Alright /trv/, so there's an idea going on in the back of my head. I'd really love to travel around the world, but I'm not that rich and I want to save as far as I can and earn money whenever possible.
I'm an amateur astronomer and I know quite a lot about telescopes, so I thought that it'd be a great idea to pack a telescope small enough to fit in my backpack and travel from place to place and show people various objects on the sky and ask for a small, optional donation for it. Basically, I'd explain people stuff about the things they're looking at, I'm sure that the moon would be a pretty good target, people are always amazed when they look at it for the first time. Is it possible to earn enough money in order to buy food and transportation? I'd have no problem with sleeping in a tent or in train stations; accomodation is nothing I'd worry about. I was thinking about giving it a shot this summer in Cyprus, but I'd also like to listen to some advice.
I don't think it would work. Unless you're showing sun spots you're dependent on doing all of your work at night. People are more into food and drink in cities at that time. I guess plazas would be a good place to do this.
I wouldn't give you money to look at your telescope. Where I live there's astronomy clubs that let you do that for free. In most of Europe I'd think it would be the same.
If you're into astronomy take your telescope with you. You could try doing it in your nearest local city before going to Cyprus, I might be wrong.
Let me get this straight, you are going to pack a portable telescope that is easy to travel with which means shit tier optics. Then you are going to set up in the middle of a city with limited field of view, light pollution, and drink assholes? Then you expect said drink assholes to pay you to look at... What, the moon? Someone undressing on th fifth floor?
My idea was to show sunspots as well. And I would rather do the work in the evening, after the sunset, there should be some planets visible. But you're right, I should try to do this at home first, to see how people react. Thanks for your advice.
I already have a small telescope, which I would use and I am quite satisfied with it, the quality is much better than I would have expected. light pollution doesn't matter much if I'm trying to show planets, the moon or the sun. I wouldn't exactly ask for money, I'd just set up a donations box. Also, I'd much rather do this in smaller cities.
I didn't think OP would catch this much flak.
I didn't think it was that bad of an idea. The problem is that I think it would have to be donation-based. You'd have to be prepared for people to use it and not pay.
I would also hate for some drunk asshole to ruin your setup...because it'll happen - people are dicks and since astronomy is seen as a nerdier interest, you could easily catch shit for that.
Honestly, I come from a marketing background and I think your best shot would be to hit up walking streets on weekends/especially Sundays and target parents with kids. The riskiest part about that is that the kids could break your setup but also that they would only really be out in the daytime when you can't see shit.
Anyway, I hope it works out for you, OP. I'd use it but that I would also probably toss you some money because it's a unique idea and I appreciate that.
Thanks for the advice, man. Much appreciated.
I'm aware that a lot of stuff can happen, especially when there are a lot of drunk people around. I've played guitar a few times in the street, it was really fun and I never had any trouble, so I wouldn't worry too much about assholes. I did consider the worst and I'd be prepared for it.
As you said, people with kids would be the best target, and I don't think they'd be able to do much damage, except for making the lenses dirty, but that wouldn't be such a big deal.
I know a few people who live two hours from here and they go out with their telescope occasionally and let everyone look through it. They do it for free, though.
Also, I think that asking for an optional donation, or setting up a donations box is much better than directly asking for money.
Setting up in the town square won't work for all the reasons listed.
Instead try to organize field trips at night with the emphasis on kids exploring the skies. Show the kids and parents the planets. Make sure you get other AA folks to help point out sky events.
Additionaly you can incorporate Ham radio to listen to and even talk to the ISS. You can also show some interesting stuff by using a directional antenna to point out the various signals that come from sky objects. (the moon in particular give out different signals on phases).