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A telescope for the Year of Light

08 May 2015 Michael Banks

By Michael Banks

Avid readers of physicsworld.com may remember the Galileoscope – a low-cost educational telescope kit that was released for the International Year of Astronomy in 2009.

The telescope marked the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first telescope, which he presented to policy-makers from the Venetian Republic on 25 August 1609.

The Galileoscope is a 50 mm-diameter, 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor that can attach to most tripods.

In the process of assembling it, students learn about optics, and when assembled the Galileoscope can be used to take sharp images of lunar craters and mountains as well as Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings and the phases of Venus.

To date, more than 225,000 Galileoscope kits have been distributed in more than 100 countries. To tie-in with the International Year of Light (IYL 2015), the Galileoscope has now been repackaged and designated an IYL 2015  “cornerstone project”, with the goal of distributing an additional 100,000 telescopes during 2015.

So, if you want to get your hands on a Galileoscope – and push those numbers closer to that 100,000 target – kits can be ordered individually, or you can buy six for the wholesale price of $150 plus shipping.

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