15 Baby Names Based On Stars & Constellations For The Twinkle Of Your Eye

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Doesn't it seem like naming kids is more difficult now than in decades past? It has to be popular, but not too popular, unique but not too wacky. But you'll also want it to sound right with your last name and you can't really have a friend whose kid has the same name. It's tricky to name a kid these days! That's why you might want to consider looking to these baby names after stars that will ignite your name search.

Whether you look to a constellation or a single star, turns out the billions and trillions of celestial bodies in the sky offer quite a lot of inspiration for naming your kid. You don't even have to be an astrologer (although you might inspire your kid to be one!) in order to name your child after a star. But you should probably at least bone up on what that name means before you write it on the birth certificate form in the hospital.

You're bound to get questions about whatever your name choice is, so just make sure you love it and are prepared to answer your Aunt Susan when she asks you to point it out in the night sky. Or you can just plug your coordinates into In the Sky, a website that allows you to find out exactly where a star can be seen based on your geographical location, and pretend you know exactly how to follow it. And then start working on that constellation-clad nursery!

1Orion

Alena Ozerova/Fotolia

The Orion constellation is named after the Greek hunter, said Space.com, an authority on all things celestial. The constellation, "located on the celestial equator, is one of the most prominent and recognizable constellations in the sky and can be seen throughout the world," reported the site.

2Alula

Alula would be such a pretty name for a baby girl. The star marks the hind foot of the Greater Bear constellation, according to Constellations of Words, a site that's great for nerding out on stars.

3Estrella

While Estrella isn't the name of a specific star, it's actually the word for star in Spanish. It's a lovely take on the name Stella, and has a nice, simple meaning behind it.

4Nova

A Nova, or new star, is actually a star that instantly becomes a lot brighter and then gradually fades to its original intensity. Ask an Astronomer explained, "a star previously too dim to be seen with the naked eye can become the brightest object in the sky (besides the sun and the moon) when it becomes a nova." How sweet would that be for a little baby who is bound to be brighter than anything else in your world.

5Vega

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A bright star 25 light years away, Vega "was the North Star several thousand years ago, and will become the North Star again in about 12,000 years," according to Space.com. It would also make a lyrical baby girl's name.

6Alya

While its ancient Arabic meaning, "the fatty tail of the sheep," might not impress you, Alya is a lovely name for a baby girl. According to Jim Kaler, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at the University of Illinois, Alya is actually a double star, which seems like a perfectly fitting name if your child is born a Gemini.

7Archer

Archer is the name for the Sagittarius constellation group of stars, and depicts a centaur holding a bow and arrow, said Constellation Guide. It would also be an awfully cute baby boy name!

8Sirius

While you might be worried you'll end up with a serious child naming him Sirius, it could actually work in the opposite direction because Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, according to Sky and Telescope. They explained, "Sirius stands alone as the most brilliant by a wide margin — it’s about twice the apparent brightness of the next brightest star, Canopus." Take that for a bright shining name choice.

9Leo

First catalogued by the astronomer Ptolemy in the second century, Leo has been around the block for quite some time, according to Constellation Guide. We all know it from the astrology sign and its lion meaning makes for a very strong baby name.

10Columba

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Columba is a relatively uncommon girls' name, so points for uniqueness. Plus its constellation forms a dove, as Sea Sky explained, which could very well usher in a peaceful baby!

11Rigel

A new twist on the name Nigel, Rigel would make for a unique boy name. Earth Sky explained the mythology behind the name: "According to some, Orwandil was traveling with his companion, the god Thor, when his big toe froze in an unfortunate river-crossing incident. Thor broke off the frozen digit and threw it into the sky, where it became the star we see as Rigel." Now that would make a great conversation starter for your kid for years to come.

12Lyra

If music runs in your family, Lyra might be just the name for your baby girl. Constellation Guide said the name "represents the lyre, a musical instrument with strings used in antiquity." While it might be hard to get your kid music lessons on it, it's a very pretty name nonetheless.

13Aries

While we know Aries as the ram in astrology, it turns out it doesn't register as that in all cultures. Space.com explained, "The Chinese see the constellation as twin inspectors, and it's a porpoise in the Marshall Islands." Who knew?

14Cassiopeia

If you're pretty sure your daughter is going to be like royalty, go with Cassiopeia, which was named after Cassiopeia Queen of Greek Mythology, according to Constellation Guide. EarthSky gave directions for finding it: "Cassiopeia is very easy to pick out. It’s small and compact and looks like the letter M or W, depending on the time of night and time of year."

15Perseus

If you're expecting an August baby, consider naming your little one after Perseus, known for the annual Perseid meteor shower that happens in mid-August every year. Space.com explained that the meteor shower is "usually best viewed in the predawn hours." What a birthday celebration that could involve!