Last night on The Bachelor, Matty took Laura to the Sydney Observatory, and announced he had purchased a star.
We watched as Matty and Laura excitedly spotted their very own star through a telescope, which looked very much like a white dot in an expanse of 200 billion white dots – and just when we thought television couldn’t be any more compelling – they spent a number of minutes discussing what they should name it.
They settled on ‘Matora’, a piece of the universe that for only a small payment belongs exclusively to them.
You can’t touch it, or hang it on your wall, or wear it around your neck, but you know it’s yours and that’s all that matters.
You can read the recap of last night’s episode, here.
For $34.99, you can name a star in the Official Star Register.
You receive a personalised and official PDF certificate, a star map, and a complimentary photo book.
The International Star Registry advertises a star as, “one of the most thoughtful and unique gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, graduations…” and says it’s one of the fastest-growing gift ideas in decades.
You can buy twin stars, for the special price of $79.99, which is “the perfect way to recognise a connection between two people in life”. Unfortunately, it would seem Matty doesn’t get paid until next week, so could only afford the one.
But here's the catch.
Matty said last night, "The name a star program gives us our own star!" but, well, that's not entirely true.
In the Frequently Asked Questions section on the International Star Registry website, it's explained; "The stars named through ISR are not 'owned', nor is their scientific identification altered. ISR enables individuals to name a real star for a person most appreciated by them. This astronomical listing is not scientific, but symbolic."
Which is fine.
But to be clear - Matty and Laura do not own a star.
As Laura was leaving the date she excitedly exclaimed, "You bought me a star!"
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The only place that recognises 'Matora' is the International Star Registry or Name A Star. No astronomer or observatory anywhere in the world will ever refer to Matora.
It's entirely legal, of course. And for some it's a beautiful and touching gesture.
But just to be clear - for $34.99, you don't own a star.
You name a star. And astronomers did not just rewrite their star maps.