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Astronomically speaking, the Galileoscope™ is a tool, plus you get to build it (although it’s apparently a “no-tools assembly” that takes “5 minutes or less” — everything snaps together). At $15 plus shipping, the price seems incredible. Designed as a kit for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), the Galileoscope™ claims to offer “features usually seen only on commercial instruments costing 10 times more.”

It’s a 50-mm diameter, 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor with a standard ¼-20 tripod mounting nut that you can use to see lunar craters, Jupiter and four of its moons, and other celestial wonders. Many more details are on its website. Shown below is a simulation of its moon view at 50×.

While binoculars can be a good and easy bet for viewing larger celestial objects, it’s always handy to have a more stable and versatile telescope — and it’s an inexpensive way to introduce the kids to backyard astronomy.

Galileoscope™ [Manufacturer’s Site]


7 Responses to See Stars!

  1. rg says:

    But how do they fit it inside the Cracker-Jack box?

  2. Swedub says:

    You can buy one for $15 but you can also Donate one to the IYA2009 Donation Program for $12.50. I want one. It will probably get me excited enough to save up for a more serious telescope.

  3. Brad Justinen says:

    Nice work Gordon. It’s nice to see some “outside of the box” tool posts lately. Looks like Toolmonger is finding the bloggers that it needs, that’s nice too.

  4. Brad Justinen says:

    Oh ya, I had a another comment.

    At first i was going to call b.s. on this. But then I read “developed … by a team of leading astronomers, optical engineers, and science educators”. OK, so I bet it works pretty good, but you will still need a $200 tripod to get the best out of it.

  5. Bob says:

    It weighs very little so I’m not sure why you would need an expensive tripod.

    I’ll be ordering several soon. One for me and the rest as gifts for friend’s kids.

  6. fritz gorbach says:

    Picked up a 300 dollar bogen tripod at a garage sale for 15 bucks a couple of weeks ago. Might be a bit of overkill for a $40 craftsman level, but it’ll be handy if i ever find the time to get back in to photography, and i bet it’ll handle one of these little scopes, no problem.
    For those interested in astronomy projects, check out the old scientific american amateur astronomer compilation boooks-full of stuff to build, or it was all available on a cdrom also from SA which was a compilation of “amateur scientist,” columns. I had this, but I kick myself for losing it. Dont know if it is still available. All mmy local libraries have the am. astr. books though.

  7. Gough says:

    We’ve got one sitting on the coffee table in the den right now. One hundred of them were donated to the science center that we’re involved with and we’re trying one out. The center and our county libraries will all be having programs and loaning out the scopes. I think it’ll be a great way to get more people, especially families, involved in astronomy.

    Also, more kudos for a review of a non-traditional “tool”.

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