The Galileoscope Photo and Sketching Contest
The National Optical Astronomy Observatory and the National Earth Science Teacher’s Association just announced the Galileoscope Photo and Sketching Contest. The goal is to get students observing with the Galileoscope and to record their observations either with photography or by sketching their observations like Galileo.
The are categories for high school and middle school students. There are separate categories for photos and sketches of the Moon, Jupiter and Galileo’s Choice (a category where you can photography any astronomical object with the Galileoscope). In the spring, Jupiter will be replaced with Saturn when Saturn returns to the evening sky.
You don’t need fancy equipment to enter. For sketching, you just need a pencil, paper and a good eye. For photography, inexpensive digital cameras can be used to capture images through the Galileosope. The camera should be mounted on a second tripod and pointed directly into the eyepiece. Be sure to turn off the flash. You might use settings for low light if you camera has them but even the auto settings can work if your image is well focused. Even cell phone cameras can take images through the Galileoscope if you can hold it steady!
You can see examples of photos people have taken through the Galileoscope on Flickr. I have taken pics of the Moon and Saturn through the Galiloscope with a cheap HP point and shoot camera so I know it doesn’t take much to get a decent shot!
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