We're Bill and Brendan, and we call ourselves the Philly Moon Men.
The Philly Moon Men started as two brothers who set up their binoculars on the corner of 4th and South. We wanted to show people something beautiful: the craters on the moon.
A lot of people have never seen the night sky up close before. In a light polluted city, there aren't many chances to pause and reflect on the fact that we all live on the same planet Earth, sharing the same atmosphere, floating around in a vast and beautiful cosmos.
One year later, we have a small collection of powerful telescopes, we've raised over $1,000 with just our tip jar, and we've met and reconnected thousands of people to the night sky. We dress up in suits and invite everyone to look through our instruments, spending time with our neighbors to answer their questions about the Universe.
Here's our theory: telescopes create safe public spaces for neighbors to gather and talk about science. Will you help us put it to the test?
Here's our plan: Raise money for equipment, and train community leaders to set up telescopes in their own neighborhoods. We're working with the Philadelphia School District as well as the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society to build a powerful network of amateur astronomers engaged in community service.
Here's the breakdown for funding:
ROUND 1: $2,000 Total. Enables us to expand into four new neighborhoods, form partnerships with the greater astronomy community, and develop a program for K-8 Education. - Four Fully Equipped Telescopes : $1,000 - Light Pollution Filters : $200 - Transportation Budget : $200 - Background Checks for School Outreach : $200 - Attend the NorthEast Astronomy Forum : $200 - Four Thrifted Suits : $120 - Misc Supplies (Batteries, Viewfinders) : $80
ROUND 2: $4,000 Total. Empowers us to incorporate as a nonprofit organization, accept equipment donations from telescope companies, and serve as science ambassadors for the Philadelphia Area. - Incorporate as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit : $1,000 - Community trip to dark sky area : $600 - Light Pollution Awareness event : $400
This GoFundMe is only the beginning of our quest to start a scientific revolution. Stay tuned!