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North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

Issue 9 Cover

Cosmic Search: Issue 9
(Volume 3 Number 1; Winter 1981)
[Article in magazine found on page 24]

In Search of Planets
The Extrasolar Planetary Foundation Report

By: George Gatewood

The EPF spent its first quarter year obtaining legal counsel, drawing up papers of incorporation, and applying for a tax exempt status. This aside we turned to an announcement of our formation and our purpose. The latter brought a tremendous response from the national news media including TV, radio and newspapers and resulted in our first small donation. This in hand we opened a checking account and we have become a Foundation.

Now comes a period of financial growth and planning. A time of setting goals and finding means to reach them. In what ways can we best encourage and assist the search for extrasolar planetary systems? What is the minimum amount required to have a significant effect? What specific campaigns should we undertake?

Our Board of Directors met several times during the first quarter and we found many possible answers to these questions. To some extent the answers depend upon the funding available to the Foundation. For example, rather little funding is required to assist an astronomer in the preparation of a grant proposal to a Federal agency. But if he is more likely to get that grant because of our help we have bought a lot for a few dollars. On the other hand, the Foundation could support the construction and operation of an observatory with the sole purpose of detecting and studying extrasolar planetary systems. The freedom from the usual red tape involved in such a venture would allow quicker construction and assure the long-term operation required for a system which would reveal so many of the basic aspects of our Universe.

We will touch more on this in the next issue. In the meantime, for further information, write Extrasolar Planetary Foundation, Observatory Station, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15214. Your tax deductible patronage will be greatly appreciated.

George Gatewood, Chairman
Extrasolar Planetary Foundation


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