Astronomers Use Google Sky to Raise Research Funds

This is a cool way to raise money for your research projects. Borrowing on the old idea of selling stars to make money, the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium (KASC), which is a large international collaboration of scientists, has created the non-profit Pale Blue Dot Project. The idea is that people can peruse their database of stars which might have planets, and pay $10 to adopt that star. Copy the number for the star you select and go to the site to make your donation. The $10 will go directly to help pay for research to have the Kepler satellite search that star for planets. What a brilliant idea!

U2 in Flight in Google Earth

Thanks to GEB reader Mark Petersen for the tip.

About Frank Taylor


  1. I started a simple ruby on rails application around this project, to make it easier to adopt a star.
    This project is not in any way associated with Pale Blue Dot; it’s just me. But who knows that might change.
    At the moment, it doesn’t do anything useful except show a list of stars. Here’s a list of possible improvements (for
    which I don’t have time, so patches are welcome):
    * search by other criteria, e.g.
    ** range of brightness (
    ** not adopted yet
    ** region
    * google sky mashup
    * Facebook / Etc integration, e.g.
    ** show your friend’s stars on map
    ** find a bright star near your friends
    * search for cool astronomic coincidences, e.g.
    ** eclipsed by Jupiter on your birthday
    * etc, etc
    It’s not live yet, but here’s the source code:

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