Galileoscopes in Rochester

Night Sky Network invited member clubs with courtesy of the  Astronomical Society of the Pacific  to online workshop From Pinholes to Space Telescopes: How Telescopes Work from  from September 24 to November 9 . Accepted clubs were given an activity kit for workshop use, and Galileoscopes for use in educational programs. RAC participants John Martin and Josef Chlachula applied, were accepted, and completed this program with the intention to used Galileoscopes to teach young astronomers in Rochester. Both have participated in hands-on activities, forum discussions, and live webinars.

 Webinars were facilitated by Brian Kruse, Director of the Teacher Learning Center at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.  Brian explained  how telescopes use lenses and mirrors to organize light to form images of distant objects, as well as the behavior of light within an optical system using a pinhole projector and lenses of differing focal lengths. He explained the properties of both light and lenses, and how to construct a simple telescope. In live webinars he showed hands-on activities, and participants were discussing their experience in the forum discussions. There were about 30 participants across the United States.

Galileoscope is a low cost, high optical quality telescope designed to let students recreate Galileo’s historic observations. The Galileoscope was designed for the International Year of Astronomy in year 2009 by a team of leading astronomers, optical engineers, and science educators. The Galileoscope is a 50mm refractor with a 500mm focal length. The main eyepiece included is a modern 20mm Plossl eyepiece that gives a magnification of 25x. The kit also includes a Galilean eyepiece that gives a magnification of 17x and simulates the views Galileo had through his original telescope. You can build a Barlow lens which will give you magnification of 50x. The Galileoscope can accept any standard 1.25″ eyepiece as well. The Galileoscope was designed to give maximum flexibility in how you observe. The Galileoscope needs a stable mount for observing. The included 1/4-20 nut will attach the Galileoscope to any standard camera tripod.