For over four years, the charity Dartmoor Skies has run stargazing and astronomy activities across Devon and the South West.
But now they’re in urgent need of a new telescope. They’ve recently launched a Crowdfunder campaign in a bid to raise the money they need, and their Moor Scope campaign has already gathered a lot of support.
“When we ran our first event, we had no idea how popular it would be,” explains Bryony Tilsley, one of the charity’s founders. “We didn’t have any funds available as a charity so we used our own telescope that had been a gift from family for my husband. It’s served us really well, and people love looking through it, but it’s not going to last much longer. And if we can’t run activities then that will make things difficult for us because they are our main source of funding.”
Since their first event back in 2015, Dartmoor Skies has run over 80 events and stargazed with around 2500 people from all walks of life.
After being enjoyed by so many people, and transported to so many places, the main telescope the charity has been using is falling apart, and Dartmoor Skies are hoping to make a big upgrade.
The astronomical wonders that a telescope can reveal depends on the amount of light it can gather from space. This all comes down to the mirror each telescope holds. The telescope that Dartmoor Skies have set their sights on will gather twice as much light as their current telescope, meaning they can share even more amazing sights from our solar system, our galaxy and beyond.
“We’ve got so many more people and communities that we want to run events with,” explains Bryony. “There are lots of ways astronomy can help people, including physical health and mental wellbeing. Astronomy
activities like ours get people outside and meeting other people. And we get a real mix of age groups as well, which is lovely.”
If Dartmoor Skies reach their goal, then they will have a new telescope that they can use for a long time. It will be more transportable, and more awe-inspiring. It will also help to secure the future of Dartmoor Skies.
The total needed for the new equipment is £2650, but they’re looking to raise £2225 which will allow them to buy the telescope.
This campaign is an all-or-nothing campaign; if they don’t reach their target, they will lose all of the money people have pledge. They have until December 13th to reach their target. They’ve currently raised £1,539.
To pledge, please go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/dartmoorskies-moorscopeFor more information visit dartmoorskies.org