Someone is advertising using Google Adsense for a star naming service. The ads appear right on my FreeNameAStar.com pages.
Not just some cheap email certificate
I think they might be targeting my website, because I give away email certificates for free. Adsense has a way where you can pick the sites where your ads appear. Actually this is OK by me because they have to pay if someone sees the ad and decides to check it out. I make nearly as much money from adsense on the site as I do selling the the free “extras”.
I checked out the site and they claim to register the names with an Official agency, which is bogus. Nobody can officially name a star. Some stars have old Latin or Arabic names. Others have a code name that indicate their constellation. The rest have just numbers and there is no official or government sanctioned way to name a star. All I do is record the stars name for entertainment purposes. Anybody who claims otherwise is mistaken, misleading or at worst, a liar and cheat.
I am happy to announce that I have my first paid star since I rewrote the system. The buyer paid $4 to get a star in the constellation Virgo. They also paid to get the “Free” removed from the certificate so I made $6 minus PayPal fees. I produce nothing but a link to the pdf file certificate. The other star naming sites have to actually print a certificate and put together a package and mail it out. I would guess that at least half of the $29.95 goes to direct costs like labor, shipping, printing and materials. Possible another 40% goes to promotion and they might have to pay for website design and maintenance. My costs, other than PayPal, are near zero. I get the domain free with my hosting package. I host 20 other sites in the same package so the cost is spread around. I maintain the site in my spare time and don’t need to pay anyone to design, code or keep up the site. I bet I sell ten times as many stars as they do and make more money per star. I turns out that it is far more profitable to give away free star names than to charge for them.
I have found a database of Near-Earth-Objects (NEOs). These are asteroids that have orbits which bring them close to the Earth. One of them may someday destroy civilization, if not all life on the planet. I am thinking of a new site using the star naming technology so people can register NEO names. Imagine naming a planet killing asteroid after your pet gerbil.