A CROWDFUNDING campaign has been launched to help a Dartmoor astronomy charity buy a new telescope.

Dartmoor Skies runs stargazing and astronomy activities across Devon and the South West.

But now they are in urgent need of a new telescope.

They have launched the Crowdfunder campaign in a bid to raise the money they need, and their Moor Scope campaign has already gathered a lot of support.

Bryony Tilsley, one of the charity’s founding members, explained: ‘When we ran our first event, we had no idea how popular it would be.

‘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 the first event in 2015, Dartmoor Skies has run more than 80 events and stargazed with around 2,500 people.

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 sights 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 more sights from the solar system, our galaxy and beyond.

Bryony added: ‘We’ve got so many more people and communities that we want to run events with.

‘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 they reach the target, the group will have a much improved telescope which will be portable and help secure the future of Dartmoor Skies.

For more information visit dartmoorskies.orgORDER YOUR DIGITAL EDITION HERE