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

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  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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