Birthday Star
 
The Birthday Star
 
 
The idea behind the Birthday Star is simple, yet fascinating.

First off, this is strictly scientific, there's no horoscopes or astrology whatsoever involved.
Basically, it's a star sitting at a peculiar distance from the earth, such that the light you watch today was produced by that star the day you were born. In other words, the light particles (photons) you observe, are as old as you are. All they did this whole time was traveling in space.

Here you can find yours.
Or, find your parents', your kids', your sweetheart's.. then show them.

Otherwise, if it's not a birthday you are after, you could choose a year in the past, and with some luck find a star at the right distance, so that the light you see today went outbound by the Declaration of Independence, the foundation of Rome, the building of the Great Wall.
 
 
How do I do it?
 
 
- input the planned day of observation (default is today)

- set your birthdate
OR
- set a year, AD or BC

- Press the "Find by .." button of your choice

A star, or more likely a list of stars, will be presented.
Hover on the header, or a data field, to know what it means.
 
 
Disclaimer
 
 
Not all stars can be seen with the naked (unaided) eye: the "MAG" (Apparent Magnitude) column says what are the chances to see it, or what you need to observe it.
This page is based on a database containing almost 120 thousand stars, and of course that's not all of it; however, to see the others you'd need to call NASA, or look at pictures from the Hubble, so the point becomes a little moot.
Most of the stars in this database are within 3000 light years. Therefore it's extremely improbable finding stars relative to the birth of Tutankhamun, the Cretaceous extinction event (when the dinosaurs got screwed) or the appearance of the first humans. Sorry.
Also, the closest observable star is 4 1/4 light years away; looking for the Birthday Star of your toddler will not produce results.
While the objective would be to find that one star, there might not be -this very day- a star available at the exact distance. The engine will then offer a choice of stars that are close in time, with a decided preference for the brightest ones. Check the "Offset" column to make sure.

Your personal data, i.e. your birthdate, will be stored only for the duration of your session, and erased afterwards.
As of now, there is no distinction made upon your geographic location, but it will be implemented soon.