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information Astronomical Names – Part 2: Star And Constellation Names, Space Sectors

Dynadot Dynadot
Last week I took a look at Astronomical Terms as Brand Names. We saw that terms like star, sun, moon and nova are each used in many tens of thousands of business names.

I extend the topic in this week’s article, looking in particular at star and constellation names. I also consider what technology trends may drive use of astronomical and space terms in the coming decade.

The Brightest Stars

Many of the brightest stars are well-known, and that makes them suitable as potential brands.

Here is a list of the 100 brightest stars, at least brightest in the sense of apparent brightness as viewed from Earth.

The brightest star is Sirius. Other relatively well-known stars from the list include Vega, Castor, Rigel, Procyon, Altair, Aldebaran, Spica, and Pollux. Almost all of these stars were named in antiquity.

While just in 48th place, Polaris is well known as the north pole star. While the other stars appear to rotate in position, with each night and over the months, Polaris remains apparently fixed, for now at least, in the north. This allows Polaris to be used to guide directions, important prior to the era of GPS. However, over many thousands of years even that changes, due to precession in the Earth’s rotation axis, and other stars will in future fill the role of the ‘north star’.

While there are about 5000 stars visible with the unaided eye, the total number of stars in our Milky Way galaxy is probably more than 100 billion.

The vast majority of stars have no formal name, and are simply named as a line number in a star catalog. The brighter stars have been given a Greek letter and constellation name designation, generally ordered by brightness. For example, ⍺-Canis Major is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. But relatively bright stars also have a proper name, in this case Sirius, the brightest star in our sky.

I wondered how often the names of the brighter stars appear in business names. The table below shows the dollar volume of sales with the star name in prefix, exact or suffix position, using NameBio data, the number of registered extensions, using dotDB, and the number of times an active business or organizations uses the name, using OpenCorporates data.

Star
$ Volume Prefix
$ Volume Exact
$ Volume Suffix
TLDs
Business Names
Polaris
$3,400​
$3,720​
$340​
316​
6,566​
Sirius
$4,520​
$10,800​
$150​
350​
5,516​
Canopus
$0​
$0​
$0​
95​
498​
Arcturus
$0​
$0​
$0​
103​
663​
Vega
$14,500​
$3,950​
$10,300​
316​
14,795​
Capella
$0​
$230​
$0​
124​
1,497​
Rigel
$0​
$0​
$0​
124​
921​
Betelgeuse
$0​
$0​
$0​
62​
182​
Altair
$6,040​
$1,010​
$860​
181​
2,384​
Aldebaran
$0​
$2,170​
$0​
95​
663​
Spica
$0​
$4,960​
$0​
139​
594​
Pollux
$0​
$14,300​
$0​
104​
880​
Deneb
$0​
$0​
$0​
63​
313​
Regulus
$0​
$0​
$0​
118​
599​
Castor
$5,170​
$5,330​
$390​
119​
2,656​
Bellatrix
$0​
$0​
$0​
75​
431​

I generally included brighter stars, but excluded some with long or multiple names, or that seemed less suited to possible brand use. After Polaris, the table is arranged by decreasing apparent brightness.

The NameBio-recorded sales in most names are not impressive, nor in many cases the number of registered businesses. Vega, Polaris, Sirius, Castor and Altair among the more popular star names used as business brands.

Vega is by far the most popular, probably due to it being a short, pronounceable word, used in a car model, and a prominent bright star in the northern hemisphere summer skies. Mention in the movie Contact might have helped.

Castor and Pollux are the twin stars in the zodiac constellation Gemini, and both are relatively frequently used in business names. Castor might have increased in use recently with the surge in podcast service businesses, while Pollux beginning with word poll might be relevant to some uses.

Some relatively well-known bright stars in the northern sky still do not find a lot of use in business names, such as Rigel, the second brightest star in the constellation Orion. Betelgeuse is also an Orion star known to most casual stargazers, but does not find much love as a brand, probably because of possible misspelling.

If looking for inspiration among overlooked names, consult the full list of the 100 brightest stars.

The Constellations

The general public views constellations as the apparent shapes formed by a set of stars, such as Orion the Hunter, or Gemini the Twins. These are just apparent patterns, as often the stars making up a constellation are actually very distant from each other.

To an astronomer, a constellation is a region of the sky, like a country on a map. Nevertheless, the names of constellations trace their origins to the apparent shapes.

The sky is represented as being on a celestial sphere, analogous to an Earth globe, and all regions on that sphere are designated as part of one of the 88 official constellations.

The body in charge of astronomical naming is the International Astronomical Union, IAU. They approved the list of 88 constellations, and their boundaries, in 1930. You can see the list, their pronunciations, and meaning in this constellation list.

The zodiac constellations, because of their link to astrology, are well known among the public. The planets have motions that seem to make them move through the zodiac constellations. Here is a list of zodiac constellations.

The table below gives data for how frequently some of the constellation names appear in domain name sales, registered domains and in business or organization names.

Constellation
Meaning
$ Volume Prefix
$ Volume Exact
$ Volume Suffix
TLDs
Business Names
Andromeda
chained princess​
$230​
$520​
$910​
230​
1,669​
Aquarius
water bearer​
$530​
$0​
$210​
255​
4,122​
Aries
ram​
$4,120​
$2,310​
$1,200​
205​
4,489​
Auriga
charioteer​
$230​
$0​
$0​
104​
655​
Capricorn
sea goat​
$1,510​
$1,450​
$213​
135​
2,502​
Cassiopeia
queen throne​
$0​
$3,880​
$0​
103​
354​
Centaurus
human-horse figure​
$0​
$1,600​
$0​
96​
745​
Cetus
whale​
$2,230​
$5,230​
$0​
86​
329​
Cygnus
swan​
$240​
$7,250​
$0​
148​
1,535​
Draco
dragon​
$12,700​
$0​
$0​
153​
926​
Hercules
mythological figure​
$5,140​
$580​
$260​
175​
3,928​
Hydra
water monster​
$12,300​
$3,100​
$0​
289​
2,228​
Leo
lion​
$48,800​
$149,800​
$25,400​
360​
21,207​
Libra
scales, balance​
$18,100​
$5,730​
$4,310​
304​
4,302​
Lynx
lynx​
$15,400​
$9,210​
$14,100​
276​
4,055​
Lyra
harp​
$0​
$280​
$560​
163​
1,564​
Mensa
table mountain​
$150​
$0​
$0​
160​
502​
Orion
hunter​
$41,300​
$3,180​
$1,940​
359​
15,690​
Pegasus
winged horse​
$25,000​
$14,800​
$1,460​
233​
9,582​
Perseus
legendary figure​
$120​
$0​
$0​
119​
849​
Pisces
fish​
$500​
$83,700​
$200​
100​
1,046​
Sagittarius
archer​
$110​
$34,200​
$0​
97​
524​
Taurus
bull​
$6,530​
$460​
$390​
255​
5,270​
Virgo
maiden​
$2,020​
$1,220​
$2,330​
169​
1,850​

The most popular constellation, at least in terms of use in business names, is clearly Leo. It has a lot going for it, being just 3-letters, corresponding to a well-known meaning, and being a relatively well-known constellation. LEO is also an acronym for Low Earth Orbit.

Meteor showers are named after the constellation the meteors appear to radiate from, and the Leonids are one of the better known meteor showers.

Most of the other well-used constellation names are also zodiac constellations, such as Aquarius, Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Pisces, and Taurus.

In northern winter skies, the best known constellation is probably Orion, and it is used in many brand names.

Some of the constellations, such as Lynx, are probably popular based more on the animal than the constellation.

Cassiopeia is an easily identified (it looks like a W and falls along the Milky Way) and beautiful constellation, but not very popular as a brand, probably due to possible spelling issues and length.

Phoenix is a constellation with many domain name sales, but they are mainly related to the American city by that name, rather than the constellation, so I excluded it from the table.

Hercules is a constellation used fairly often in business names, probably because of association with strength, even though not particularly easy to spot as a constellation.

A Few More Astronomical Terms

In the first article in the series, I looked at data for a number of astronomical terms. NamePros members suggested some additional terms, and I provide data on them below.

Term
$ Volume Prefix
$ Volume Exact
$ Volume Suffix
TLDs
Business Names
cosmic
$59,400​
$4,980​
$840​
318​
5038​
nebula
$3,780​
$26,100​
$0​
259​
1293​
orbit
$16,800​
$9,700​
$61,400​
296​
3900​
stellar
$66,900​
$17,300​
$5,620​
366​
8177​
starlight
$20,200​
$0​
$390​
252​
4670​

Cosmic and stellar are two popular terms, particularly in the prefix position.

Sector Trends

While an astronomical term or object name can make a great brand for a business in any sector, there are also business trends that may favour astronomical and space terms in the coming decades. Here are a few I identified, and I hope readers will add to this list in the discussion.
  • Space Tourism
  • Asteroid Mining
  • Space Inspired Fashion
  • Space Colonization
  • Increasing Use of Space (e.g. Internet satellite arrays)
  • Space Risk Assessment

I may later develop some of these into an independent article. The worth of minerals in some asteroids is staggering, and while extraction and return to Earth is still a very challenging task, it is getting nearer to commercial viability.

Companies such as BlueOrigin, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have already brought space tourism to reality, although currently mainly for short flights in low Earth orbit.

Both Amazon and SpaceX have plans for thousands of small satellites delivering global internet services. SpaceX Starlink already has a couple of thousand satellites in operation, with more than ten thousand planned, while Amazon BlueOrigin Project Kuiper plan more than three thousand satellites.

The 50th anniversary of the moon landing helped propel interest in space and astronomy names. In particular, space-inspired fashion seems to have taken off during the past few years.

Final Thoughts

If you missed last week’s article on astronomical names as brands, here is the link to Astronomical Terms as Brand Names.

What are your favourite constellation and star names for use as brands?

What aspects of space and astronomy development do you think will most impact the need for domain names in the coming decade?

If you have the opportunity this summer, get out to a location away from light pollution, and become more familiar with the night sky. It might not make you a better domainer, but will provide rewards that will stick with you for a lifetime. It is indeed a beautiful universe.


Thanks to NameBio, OpenCorporates and dotDB as sources of data used in this article.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

DomainGaze.com

Established Member
Impact
204
I loved the topic of this analysis! The star and a lot of the constellations are spectacularly named. Perhaps I am biased towards space stuff, but they're really fine and no wonder they're taken in so many extensions.
If you have the opportunity this summer, get out to a location away from light pollution, and become more familiar with the night sky. It might not make you a better domainer, but will provide rewards that will stick with you for a lifetime. It is indeed a beautiful universe.
Ah I so wish for that. No place like that close by. I remember sleeping under the starry skies as a child in places where the sky was free from city lights and dust. Those are experiences I yearn for.
 

FolioTeam

Brandsq.comTop Contributor
Impact
6,757
I didn't know that Lynx was also a constellation. Just thought it was an animal. Learnt something new.

Thanks for this follow-up article
 

BradWilson

Established Member
Impact
1,722
Wow, I shouldn’t be surprised it took an awesome astronomy article from @Bob Hawkes to bring me out of domain name retirement haha

I always Gravitate Towards anything dealing with astronomy because that was my first love. I was even an astronomy major at SDSU for about 2 years until I figured out there weren't too many pure astronomy jobs so I switched to computers.

I've owned Altairs dot com for over 20 years with little real interest. My plan has been to develop it myself but haven't so far. The plural really hurts ouch!
 

Bob Hawkes

Top Contributor
NameTalent
Impact
31,625
astronomy because that was my first love
I have often wondered whether there are more domainers interested in astronomy and space than the general public. It certainly seems that there are many with a keen interest in the field.

I hope you don't mind being dragged out of domain name retirement, haha.

I have had plans for this series for a long, long time, but waited for the right time. It is a topic of great interest to me, although I don't have many good names in the sector.

Thanks for commenting!

Bob
 

Bob Hawkes

Top Contributor
NameTalent
Impact
31,625
Ah I so wish for that. No place like that close by.
I hope that will change sometime, and you have the opportunity to get out to dark skies, although that becomes harder and harder in our light-polluted world. I grew up in a rural setting where just go outside to get great skies, worked most of my life in a small town where you just need to go a few km to get pretty dark skies and great horizons. Now in a more light polluted city, although in 50 km drive can get to dark skies, and at waterfront park within walking distance somewhat OK skies. I feel lucky. I've never been far in southern hemisphere, though, so a whole set of stars never viewed.

I think only a few companies have taken advantage of the way to truly build a brand around night sky beauty. I forget the brand (so not good advertising I guess, lol) but one car company ran adds where people drove up into the mountains for amazing skies. I think with great video and the right music really effective emotional connections can be built on astronomical name connections and the right sort of products.

Thanks for your comment. Like that your username has the word gaze in it, as in sky gaze!

Bob
 
Impact
1,657
About half of the star names you listed are also names or surnames, so this might be another reason why they are all popular regs.
 
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eyedomainous

BizcardTV.comTop Contributor
Impact
1,128
I hope that will change sometime, and you have the opportunity to get out to dark skies, although that becomes harder and harder in our light-polluted world.
I think with great video and the right music really effective emotional connections can be built on astronomical name connections and the right sort of products.

There are Dark Sky Parks now. I visited a few, and plan on visiting more:
https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/parks/

Domainers do have a thing for space because we are primarily in the 'space' business. While branded as "Domainers", the domain is actually secondary... as its the extension; i.e., .ca is the domain of Canada.

We are first and foremost the Name Spacers of every domain. And, I like to think, each name we register in cyberspace is akin to a communications satellite launched in outer space.

Unfortunately, 75% of the 2 billion names launched, to date, are 'space junk'. A mess we should clean-up before someone or some tech cleans-it-up by making the 'polluters' pay. As that is how things work.

On the other hand, video/visuals are most effective at making emotional connections... in any namespace.
'Domainers' get the name, but most miss 'The Space'... and all its contextual imagery connections.

If NASA simply released the names of objects seen for the first time, by the new space telescope, it would not get much news coverage or inspire many people. To best sell the name, show the space.

With that in-mind, allow me to add a visual homage to your wonderful space names work, Bob.

 

Bob Hawkes

Top Contributor
NameTalent
Impact
31,625
Thanks for the creative writeup @eyedomainous and the splendid visual imagery you shared.

Yes, dark sky areas being preserved many places, fortunately. I am most familiar with those in Canada's national parks, a joint project of Parks Canada with the Royal Astronomical Association of Canada (RASC). Should anyone be visiting our beautiful country, here is a list of the dark sky preserves at national parks. Most have regular summer experiences for visitors.
https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/experiences/ciel-sky

I know best the one at Fundy National Park, one of the early ones established in 2011. The Bay of Fundy is also home to the highest tidal range in the world, so one can see the influence of the moon right in the amazing bay. I live on other side of Canada now, 6000 km+ distant, but for many decades Fundy was our summer vacation spot, and I've hiked every step of every trail in the park, many of them many times over. Also attended some great star parties hosted by the RASC in the park.

Thanks again. Great post.

Bob
 
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DomainGaze.com

Established Member
Impact
204
I hope that will change sometime, and you have the opportunity to get out to dark skies, although that becomes harder and harder in our light-polluted world. I grew up in a rural setting where just go outside to get great skies, worked most of my life in a small town where you just need to go a few km to get pretty dark skies and great horizons. Now in a more light polluted city, although in 50 km drive can get to dark skies, and at waterfront park within walking distance somewhat OK skies. I feel lucky. I've never been far in southern hemisphere, though, so a whole set of stars never viewed.

I think only a few companies have taken advantage of the way to truly build a brand around night sky beauty. I forget the brand (so not good advertising I guess, lol) but one car company ran adds where people drove up into the mountains for amazing skies. I think with great video and the right music really effective emotional connections can be built on astronomical name connections and the right sort of products.

Thanks for your comment. Like that your username has the word gaze in it, as in sky gaze!

Bob
I wish so too. I'll find some places to visit just for the skies and the stars. And yes, I took the name based on star-gazing! ☺️ I'm happy you like it.
As for branding, I feel exactly the same. When used effectively, the words and themes can lead to stronger connections. As space leaves us with a deep sense of wonderment.
 

HappyW

CollectorTop Contributor
Impact
527
I have always believed that the names of stars are very commercially valuable. I have many stars names, Alkaid(SOLD), Phecda, Hassaleh, Sulafat and more, but not all of them have inbound. But the buyers of my star names are from UAE, India, Japan and China or people of those nationalities, and among them there are some middle and high level executives of well-known technology companies, no incoming stations from USA or Europe. I think it may be that stars have a special meaning in their culture.