The Christmas Tree in Space

Here’s a holiday treat from outer space: The Christmas Tree Cluster!

Imagine the beautiful green, wispy branches of a Christmas tree — adorned with red, blue and white lights — gracefully on display in the heavens above.

The Christmas Tree Cluster
The Christmas Tree Cluster (a.k.a. “NGC 2264”) is located in the constellation Monoceros, near the Name A Star Live constellations Orion and Gemini.

Newborn stars, hidden behind thick dust, are revealed in this image of a section of the Christmas Tree Cluster from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Infant stars appear as pink and red specks toward the center and appear to have formed in regularly spaced intervals along linear structures in a configuration that resembles the spokes of a wheel or the pattern of a snowflake. Hence, astronomers have nicknamed this the “Snowflake Cluster.”

Star-forming clouds like this one are dynamic and evolving structures. Since the stars trace the straight line pattern of spokes of a wheel, scientists believe that these are newborn stars, or “protostars.” At a mere 100,000 years old, these infant structures have yet to “crawl” away from their location of birth. Over time, the natural drifting motions of each star will break this order, and the snowflake design will be no more.

Like a dusty cosmic finger pointing up to the newborn clusters, Spitzer also illuminates the optically dark and dense Cone Nebula, the tip of which can be seen towards the upper right corner of the image.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/P.S. Teixeira (Center for Astrophysics)

And here’s some other neat space imagery for you!

ESO Observatory
An outstanding image of the sky over European  Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory.  Image Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)

The object that is glowing intensely red in the image is the Carina Nebula.  The Carina Nebula lies in the constellation of Carina (The Keel), about 7500 light-years from Earth. This cloud of glowing gas and dust is the brightest nebula in the sky and contains several of the brightest and most massive stars known in the Milky Way, such as Eta Carinae. The Carina Nebula is a perfect test-bed for astronomers to unveil the mysteries of the violent birth and death of massive stars.  Click here for more information about this image.

Finally, here is a beautiful video — set to equally beautiful music — showing the night skies over Cornwall and Scilly, in Great Britain.


Name a star for that special someone this Christmas!
Consider our Instant Gifts: Download, Print and Give 24/7!

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BOGO and Watch Your Star Name Launched to Outer Space!

Crowd watching launch
Watch your star name launched to space!

Name A Star Live is the only star naming service that launches your star name into space! Name a star with us and join us in person to watch the launch of your star name. We’ll be hosting a star party too where you can view the stars and planets through telescopes. If you can’t join us in person, you watch via webcast.

A family stargazing
See the stars and planets at our star party in New Mexico.

It’s all happening in April 2018 at a place called “Spaceport America” in New Mexico — about a two-hour drive north of El Paso. This 21st century spaceflight facility will be used by Sir Richard Branson to fly space tourists into the Final Frontier. Spaceport America is also one of the launch locations we use to fly our customers’ star names. Watching a launch occur over the majestic landscape of New Mexico — the “Land of Enchantment” — is simply breathtaking! Plus, you can tour Mission Control and view the rocket on the launch pad. Name A Star Live makes you a part of real space missions, and you get the full experience at Spaceport America.

Touring the launch pad
Touring the launch pad at Spaceport America

After we launch your star name, you get a  letter-size, Digital Launch Certificate confirming that your star name was part of a real space mission. If you can’t join us for liftoff, you can even watch the launch online. What a wonderful Christmas gift! So name a star today!

We offer 2 types of gifts:

  • Our Instant Gifts are provided to you via the Internet: Download, Print and Give right away, 24/7!
  • Our Keepsake Gifts are printed and shipped to you or to your gift recipient. We offer free Priority Mail shipping to U.S. addresses.

When you take advantage of our Buy One, Get One sale you:

How to Make Your Buy One Get One Purchase:

1. Visit our site and add any Gift Set to your cart.
2. Enter your special offer code at checkout.
3. Complete your purchase.
4. Name both of your stars and gift them to friends & family!

Good through Monday, December 25, 2017.

Star Bear Gift Set
The Star Bear Gift Set starts at $39.95. Click to see larger image

Featured Gift Set

One of our most popular Keepsake Gifts is the Star Bear Gift Set, which starts at $74.95. Shipped to you or your gift recipient, it includes everything you’ll need to make the stars come alive. It’s a great name-a-star gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, a birthday, graduation or any special occasion.

The Name A Star Live Star Bear Gift Set includes:

  • A loveable, cuddly 6″ bear holding a generic parchment certificate, and adorned with a gold ribbon and star.
  • A 5×7″ Printed Star Certificate displaying the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you can write for your gift recipient.
  • A letter-size Digital Star Certificate that you can download, print and give right away while your Star Bear and Printed Star Certificate are on the way in the mail.
Launch Certificate
You get a Digital Launch Certificate each time we launch your star name into space — with Name A Star Live, you’re made part of real space missions!

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Join Us at the Launch and Star Party!

Crowd watching launch
Watch your star name launched to space!

Name A Star Live is the only star naming service that launches your star name into space! Name a star with us and join us in person to watch the launch of your star name. We’ll be hosting a star party too where you can view the stars and planets through telescopes. If you can’t join us in person, you watch via webcast.

A family stargazing
See the stars and planets at our star party in New Mexico.

It’s all happening in April 2018 at a place called “Spaceport America” in New Mexico — about a two-hour drive north of El Paso. This 21st century spaceflight facility will be used by Sir Richard Branson to fly space tourists into the Final Frontier. Spaceport America is also one of the launch locations we use to fly our customers’ star names. Watching a launch occur over the majestic landscape of New Mexico — the “Land of Enchantment” — is simply breathtaking! Plus, you can tour Mission Control and view the rocket on the launch pad. Name A Star Live makes you a part of real space missions, and you get the full experience at Spaceport America.

Touring the launch pad
Touring the launch pad at Spaceport America

After we launch your star name, you get a  letter-size, Digital Launch Certificate confirming that your star name was part of a real space mission. If you can’t join us for liftoff, you can even watch the launch online. What a wonderful Christmas gift! So name a star today!

We offer 2 types of gifts:

  • Our Instant Gifts are provided to you via the Internet: Download, Print and Give right away, 24/7!
  • Our Keepsake Gifts are printed and shipped to you or to your gift recipient. We offer free Priority Mail shipping to U.S. addresses.

When you take advantage of our Buy One, Get One sale you:

How to Make Your Buy One Get One Purchase:

1. Visit our site and add any Gift Set to your cart.
2. Enter your special offer code at checkout.
3. Complete your purchase.
4. Name both of your stars and gift them to friends & family!

Good through Monday, December 25, 2017.

Deluxe Gift Set
The Deluxe Gift Set. Click to see larger image

Featured Gift Set

One of our most popular Keepsake Gifts is the Deluxe Gift Set, which starts at $54.95. Shipped to you or your gift recipient, it includes everything you’ll need to make the stars come alive. It’s a great name-a-star gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, a birthday, graduation or any special occasion.

The Deluxe Gift Set includes:

  • A letter-size, Printed Star Certificate showing the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you can write for your gift recipient.
  • A Star Chart showing the location of your star within its constellation (area of the night sky, such as Aries or Taurus). You get to choose the constellation for your star.
  • Our award-winning Virtual Planetarium astronomy software that brings astronomy to life with seven great programs in one. Explore the Universe with interactive games, breathtaking NASA imagery, and the latest updates from exciting space missions. Plus see a display of which constellations and planets are visible from your home each night. Suitable for all ages.
  • A Digital Launch Certificate provided to you each time we launch your star name into space!
Launch Certificate
You get a Digital Launch Certificate each time we launch your star name into space — with Name A Star Live, you’re made part of real space missions!

Buy Now

Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve

NORAD Santa tracking display
NORAD’s Santa Claus tracking website showing Santa’s position last Christmas Eve. Since Christmas Day begins in the Eastern Hemisphere, Santa starts his deliveries in the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, and then proceeds west across the world, racing against sunrise as the Earth rotates eastward.

Did you know that NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks the progress of Santa Claus as he makes his deliveries to the homes of all good little girls and boys on Christmas Eve? NORAD keeps the Abominable Snowman, the mean Mr. Grinch, and Jack Frost from spoiling Santa’s big flight, which NORAD designates as “Big Red One.” You can track Santa’s journey around the world on NORAD’s Santa Tracking Website. We invite you to see the following video about the history of NORAD’s role in Christmas and how NORAD helps Santa to this very day!

An airman tracking Big Red One at NORAD
An airman tracking Big Red One at NORAD

You should also check out Google’s online Santa Tracker! In addition to tracking Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve, this site features a nice Advent calendar you and your children can access now, complete with the sort of games Google is famous for. For example, you can learn how people in different countries pronounce Santa’s name and learn how to dance with elves!

Christmas is a time for celebrating friends and family, and remembering those no longer with us. One gentleman we should all remember at Christmastime was Ewald E. (Sig) Seignemartin, who helped start the NORAD tradition of tracking Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. His favorite job on the DEW Line was that once a year he entered a blip on the radar screen, labeled it “Santa Claus,” and had started the NORAD tracking followed by children and adults around the world until Santa visited each home. Read more about Ewald….

Finally, if you find that Santa needs a little help delivering presents to everyone on your list, remember that Name A Star Live is Santa’s official star-naming service! 🙂 You can name a star 24/7 — even on Christmas Day — with Name A Star Live’s Instant Gift Sets: Just download, print and give!

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Christmas in Space

Name A Star Live makes you part of real space missions by launching your star name into the final frontier. As humans like you move into space they bring along their customs and traditions — including Christmas.

Space station Christmas tree
A Christmas Tree on the International Space Station. Photo Credit: Chris Hadfield/Canadian Space Agency

Christmas Day is a NASA holiday, so the astronauts on the International Space Station get to take the day off. The space station astronauts have sent many holiday greetings to Earth. But the most famous Christmas message sent by astronauts to Earthlings was the Apollo 8 Christmas Eve transmission from astronauts in lunar orbit.

Earthrise photo
The famous ‘Earthrise’ photo from Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon. The crew entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts held a live broadcast, showing pictures of the Earth and moon as seen from their spacecraft.
Image Credit: NASA

Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to orbit the Moon on Christmas Eve 1968. They were also the first astronauts to spend Christmas in space.

To mark the occasion, they sent Christmas greetings and live images back to their home planet and read from the Book of Genesis. Borman closed the message with the words “good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you — all of you on the good Earth.”

It is estimated that as many as one billion people watched the historic broadcast or listened on the radio.

Apollo 8 launched from Earth on Dec. 21 and entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. The Apollo 8 crewmembers ended their history-making journey when they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 27. Eight more Apollo missions would visit the Moon, with six of them landing on its surface.

While astronauts have celebrated Christmas in space in the 1960s, in a sense, Christmas has been in space for over 100,000 years. We’re talking about the spectacular “Christmas Tree cluster”!

Christmas Tree Cluster
The Christmas Tree Cluster Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/P.S. Teixeira (Center for Astrophysics)

The Christmas Tree Cluster (a.k.a. “NGC 2264”) is located in the constellation Monoceros, near the Name A Star Live constellations Orion and Gemini. Newborn stars, hidden behind thick dust, are revealed in this image of a section of the Christmas Tree Cluster from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Infant stars appear as pink and red specks toward the center and appear to have formed in regularly spaced intervals along linear structures in a configuration that resembles the spokes of a wheel or the pattern of a snowflake. Hence, astronomers have nicknamed this the “Snowflake Cluster.”

Skylab 4 Christmas tree
The Skylab 4 crew created this Christmas tree out of cans in December 1973. Skylab 4 was America’s first space station.

Star-forming clouds like this one are dynamic and evolving structures. Since the stars trace the straight line pattern of spokes of a wheel, scientists believe that these are newborn stars, or “protostars.” At a mere 100,000 years old, these infant structures have yet to “crawl” away from their location of birth. Over time, the natural drifting motions of each star will break this order, and the snowflake design will be no more.

Whether celebrated on, or off, the planet, Christmas is a beautiful, joyous time of the year! Name a star for a friend or family member this Christmas and make them part of our real space missions!

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Buy One, Get One!

Buy NowName A Star Live is the only star naming service that launches your star name into space! First, we provide you a letter-size Star Certificate that displays the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you write for your gift recipient. After we launch your star name, you get a  letter-size, Digital Launch Certificate confirming that your star name was part of a real space mission. You can even watch the launch online. What a wonderful Christmas gift!

NGC 290We offer 2 types of gifts:

  • Our Instant Gifts are provided to you via the Internet: Download, Print and Give right away, 24/7!
  • Our Keepsake Gifts are printed and shipped to you or to your gift recipient. We offer free Priority Mail shipping to U.S. addresses.

When you take advantage of our Buy One, Get One sale you:

How to Make Your Buy One Get One Purchase:

1. Visit our site and add any Gift Set to your cart.
2. Enter your special offer code at checkout.
3. Complete your purchase.
4. Name both of your stars and gift them to friends & family!

Good through Sunday, December 10, 2017.

Star Bear Gift Set
The Star Bear Gift Set starts at $39.95. Click to see larger image

Featured Gift Set

A teddy bear always makes for a lovely Christmas gift. But naming a star really makes that teddy bear special! Let our lovable Star Bear deliver your holiday gift and make a memory that lasts a lifetime. It’s a great name-a-star gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, a birthday, graduation or any special occasion.

The Name A Star Live Star Bear Gift Set includes:

  • A loveable, cuddly 6″ bear holding a generic parchment certificate, and adorned with a gold ribbon and star.
  • A 5×7″ Printed Star Certificate displaying the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you can write for your gift recipient.
  • A letter-size Digital Star Certificate that you can download, print and give right away while your Star Bear and Printed Star Certificate are on the way in the mail.

Buy Now

The Best Shooting Stars of the Year

The best display of shooting stars all year — the annual “Geminid meteor shower” — is going on now! Although the peak occurs over the evening of Wednesday, December 13 — that’s the middle of the workweek! — you can see many shooting stars during the nights following the peak — through at least December 18. In this article we’ll discuss what a meteor shower is, how to view the shooting stars, and when to view them.

Watching a meteor shower
The best way to view a meteor shower is to lie back and look up — no telescope needed!

Continue reading “The Best Shooting Stars of the Year”

Name A Star and Save 20%!

Buy Now

Save 20% when you name a star today and tomorrow with Name A Star Live! Good Nov. 29 and 30, 2017.

Name A Star Live is the only star naming service that launches your star name into space! First, we provide you a letter-size Star Certificate that displays the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you write for your gift recipient. After we launch your star name, you get a  letter-size, Digital Launch Certificate confirming that your star name was part of a real space mission. You can even watch the launch online. What a wonderful Christmas gift!

The Butterfly NebulaWe offer 2 types of gifts:

  • Our Instant Gifts are provided to you via the Internet: Download, Print and Give right away, 24/7!
  • Our Keepsake Gifts are printed and shipped to you or to your gift recipient. We offer free Priority Mail shipping to U.S. addresses.

 

Deluxe Gift Set
The Deluxe Gift Set starts at $54.95. Click to see larger image

Featured Gift Set

One of our most popular Keepsake Gifts is the Deluxe Gift Set, which starts at $54.95. Printed and shipped to you or your gift recipient, it includes everything you’ll need to make the stars come alive. It’s a great name-a-star gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, a birthday, graduation or any special occasion.

The Deluxe Gift Set includes:

  • A letter-size Star Certificate in display folder showing the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you can write for your gift recipient.
  • A Star Chart showing the location of your star within its constellation (area of the night sky, such as Aries or Taurus). You get to choose the constellation for your star.
  • Our award-winning Virtual Planetarium astronomy software that brings astronomy to life with seven great programs in one. Explore the Universe with interactive games, breathtaking NASA imagery, and the latest updates from exciting space missions. Plus see a display of which constellations and planets are visible from your home each night. Suitable for all ages.
  • A Digital Launch Certificate provided to you each time we launch your star name into space!
Launch Certificate
You get a Digital Launch Certificate each time we launch your star name into space — with Name A Star Live, you’re made part of real space missions!

Buy Now

Cyber Monday Sale

Buy NowIt’s Cyber Monday, which means automatic, 30% savings at Name A Star Live! Take 30% off the price of any Name A Star Live gift set today and tomorrow, Nov. 27 & 28, 2017.

Name A Star Live is the only star naming service that launches your star name into space! First, we provide you a letter-size Star Certificate that displays the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you write for your gift recipient. After we launch your star name, you get a  letter-size, Digital Launch Certificate confirming that your star name was part of a real space mission. You can even watch the launch online. What a wonderful Christmas gift!

The Andromeda GalaxyWe offer 2 types of gifts:

  • Our Instant Gifts are provided to you via the Internet: Download, Print and Give right away, 24/7!
  • Our Keepsake Gifts are printed and shipped to you or to your gift recipient. We offer free Priority Mail shipping to U.S. addresses.

Featured Gift Set

Instant Gift Set Premium
The Instant Gift Set Premium. Click to see larger image.

Never lose sight of your star with the comprehensive Name A Star Live Instant Gift Set Premium. This high value digital gift set includes a personalized Star Certificate, Star Chart, and beautiful Astrophoto of your star’s constellation and location!

The Instant Gift Set Premium includes:

  • A letter-size, Digital Star Certificate, showing the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you can write for your gift recipient.
  • A Digital Star Chart showing the location of your star within its constellation (area of the night sky, such as Aries or Taurus). You get to choose the constellation for your star.
  • A Digital Astrophoto — a real photo of your star’s constellation. Customized with the star name, astronomical coordinates and includes an inset showing your star, its neighboring stars, and their location within the constellation.
Digital Astrophoto
An example of a Digital Astrophoto

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Small Business Saturday

Buy Now

Name A Star Live is offered by Space Services, Inc., a small business that’s been launching payloads into space for decades! Take advantage of our Small Business Saturday sale and save 30% when you name a star! Good this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26 and 27, 2017.

Name A Star Live is the only star naming service that launches your star name into space! First, we provide you a letter-size Star Certificate that displays the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you write for your gift recipient. After we launch your star name, you get a  letter-size, Digital Launch Certificate confirming that your star name was part of a real space mission. You can even watch the launch online. What a wonderful Christmas gift!

A family stargazingWe offer 2 types of gifts:

  • Our Instant Gifts are provided to you via the Internet: Download, Print and Give right away, 24/7!
  • Our Keepsake Gifts are printed and shipped to you or to your gift recipient. We offer free Priority Mail shipping to U.S. addresses.

 

Featured Gift Set

Name A Star Live Ultimate Children's Gift Set
The Ultimate Children’s Gift Set. Click to see larger image.

Inspire your child and help them sleep with ease with the Ultimate Children’s Gift Set. Name A Star Live’s Twilight Turtle projects three constellations while the shell lights up to highlight five endangered sea animals. Any child would love to find this gift under the Christmas tree!

In addition to the Twilight Turtle Star Projector, the Ultimate Children’s Gift Set includes:

  • A letter-size, Framed Star Certificate, showing the name of your star, your star’s astronomical coordinates, and a personal message you can write for your gift recipient.
  • A Star Chart showing the location of your star within its constellation (area of the night sky, such as Aries or Taurus). You get to choose the constellation for your star.
  • Our award-winning Virtual Planetarium astronomy software that brings astronomy to life with seven great programs in one. Explore the Universe with interactive games, breathtaking NASA imagery, and the latest updates from exciting space missions. Plus see a display of which constellations and planets are visible from your home each night. Suitable for all ages.
Twilight Turtle Star Projector
The Twilight Turtle Star Projector included with the Ultimate Children’s Gift Set

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