Galileoscope Educational Refractor Telescope Kit
Viewing Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon through a telescope is a transformative experience, one that's available even in the largest and most brightly lit cities. The Galileoscope can provide this experience in a wide variety of educational settings, from home schools to science centers and even universities.
The Galileoscope is a high-quality, low-cost telescope kit developed by a team of leading astronomers, optical engineers, and science educators. No matter where you live, with this easy-to-assemble, 50-mm (2-inch) diameter, 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor, you can see the celestial wonders that Galileo Galilei first glimpsed 400 years ago and that still delight stargazers today. These include lunar craters and mountains, four moons circling Jupiter, the phases of Venus, Saturn's rings, and countless stars invisible to the unaided eye. It is no exaggeration to say that the telescope changed everything: Galileo's discoveries literally revolutionized our perception of the universe and Earth's place in it.
The Galileoscope was developed for the International Year of Astronomy 2009, which celebrated astronomy's contributions to society and culture, helped "connect the dots" between science and technology and prosperity, and aimed to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in science. Amateur and professional astronomers and science educators in 148 countries organized public events and activities around the theme "The Universe: Yours to Discover." After all, anyone with a telescope can see what Galileo saw.
But not everyone has a telescope, especially in less developed parts of the world. To enable more people in more places to personally experience the wonders of the universe, Galileoscope LLC developed a remarkably inexpensive, very-high-quality, easy-to-use refractor. With this new instrument, called the Galileoscope, children and adults can learn how telescopes work and repeat for themselves the spectacular observations made by Galileo beginning in 1609.
The Galileoscope comes as a kit with simple instructions for no-tools assembly in 5 minutes or less. Its achromatic optics include a 50-mm-diameter objective lens of focal length 500 mm, an eyepiece of focal length 20 mm (magnification 25x), and a 2x Barlow lens (yielding 50x when used with the supplied eyepiece). The Galileoscope accepts almost any optical accessory that has a standard 1¼-inch (31¾-mm) barrel, and it attaches to virtually every tripod made or distributed anywhere in the world.
The Galileoscope is augmented with educational activities and related materials for use by classroom teachers, planetarium presenters, astronomy-club members, and anyone else eager to share the treats of the telescopic sky with others. Astronomy is an ideal vehicle to interest kids in science and to teach the basics of chemistry, physics, math, and even biology to elementary and middle-school kids. For high school it's the perfect science since it uses biology, chemistry, physics, geology, and environmental science to study the Universe and our place in it.
Science educators Stephanie Slater (University of Wyoming), Janelle Bailey (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), and Michael Gibbs (Capitol College) have compiled and edited a coherent set of IYA2009 educational materials that provide both content knowledge for classroom teachers and classroom-ready materials suitable for use with the Galileoscope in a variety of formal and informal settings. It's called Galileo's Classroom: A Teacher Workshop in Celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009
, and it is now available online from the CAPER Science and Mathematics Teaching Center at the University of Wyoming.
Astronomy is also ideally suited to teaching the scientific process — how observations and evidence lead to sensible explanations about how the world works. Get your Galileoscope Educational Refractor Telescope Kit and start sharing your own love of the night sky!
Images and educational materials are courtesy of www.galileoscope.org.