Last year he startedasking for donations to help pay the salaries of his
students and research assistants. He has had little success so far, but he
remains undeterred. “I will do what I need to do to keep the moneyflowing for them,” Gazzaley says.
“People said they
wanted to support my work, so I directed them to do
so through existing organisations,” he says. “But I misunderstood them.
They wanted to support me because they like the way I approach things.
So I set up a way for them to do that.”
Nichols uses social media to update his supporters about his work and
provide live feeds of his lectures when possible. “My only regret is notsetting up [the project] five years ago,” he says. “It works.”
Should your interests tend more heavenward, two organizations supportastronomy research. ThePale Blue Dot Project lets youadopt a star
under the gaze of theKepler telescope.Your donation funds research
that helps measure the size of new exoplanets. In return, the team willsend you email updates about your star and any planets found orbiting it.SupportingSETIStars helps continue the search for extraterrestrial
intelligence (SETI). Public donations helped restart the telescopes at theAllen Telescope Array,which the SETI Institute uses to search for radiosignals from aliens.