Days after a Sushant Singh Rajput fan went viral for naming a star in space after the deceased actor, authorities entrusted with the celestial duty have come forth to claim that no star had indeed been named after the Kai Po Che! actor.
The fan named Raksha recently took to Twitter to announce how she had named a star after the actor, who was found hanging in his Mumbai flat on June 14. She even posted a "certificate of registration" on Twitter and added that she had named a star after the actor since he loved astronomy and owned several telescopes. The "certificate" had been issued by the so-called "Star Registry" and certified that the star "residing at the astronomically verified position of RA 22.121 and Declination - 10.14 would from now on by called "Sushant Singh Rajput".
sushant had always been so fond of the stars & thus i found it quite fitting to name one after him. 💫 i shall forever be blessed to have witnessed such a beautiful & profound soul. may you continue to shine brightest! 💛@itsSSR#sushantsinghrajput #sushantinourheartsforever pic.twitter.com/c92u9yz1Sg— raksha ♡ (@xAngelWingz) June 29, 2020
In a piece published by news website The News Minute, a spokesperson from the International Astronomical Union (IAU) - the body responsible for the naming of celestial objects - clarified that no such star had been named in Rajput's name.
"In the world of professional astronomy and astrophysics, only the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has formal authority in naming celestial bodies and celestial features," Dr Aswin Sekhar, voting member of IAU, said. He also added that there were several "scammers and fraudsters globally who claim to legalise formal names of celestial bodies like stars, comets, asteroids, exoplanets and so on by monetary transactions".
While it may seem fitting for fans to "name a star" after Rajput, who a vocal space enthusiast may seem romantic, a response by NASA reveals that the act of "buying" a star name is just a waste of money.
"When you talk about "buying stars" or "naming stars" for yourself or a friend, you are most likely referring to the claims of one of the commercial companies who promise to do this for you for money. You can do this, but it is not official. Your name will not be listed in any file except the one the company who takes your money keeps. In fact, one of these companies was even issued a violation of deceptive advertising by the State of New York Department of Consumer Affairs."
It further clarifies that the IAU has standardized rules for the naming of celestial objects and that "none of these rules involve the exchange of cash".
In a statement, IAU said that, though it was worthy to gift a star to a loved one, "real star names can be bought like any other commodity".
This is due to ethical reasons to prevent wrong-doers from acquiring the power to officially rename stars with the power of money. Imagine naming a star after dreaded dictators and murders, just because someone had the money to do so.