Mesrop Mashtots in star naming rip-off

Day Three at the Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting here in Yerevan, Armenia. This afternoon there was only the business meeting of the European Astronomical Society. I thought this …… sounded just a tad … well … zzzzzzzzz …….snnnrrrgggghhh ….zzzzzzz….snnrrrgghhhh … zzzz.. snnrgg-uh ! wuh ? Oh, sorry, where was I ? Anyway, so I decided to goof off and do some tourism.

Amongst other things I visited the Madenetaran, a museum housing thousands of ancient books and manuscripts. As well as lots of beautiful illuminated manuscripts, I was stunned to find, proudly displayed in a glass case, a certificate announcing that a new star had been registered with the “International Star Registry”, in honour of Masrop Mashtots, the fifth century bishop who invented the Armenian alphabet. That’s so depressing .. a museum actually fell for this “name a star” scam …. I wonder what they paid ?

The certificate is a masterpiece of deception, implying its all very official. It says that the star is in one of the 88 constellations officially recognised by the IAU (err.. there is one that isn’t ?), and that the name and “telescopic co-ordinates” of the new star are being placed in “Your Place in the Cosmos, Volume V”, and that this volume has been placed in the Library of Congress and the British Museum. Err.. yes… along with every other book ever published.

Then you see the star will also be registered with the “International Star Registry Vault” in Zurich. Wuh ? This lovely certificate is signed by the Richard L Ney, the president of the International Star Registry, 146 Deer Creek Road, Fredonia, Texas.

Oh and people who have also registered a star also include the Queen of ENngland, Bill Clinton, and Boris Yeltsin. Wow.

Francoise Genova will also be pleased, as the certificate clearly states that all new stars are catalogued in Strasbourg.


11 Responses to Mesrop Mashtots in star naming rip-off

  1. Stuart says:

    Last year I wrote about a similar certificate from the Intergalactic Star Database (a rival to ISR). It would appear that most of (if not all) these certificates contain dodgy and/or misleading information. The one my friend showed me had rise, set and transit times for the named star but nowhere was the observing site specified! It also gave an “altitude” plot which I am still unable to decipher.

  2. me, zweeeee says:

    yer gay

  3. me, zweeeee says:

    also, the boxes on the comment box are too pale to see, so you have to guess where they are.

  4. me, zweeeee says:

    love you really

  5. Zoe says:

    I think I’m going to adopt Lawrence Andy Anderson as my father…

  6. Zoe says:

    Hey dad, I’m getting a sex change. Can I be your son please?

  7. Zoe says:

    Andy Lawrence is the coolest guy around

    (, 1998)

  8. andyxl says:

    It may look like I have been attacked by some weird spammers. In fact the above comments come from my beloved daughter Zoe (alias Zwee) and her friend Leo (temporary alias Zoe). You can take this as an insight into teenage web culture. I just feel lucky I understand ANY of it. So I got home for tea and she said “its alright Dad you can delete them”. Huh. Thinks you.

  9. […] to pay for Astronomy Keen readers may remember me uncovering the Great Armenian Star Naming Rip Off. Now Waterstones are at it too. Today in Princes Street, I was depressed to find them selling […]

  10. […] to show their unfortunate and gullible customers where their celestial unreal estate can be found. (As has been noted elsewhere, it is surprising to find even scientific institutions falling for the patter of the snake-oil […]

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