. If you live in an apartment or space is at a premium, then this may be the best choice for dad.

We are talking about Father’s Day, so let’s get the kids involved. Dad and the kids can have hours of fun with the book 50 Things To See With A Telescope. You could also plan a fun group activity, like learning why the moon has craters. Make a dough out of flour and oil, then drop pebbles on this “moon surface” to see what kind of craters they make.

If dad has all of the gear he needs, then take him on a dark sky vacation. One of the newest dark sky locations is in Name a Star’s backyard at Prineville Reservoir. Whether it is a visit to your back yard or a trip to Oregon, get outside to enjoy the night sky.

If you really want to send dad into space, name a star after him. Name a Star offers a variety of Fathers Day gifts. You can even put a special message on his certificate of registration letting him know what a special dad his is.

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Women Astronomers Part 3

Who discovered the most comets, identified the universe’s most common substance, and started the scientific search for extraterrestrial aliens? Women astronomers. Learn their stories.

Women make up only 15% of today’s astronomers, yet they have made some of our most important astronomical discoveries. Let’s hear the stories of three of those amazing women in Part 3 of the Name a Star series on female astronomers.

In the early 1970s, Vera Rubin was part of a team studying the rotation of spiral galaxies. To their surprise, they found that galaxies were rotating so fast that predictions showed they should break apart if the only thing holding them together was the gravity from their visible stars. Rubin and her collaborators hypothesized that some invisible glue — an unseen mass — must be at work. The group’s groundbreaking work provided the first direct evidence of the existence of invisible dark matter, that mysterious stuff that makes up most of the universe but gives off no energy or light. 


Jill Tarter Led NASA’s Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence

 Jill Tarter led the search for extraterrestrial life using radio astronomy. Tarter is the co-creator and former director of the Center for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). This nonprofit continues its search and education activities despite Congress refusing to fund this NASA project since 1993.

Famous astronomer and author Carl Sagan based the main character, Ellie Arroway, in his fictional novel, Contact, on Tarter. Jodie Foster played the role in the movie “Contact”.

Carolyn Shoemaker discovered more asteroids (500) and comets (32) than any other astronomer. She became famous in 1993 when she co-discovered Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with her husband Eugene and fellow astronomer David Levy. The comet was orbiting Jupiter in pieces. The next year, its 21 fragments smashed into Jupiter, wowing astronomers everywhere with a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime show. 

Before the Jupiter impacts, a reporter asked her what would happen if all the comet’s fragments were to hit Earth instead. “We would all die,” she answered. The interviewer explained that this was for a children’s program, then posed the question again. Carolyn’s second answer: “We would all be very uncomfortable.”

Honor the woman in your life, by naming a star for her for Mothers Day.

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Women In Astronomy Part 2

In our first Name a Star blog on women in astronomy, we discovered that a group of women did most of the work on the star catalog for which Edward Pickering got credit. Learn how brilliant hard working women advanced the science of astronomy.


Early Woman Astronomer

In 1881 a team of women at the Harvard Observatory called “computers”, helped photograph and catalog the entire night sky to produce the Henry Draper Catalogue. These women painstakingly performed complex calculations needed to process data from those images. Why was it called the Henry Draper Catalogue? Because the widow of astronomer Henry Draper funded the project to honor her husband and support the women scientists.

In our previous blog, we had fun with the fact that Williamina Fleming, the leader of the women scientists, started out as astronomer Charles Pickering’s housekeeper. However, many of the women on the team were graduates of Harvard affiliated Radcliffe College and scientists in their own right. Antonia Maury helped locate the first double star. Henrietta Leavitt developed a law to determine stellar distances. The most famous of the Harvard computers was Annie Jump Cannon. An expert in astrophotography, she cataloged over 350,000 stars and developed the classification system used today.

Another Radcliffe College graduate, Canadian Helen Sawyer Hogg, is best remembered for researching variable stars in globular clusters and for a long-standing astronomy column she had in the Toronto Star between 1951 and 1981.

Nancy Grace Roman was the first chief of astronomy in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters, and the first woman to hold an executive position at the space agency. Her managed projects include the world-famous Hubble Space Telescope, earning her the nickname, “Mother of Hubble.”

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was part of a team that discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967. Eventually, researchers figured out that radio pulsars are coming from swiftly rotating neutron stars, which are the cosmic leftovers of huge stars that exploded in supernovas. Pulsars have been used for numerous types of studies in the decades since, including testing Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Bell Burnell never received Nobel credit for her work, although other male team members did.

Once again women did the work and men got the credit. Have any women received the Nobel Prize for Astronomy/Astrophysics? Andrea Ghez, a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA, shared the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics for finding a supermassive black hole stuffed with 4 million suns at the center of our galaxy. Among the four female Nobel Laureates in physics to date, Ghez is the only astronomer. Her award is a pinnacle for women in astronomy and astrophysics. 

You may not be able to award a Noble Prize, but you can award a friend of loved one their own star at Name a Star. Check it out.

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Female Astronomers Who Made The Discoveries, While Men Got The Credit

In honor of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black female Supreme Court Justice, Name a Star is pleased to shine a light on women pioneers in astronomy. Learn their hidden stories.

Most would agree that Hypatia of Alexandria was the first female astronomer. Hypatia wrote explanatory notes for Almagest, an astronomical treatise by Ptolemy, the most influential Greek astronomer of his time. Hypatia was brutally murdered in 415 C.E. by a fanatical sect of monks who felt threatened by her level of knowledge and the encouragement for learning that Hypatia had inspired.

We have to fast forward to the 18th century to find our next set of female astronomers. In 1740 Émilie du Châtelet wrote Institutions de Physique to present Newton’s planetary movement theory in French. Du Châtelet updated Newton’s theory by replacing Newton’s geometric methods with the powerful new tool of calculus.

Caroline Herschel discovered a comet and a nebula, plus contributed over 500 stars to the Flamsteed star catalog. She spent most of her career toiling in her brother William’s shadow, however in 1787, King George III gave her official employment as William’s assistant, granting her a modest salary. She was also the first woman to receive honorary membership with Britain’s prestigious Royal Society.

An interesting group of women who advanced astronomy are those who worked with Edward Charles Pickering at Harvard Observatory. Pickering’s approach toward astronomic techniques was examining photographs, rather than taking notes while staring for hours through a telescope.


Pickering’s Harem

In 1881, Pickering had a problem, these photographs created massive amounts of data. Pickering’s assistant was inefficient at cataloging the stars, so Pickering did what any scientist of the latter 19th century would have done: he fired his male assistant and replaced him with his maid, Williamina Fleming. Fleming proved so adept at computing and copying that she would work at Harvard for 34 years–eventually managing a large staff of female assistants. These women, known as “computers”, revolutionized the science of astronomy.

Some of these women would produce significant work on their own. There stories will have to wait for another blog. The majority of the computers are remembered not individually but collectively, by the moniker Pickering’s Harem. The less-than-enlightened nickname reflects the status of women at a time when they were–with rare exception–expected to devote their energies to breeding and homemaking or to bettering their odds of attracting a husband. 

The work of Williamina Fleming and her assistants resulted in the Henry Draper Catalogue. Like most star catalogs each star has a unique star number, but remains unnamed until Name a Star helps its customers name those stars in honor of a friend or loved one.

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