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Astronomy Education, Kepler, “Pale Blue Dot Project”, “Adopt A Star”, Crowdfunding
For nearly four years, NASA's Kepler space telescope searched for planets like Earth around more than 150,000 stars similar to the Sun. In 2008 with in-kind support from several technology companies, our non-profit organization established the Pale Blue Dot Project, an adopt-a-star program that supports scientific research on the stars observed by the Kepler mission. To help other astronomy educators conduct successful fundraising efforts, I describe how this innovative crowdfunding program successfully engaged the public over the past seven years to help support an international team in an era of economic austerity.