Franklin 5-year-old schools Ellen on space facts — and leaves show with his own star

Published: February 5, 2020 Author: Kerri Bartlett –  Nashville Tennessean

EllenShow giving a name a star certificate live on her show.

Franklin 5-year-old Xander Rynerson discussed his favorite subject, astronomy, in great detail Wednesday on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” impressing the show’s host so much so that she named a star after him. 


“I’m in over my head already. Why would I do a follow-up question,” DeGeneres quipped, before Xander passed her space quiz with flying colors.   After giving Xander a chance to showcase his prowess on all things having to do with the solar system, DeGeneres presented the astute youngster with a certificate designating a star named in his honor.  


The International Star Registry congratulated Xander on its Facebook page after the airing of the show, saying that the star “will shine forever” as part of the constellation Pegasus. The Registry also said the naming of Xander’s star marks the second time DeGeneres contacted the organization to name a star for a guest. 


During the interview, DeGeneres admitted that Xander’s knowledge was out of this world, or at least out of her league.  She listened — somewhat amused and bewildered — as Xander described the life of stars such as yellow dwarfs and red giants, including the sun’s eventual red giant phase, which will result in the sun swelling so big that it will ultimately knock “inner planets” out of the way, including Earth. 


“We might have to live on Jupiter,” Xander said in jest. With his wavy locks and periodic table T-shirt, Xander won over DeGeneres and the audience as he excitedly shared his passion for astronomy and seemed thrilled about his new star. 


“My favorite thing to learn about is space because it never, ever ends,” he said. 

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