Their stock is less expensive, but also somewhat touch-and-go. 2. However, lenses will likely be your most challenging item to purchase. You will also need strong glue, scissors, and a pencil. They can be bought from a variety of sources. Right: The cardboard tube we used for one of the lenses was too small, so we added a piece of cardboard shaped like a watch with no face, which worked great. For example, using a 50-millimeter lens on a telescope with a focal length of 450 mm would get you a power of 9x. Best binoculars 2020: Top picks for skywatching, nature and travel from Celestron, Nikon and other top brands, The best Cyber Monday deals on telescopes, China's Chang'e 5 enters lunar orbit for historic attempt to return moon samples, The best Cyber Monday deals on Orion telescopes and binoculars, Concave-convex lens: Diameter of 49 mm, focal length of 1,350 mm, Plano-concave lens: Diameter of 49 mm, focal length of 152 mm, Outer tube (diameter: 5 cm or 2 inches; length: 2 meters or 7 feet), Inner tube (diameter 4 cm or 1.5 inches; length: 15.25 cm or 6 inches), Concave-convex lens: Diameter 49 mm, focal length 100 mm, Plano-concave lens: Diameter 47 mm, focal length 2000 mm. Divide that length by two and then add another inch. I was inspired to build telescopes during a trip out to McDonald Observatory in west Texas, where I saw a 36” fork-mounted telescope, tiny in comparison to the huge research telescopes at the site. Use the drill to make an eyehole in the center of the cap, using light pressure. This article presents two methods of constructing a Galilean telescope — a cardboard tube created by the Galileo Project, which inspired our construction, and a PVC-pipe telescope, which we wound up using for our final project. Drill small holes around the outside of the inner tube, where the lens will be. Cut the closed end of the outer tube. Slide the smaller tubing into the larger diameter tube. The cardboard tube still fell short of the PVC diameter, so we added cardboard spacers along the side. To make a simple telescope at home, you will need the following: It is important to keep the cut as smooth as possible. New York, Place the flat end of the eyepiece lens against the removable cap. Slide the lens and cap into the outer tube. We found success with a toilet paper tube, though a paper towel tube should also be effective. Here is her first-person account of the process. These can be found in most office supply stores: Note that the focal lengths of the lenses are 1,350/152 = 8.88. Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more! A coping saw will cut the cardboard clean and straight, which is important. For more information, visit their main page or their telescope-building page. © Our telescope builders and their completed project. However, it results in a telescope with a magnification of 9x, while our final PVC telescope has a magnification of 20x, much like the telescope Galileo used to discover the four dominant moons of Jupiter. Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Once you have the two complete segments, it is time to put them together. Following his pattern, you can make your own Galilean telescope at home and use it to study the stars, just as the well-known astronomer once did. I am hooked. At the other end is the objective lens, a concave-convex lens, which curves inward on one side and outward on the other. Left: Inserting the objective lens into the flexible PVC pipe. You should keep in mind, too, that a Galilean telescope has a small field of view, which means, for instance, that you won't be able to study the entire face of the moon at once. The eyepiece is a plano-concave lens, which is flat on one side and curved inward on the other. [Related: Best Telescopes for Beginners]. But if you want to make things the same size as I have you can dowload this template. The straight side is pointed outward. Note that the focal length of our lens are 2000/100 = 20, leading to a magnification of 20x. A do-it-yourself Galilean telescope makes an excellent and inexpensive starter telescope — or science fair project. Add glue through the holes, and turn the lens to spread it around. [1] X Research source If the magnifying glasses are the same size, the telescope won't work. Gather all your materials. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. A diagram of how a Galilean telescope works. Most of the materials you'll need can be found at office supply stores or hardware stores. It’s portable and easy to carry along with you wherever your explorations may take you. Set aside. The project took them approximately an hour to complete. (Image credit: Galileo Project, Rice University). Focal length is the distance from the lens to the point where the telescope is in focus, and is measured in millimeters. Generally, the longer the focal length of the telescope, the more power it has, the larger the image and the smaller the field of view. The convex side faces outward. Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! If you want a better view of birds, treetops, or even the night sky, you and your family can build your own simple telescope. 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Us know at: community @ space.com add glue through the relevant hole, spread,. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY...., let us know at: community @ space.com likely be your most challenging to... Of telescope today project a high end finish Future projects our large telescope, watching it swivel so smoothly seeing! First person to study the stars magnification requires longer length, which resulted a. And calculate the magnifications suspect the telescope divided by the focal length of pipe the project took approximately! Few basic supplies a tube with two lenses power, or magnification, has do!

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