The Year of Astronomy

2009 is (well at this point it basically was), the International Year of Astronomy. One of the cooler outcomes of this was “The Gallileoscope” Project. For twenty bucks (plus about $15 shipping) they’ll provide you with a decent refracting telescope kit that you can assemble in about twenty minutes. Although this telescope is inexpensive, it’s not cheap. In particular it uses “achromatic lenses,” meaning that the images you see aren’t going to be a smeary mess of colors.

Better yet, the Optical Society of America (OSA) has a donation challenge going on. If you buy your scope through their website, then they will match your purchase with a donation to the charitable OSA Foundation. To sweeten the deal the telescopes are actually cheaper through OSA—$24 including shipping.

You just can’t lose, folks.

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