Sunday, June 28, 2009


To celebrate the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, a simple, inexpensive, and well-designed telescope, called the "Galileoscope" is being produced. It costs $15 US plus shipping. I'd recommend going in on an order of 5+ with other people, as the shipping cost per unit drops dramatically at 5+. To ship a single unit to an exotic foreign destination like Canada costs $18.40 US, but for orders of 5+, the shipping per unit drops to $7.28, and drops further with 10+ orders.

They also have a "Give a Galileoscope" program; when you order, you have the option of paying $12.50 more (the 100+ price) to donate a Galileoscope.

The site also has a section for teachers which offers downloadable PDF activity guides to teaching optics and observing with a telescope. The IYA2009 site also has a variety of educational resources. To get the most out of a telescope, though, you should also download some free astronomy software. I recommend Stellarium and Celestia.

Another good site for teachers and Galileoscope enthusiasts is