Before the humans, came the stars…and odds are, they will still be illuminating the cosmos long after there are eyes to witness their burning. Essentially giant balls of plasma kept alive via thermonuclear fusion, stars have forever been watched with fascination by mankind from our humble earthly abodes.
From navigation to religious customs, the stars have altered and enhanced our daily lives since before we could even communicate with one another. The ancient Egyptians catalogued them; medieval Arabic astronomers gave most their current names.
Calendars and the keeping of time and seasons can be attributed to the stars, which the Greeks considered to be embedded and immovable within a sort of ‘heavenly sphere,’ along with the planets.
By 1838, we were measuring the precise distance of stars from ourselves. Now, we no longer have to be content with just looking at the stars; we can build and launch vessels to reach them…although our closest such space tech, Voyager One, still has 40,000 years left to go before reaching AC+79 3888 (as it is so romantically dubbed).
Many similarly awful star names exist, but this is avoidable. Naming a star has become a fascinating new way to fix this problem, using the International Star Registry. How would you like to have a celestial body officially named after you or a loved one in the Star Register? Don’t worry; there are plenty of stars out there just waiting for you!