November 26, 2012
Unique Christmas gifts - adopt a star!
While browsing the internet I found this page about adopting a star. It's almost Christmas. What better gift to offer ourselves than a star? The idea is so lovely and funds go for star research. It's just 10$. 10$ for a star...not much is it? Who's the father of this idea? Travis Metcalfe. Travis Metcalfe is an astronomer at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He started White Dwarf Research Corporation in 1999, whilehe was a graduate student at the University of Texas-Austin. There are no paid employees - WDRC is run entirely on a volunteer basis by himself and the board of directors.
The Pale Blue Dot project was launched in January 2008 to help raise research funds for the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium, which does not receive any funding from NASA even though our work is central to the science goals of the Kepler mission. The KASC is an international collaboration, and NASA is not allowed to fund foreign organizations. That's where you come in.
Adopt a star- pale blue dot is an experiment in grassroots fundraising for a major scientific project. Travis came up with the general idea in 2003, when thinking about how to fund a global telescope network. The details are simple: if they can recruit about 100,000 people to donate $10 each, they can establish an endowment to fund our research over the lifetime of the Kepler mission at a level comparable to the grant support that NASA could provide to a large U.S. research group.
Travis is professional astronomer, and WDRC is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. He says we can feel confident that our donation will actually support cutting-edge scientific research on the stars that we adopt. So let's select a star and join the team! Who knows? Maybe a Pale Blue Dot will be discovered around the star that we adopt. How cool would that be?