All target stars have been observed by NASA space telescopes as part of a search for Earth-like planets. Great last-minute gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas.
Adopt a Double Star
All double stars are two stars in orbit around each other, which appear as a single point of light in the sky. They are perfect gifts for anniversaries, weddings, or Valentine’s Day.
Adopt a Planetary System
These are planet host stars identified in the NASA Exoplanet Archive. Suspected hosts are still waiting to be confirmed, but confirmed hosts have official Kepler or TESS numbers.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Target stars are fainter, and are not available in all constellations. Double stars are popular gifts for anniversaries and weddings. Suspected planet hosts are stars that might have planets around them, while confirmed planet hosts definitely have planets. Bright stars can be seen without a telescope, and are available in every constellation in the sky.
Nonprofit Adopt a Star, as seen in:
About Nonprofit Adopt a Star
WHO WE ARE: I’m Travis Metcalfe, an astronomer at White Dwarf Research Corporation in Golden, Colorado. I started this nonprofit adopt a star program in 2008 to help raise research funds for the Kepler/TESS Asteroseismic Science Consortium, a large international team of scientists. Our work is central to the science goals of the Kepler and TESS missions, but NASA is not allowed to fund international organizations—that’s why we need your support!
WHAT WE DO: NASA launched the Kepler space telescope in 2009. It targeted nearly 200,000 stars in the summer Milky Way, followed by 300,000 stars all around the sky. Some of the stars have planets, and some of those planets pass directly in front of their star. We determine the sizes and ages of these planetary systems by measuring the properties of their host stars. Kepler has stopped collecting new observations, but TESS launched in April 2018 to survey nearly the entire sky. We have a lot of work to do!
WHY CHOOSE US: We are professional astronomers, and this program is run by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. You can feel confident that your purchase will support cutting-edge research on the stars that you adopt. So adopt a star and support our work! Who knows? Maybe an Earth-like planet will be found around your star—how cool would that be?
HOW IT WORKS: First, click on the type of star that you would like to adopt. By default, you get the brightest star available. If you would like to choose your own star, select one from our database and provide the star number. Next, enter the name or dedication that you would like on your certificate and click the “Add to Cart” button. Finally, click the “Proceed to Checkout” button and complete your payment using a credit card. Within a few minutes, our automated system will send you an email with links to download your certificate and view your star in Google Sky.
Frequently Asked Questions
Only the International Astronomical Union can recognize official names for stars. Any for-profit company that claims otherwise is not being honest. Our Nonprofit Adopt a Star program allows you to attach your name or dedication to a star in our completely transparent public database while supporting the research efforts of a team of astronomers using NASA space telescopes.
All payments are subject to credit card processing fees that are typically a few percent on a $100 payment. After subtracting these fees, the remainder of your payment supports astronomy research. There are no other deductions. You can make additional contributions in any amount through this donation link.
No, all of the stars in our database are the targets of NASA space telescopes that are searching for planets. Each star is unique, and can only be adopted once. When you adopt a star, you receive a link to your individual star page that will always show the name or dedication that you provided. Stars that are already adopted can never be adopted by someone else.
Within a few minutes of your payment, our automated system will process your star adoption and send a message to the email address that you provided during checkout. You should receive a receipt from Nonprofit Adopt a Star immediately following a successful payment, followed by another email a few minutes later with details of your star adoption. If you saw the Thank You page after finishing checkout on our website but didn’t receive one or both emails, please look in your junk email (spam) folder.
Direct links to your certificate and star page are included in the email from Nonprofit Adopt a Star that follows your successful payment. To find your star page, search our database for the name or star number that you provided. To download your certificate, just click on the name that appears next to “Adopted for” on your star page.
The sky coordinates of your adopted star are shown on your star page, on the right side below the Google Sky image. Point to these coordinates to find your star with a computer-controlled telescope. The constellation of your star is shown on the left side below the Google Sky image, and it links to a star chart centered on this constellation. Plot the coordinates on the star chart and refer to the Google Sky image to find your star with a manually-controlled telescope.
We are always happy to help select the right star for your needs, or answer any other questions that you may have about our Nonprofit Adopt a Star program. We can also provide personalized service if you need a larger number of stars for guests at a special event, or members of a corporate team. Please send your email directly to Travis.