2012: End of the World? (Part 2)

There are numerous claims for 2012. One might be worried if any of them look as if they might be right. But one should also be extra skeptical if any of them should prove to be trivially wrong. I mean, if someone tells you five things, and one of them is wrong, or a lie, […]

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2012: End of the World? (Part 1)

You may have heard rumors of disaster in 2012. The word disaster comes from some ancient language. The prefix dis means bad, and the word aster means star. So, we have bad star. And in the days of superstition, astronomy and astrology were the same thing. We have superstition yet. And we have the Internet. The Internet allows the dissemination of unchecked disinformation faster […]

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Naming a Star

The IAU frequently receives requests from individuals who want to buy stars or name stars after other persons.  Some commercial enterprises purport to offer such services for a fee.  However, such “names” have no formal or official validity whatever: A few bright stars have ancient, traditional Arabic names, but otherwise stars have just catalogue numbers and positions […]

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