First Attempts at Using the Galileoscope
I am part of the team workin on the Galileoscope for the International Year of Astronomy. The Galileoscope is a program to design and buld an inexpensive, high optical quality telescope similar in aperture to what Galileo used 400 years ago in his historic observations. Simple no-tools assembly will be required so you can see the optics inside a small telescope.
We have produced several prototypes of the Galieoscope. Last week I took one out and did a little imaging of the Moon. I used a small webcam based camera called an Astrocam. The Astrocam is basically the CCD chip of a Logitech Quickcam Express inserted into a 1.25″ eyepeiece barrel. I strapped this onto the back of our prototype Galileoscope and mounted it on a binocular paralellogram mount. The mount didn’t track the sky, so I just pointed it at the Moon and let the Moon drift across the field of view. Here is what I got.
The Moon was nearly full so you don’t get a lot of good shadows on it that usually are present in the best Moon shots.
Now I dont’ claim to be a good astro imager…neither my camera or mount were that good. I think the Moon looked better through the eyepiece than this shows. I was still happy to get this video to give a sample of what you can see with the Galileoscope. It has been pretty cloudy the last several days in Tucson, but I will try to get out with it again soon and snap some more images and videos.
We are almost there on the design. I will post updates as we make more progress!
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