Building My Telescope


Building a “Galileo Style” telescope.


  • A working telescope that I can take to events for sky watching and attempting to “recreate” the experience of Galileo doing his own astronomical observations.
  • Prepare a class for Kingdom A&S 2013 where students will be able to build their own telescopes and observe the night sky.

Things To Do

  1. Collect relevant notes on telescopes and Galileo
  2. Build prototype telescope
  3. Create class
  4. Acquire resources to build additional telescopes
  5. Teach


Click here for my collected research information.

Progress Photos

Current Progress

June 26, 2012

Gathered research sources here.  Ordered simple kit for building prototype.  Just waiting for it to arrive.

June 28, 2012

Added this project tracking page.

July 2, 2012

Received confirmation that my telescope kit is on the way.  Hopefully in a few days I will have it in hand and can begin building my prototype.

Spent time last night taking a closer look at the photos so I could start thinking about how to decorate the main body of the telescope.  References say that it is a leather tube and the photos back that up, but I started thinking about complete construction as a leather tube versus some other material covered in leather.

I was concerned about constructing a leather tube that would be “light tight” and how to go about doing that but examining the photos suggests that the leather is wrapped around something else like a wooden or thin metal tube so the leather is decorative in nature.  I’m working off that premise for now until I have reason to believe otherwise.

July 5, 2012

My telescope kit has arrived.  Yay!

July 11, 2012

So, I’ve managed to mess up the first step of my telescope by putting the wrong lens into the objective end of the scope (the end pointed at what I want to look at).  I’ll have to carefully break it free in order to reset the proper lens in place, but I should be okay to do that.

On the other hand I already have some help from one of my local cohorts in looking to build a wooden tripod telescope stand so I’m happy about that part.  Need to find some images I can use as a basis for designing the stand.

July 12, 2012

So I spent a portion of the evening last night freeing up that lens and starting over with my telescope.  Once I had it figured out correctly it really took very little time to build properly.  I was a little concerned over the focusing ability as it seemed like I couldn’t really get my eye up close to the eye piece in order to see anything, but once I had the focusing figured out correctly all was good.

The parts are not glued together at this point, but they don’t need to be.  So I’m leaving it that way for the moment while I consider my next steps.

Photos are up at the above link.

July 31, 2012

I have done my first observations.

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