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Finding our star...


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Hi, everybody, my name's Josh. I'm new here to the forum. Always had a very heavy interest in astronomy however I've still yet to fully pursue it.

I'm posting here today because last week I had the brilliant and totally original idea ;) to buy a star for Valentine's day. After some very brief research I learned that's basically impossible.

Nonetheless, I still thought it a romantic idea to find a star to... make our own. Now, I'm not an idiot and I work very hard to earn what little money I have - therefore, I'm not gonna let some company scam me. In fact, I think she'd find it much more romantic and meaningful if the gift were free of frivolous monetary values.

Which brings me to why I'm here. Although I have the interest, I do not have the knowledge required to seek out this very special entity.

Does anyone have the knowledge to help me? I'd like to find a fairly bright star that can be visible, with the naked eye, year round anywhere around the San Francisco bay area (CalifornIa). Pretty much I'm looking for some ideas on some different stars and their official name's/titles. As that way I can familiarize myself with locating it. If anyone has any ideas or can offer any help I'd really appreciate it! Thank you, guys! And I'm glad to be a part of the forum!

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Download Stellarium - it's free. It's planetarium software which once configured with your time and location on Earth through it's easy menus, will show you the sky at night in real time over your own back yard every time you start it up.

Choose a constellation that's visible all year round and select a star from within it that's visible with the naked eye. E.g. the Plough and Cassiopeia should be constantly visible since they never set in the northern hemisphere.

A google or two on the net will tell you all about whichever star you choose - pick one with a romantic story. Hope that helps and have a great Valentines day. :)

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If what you are talking about is buying a star I dont think you will be buying one that you can see with the naked eye. They use stars that are quite dim and you will need a scope to see. Take a look at this guys blog

https://cumbriansky.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/two-things-not-to-buy-for-christmas/

You may be well advised to take her out for a nice meal instead :-)

Arghhhhh just re read ..... Sorry you already realised...... Yea like has been said by brant.

Edited by Fish
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Instead of 'buying' a star from some hokey goofball-site, why not a different approach? Commandeer a star! Who would object? And as an added romantic twist, may I suggest a lovely double-star to represent your devotion? One that's visible year-round? I'm thinking of Mizar and Alcor in Ursa Major - commonly called the Big Dipper. Visible easily in even somewhat bright areas, these are two stars that are resting side-by-side. Like a Horse and a Rider - Which is what the names mean in Arabic. If you download Stellarium for free as suggested, you should be able to find these quite easily - once you get the hang of it. Here's a link to Stellarium:

http://www.stellarium.org/

A romantic twist and lore I leave to you. And welcome to SGL! Nice to have you aboard.

Enjoy the sky,

Dave

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Dave, I like the idea, but I'm not sure what kind of imagery you are trying to evoke by suggesting a "horse and a rider" as a suitable representation of your Valentines devotion! :D

Yeehaw, is it an American thing, like calling the Plough the Big Dipper? ;)

Edited by bingevader
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There is an old Chinese story called the Weaver-Girl and the Ox-Herder which, to keep a long story short is about star-crossed lovers who annoy a goddess and are separated for eternity by the Milky Way. The Girl is represented by Vega and the boy by Altair. However, their love was so strong and the story heard far and wide, that pity was taken on them and the Goddess/Emperor of Heaven (depending on what account you read) sent all the magpies in the world up to make a bridge across the MilkyWay once a year so the lovers could be together.

Two stars, one for you and one for her - don't bother buying one, just tell her an old folk tale!

If you google Weaver Girl and Ox boy, you can find loads of accounts - here is one!

http://ninhaochina.tumblr.com/post/8493386104/the-boy-ox-herder-and-the-weaver-girl-a-love

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Hi Josh and welcome to SGL, If you want a star that will appear all year round, you do need to chose one that is what is called Circumpolar, that is the stars that stay visible all year round, as they appear to revolve around the Pole star. "Stellarium" will show these for you. Often named The Big dipper, Plough, or Saucepan, known to Astronomers as "Ursa Major". The Constellation should be plainly visible to you on most clear nights. If you were to take a mental measurement from the star "Alkaid" ( star marking the beginning of the saucepan handle ) and use it as a radius gauge around Polaris, this should give you some idea of the circular area in which to work. there are quite a few bright stars to be seen in this area, as they say, the choice is yours :)

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I didnt know you could pick your own star. I thought they were dealt out at random or from a list.

Paul:

In this world at present, people can be convinced that the Moon is a star. And, in a filmed interview/interrogation of recent college graduates - who were shown a map of the world - that Australia is Iran. They were asked the best way to attack Iran, and they all had a route to take. Be afraid, Sidney. Be very afraid!

And there was the guy who sold the Pet-Rock. It was an ordinary rock-in-a-box that came with feeding & care instructions. He made one-million dollar, and used the surplus to pave his driveway.

So selling someone a star should come as little surprise.....

Teach!

Dave

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Paul:

In this world at present, people can be convinced that the Moon is a star. And, in a filmed interview/interrogation of recent college graduates - who were shown a map of the world - that Australia is Iran. They were asked the best way to attack Iran, and they all had a route to take. Be afraid, Sidney. Be very afraid!

And there was the guy who sold the Pet-Rock. It was an ordinary rock-in-a-box that came with feeding & care instructions. He made one-million dollar, and used the surplus to pave his driveway.

So selling someone a star should come as little surprise.....

Teach!

Dave

Thanks for that wealth of useless information.

:tongue:  :tongue:

All i meant was that while i know you can "buy" a star, i didnt know you get to pick which one you "buy". 

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Paul:

In this world at present, people can be convinced that the Moon is a star. And, in a filmed interview/interrogation of recent college graduates - who were shown a map of the world - that Australia is Iran. They were asked the best way to attack Iran, and they all had a route to take. Be afraid, Sidney. Be very afraid!

And there was the guy who sold the Pet-Rock. It was an ordinary rock-in-a-box that came with feeding & care instructions. He made one-million dollar, and used the surplus to pave his driveway.

So selling someone a star should come as little surprise.....

Teach!

Dave

Who has time to know where Australia is when you're crunching numbers or reading about people who died hundreds of years ago? As a recently graduated student (well the 15th of this month, I'll call it recently graduated), I am proud to say that I know where Australia is. That's all I know though. 

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I didnt know you could pick your own star. I thought they were dealt out at random or from a list.

Love is in the air Paul, if you read the original OP thread, he wants to choose a bright named star for Valentines Day, which is circumpolar, just for him and his female companion to observe, at any time during the year, how romantic :)

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Love is in the air Paul, if you read the original OP thread, he wants to choose a bright named star for Valentines Day, which is circumpolar, just for him and his female companion to observe, at any time during the year, how romantic :)

Im by no means dissing the idea. I think it is a very romantic gesture. I just didnt think you could pick an individual star.

I'd give a woman a gift of a star and name if after her for sure. Closest ive gotten is naming my dog "Chara" after a star in the constellation of Canis Venatici (the hunting dogs). It is a great name because in Greek it means "joy" and in Gaelic it means "friend".

Didnt cost a penny, but took a few mins of research.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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 I did something  very similar, many Years ago , choosing a whole constellation, such was my generosity, and with no financial loss?

The Stars are still there, but the romance died  very suddenly  soon after, so maybe don't pick something to prominent that could  act as a sad reminder if it all goes wrong! you never know what's ahead?

That said , I've since  been happily married  longer than some folk get   for  life in prison for the crime of murder here  in the UK, and no, I've  never gifted any Stars on this occasion  :laugh:

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