Over Christmas there has been a commercial on the television that is about a little girl wanting to buy a present for her mother. She comes up with buying a star. Or rather, naming a star.
Nothing wrong with that, right? Maybe. Except that the companies selling off star names or stars don’t have any right to sell what it effectively not theirs to sell.
If you sold someone something which was not yours to sell, you would be in a lot of trouble but apparently there is nothing illegal about selling people things billions of lightyears away. Which is a neat little loophole.
Naming/buying a star is a fine romantic gesture but your money would be better spent on something more tangible like chocolates, flowers or jewellery. You may argue that that the star will last longer but as soon as you and the person you named it after has died, nobody will care.
This is an absolute scam. Just think of how many times you could sell the same star to different people. Who would know?
But what it if was legally binding? What if the scientific community didn’t ignore this banal display of affection and instead accepted that random strangers could replace the scientific designations given to stars? Imagine when we finally got to travel to these stars. All those explorers peeved that that they can’t name a star because three hundred years ago, some dotty old man wanted to name a celestial body after his departed cat Tiddles. Plus could you watch Star Trek if they kept visiting stars with names like ‘Bobby’, ‘KatieLovesCallum’ or ‘Liverpool United’?
Another way in that this is a scam is that the stars we see in the night sky are not actually there. It takes light a long time to reach us from the star, you know this, yes? So what if the star has gone supernova? Or been swallowed up by a black hole? When you buy a star, you are simply buying a footprint in the sand and the water is already coming in to wash it all away.
That is it. Rant over. Mischief managed.