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Space Technology

Online Database Allows Scientists To Recreate Early Telescopes 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-in-the-day dept.
sciencehabit writes "When Galileo Galilei shook up the scientific community with evidence of a heliocentric world, he had a little tube fitted with two pieces of glass to thank. But just how this gadget evolved in the nascent days of astronomy is poorly known. That uncertainty has inspired a group of researchers to compile the most extensive database of early refracting telescopes to date. Now, the scientists plan to use modern optics to recreate what Galileo — and the naysaying observers of his time — experienced when they first peered through these tubes at the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, and the phases of Venus."
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Online Database Allows Scientists To Recreate Early Telescopes

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  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:32AM (#46265563) Homepage

    I can build a crude telescope in my garage using the EXACT techniques he used. It's not hard.

    http://galileo.rice.edu/lib/st... [rice.edu]

    And then just half ass the optics by only looking through them as you grind. dont use modern collimation techniques and you will get the nasty blurry full of chromatic nasty that he had to deal with.

    The other problem is that pollution and light pollution is 9000% higher than what he had.

  • by ledow (319597) on Monday February 17, 2014 @08:31AM (#46265743) Homepage

    Elitest git.

    Sorry, but don't talk rubbish. A £100 (so $200 at best) Celestron reflector will show your kids Jupiter, Saturn, individual craters on Mars, come with tripod, EQ mount and a range of eyepieces. An extra $50 or so and you can get a kit of cheap eyepieces and a barlow in a nice Celestron-branded kit.

    You'll see rings on Saturn quite clearly, you'll see the stripes in the atmosphere of Jupiter. I know, I've done it. And inside London, from my backyard (with streetlights and near major roads and cities, and with houses around, in front of and behind me). Damn, I can't even see the Milky Way or more than the Plough on even the clearest night with the naked eye but a simple 75mm reflector with cheap eyepieces will perform wonders.

    Scale down and even the cheapest scope will get a kid interested if it's done right. Hell, I had a crowd of adults around my telescope when I dug it out at my last dinner party and we only aimed it at the Moon (and people were going back for second, third, fourth goes at it with other eyepieces).

    I hate people who think you have to spend thousands of dollars on ANYTHING in order to enjoy it as an amateur. If anything, people like YOU put off amateurs more than a cheap Galileo-themed telescope that won't quite pick out individual aliens on extra-solar worlds.

  • Re:Disappointed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17, 2014 @08:43AM (#46265775)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ESW_NTIhBM

    Dr. Martin Poliakoff of the Royal Society shows Newton's telescope. One of the best youtube channels, this "Periodic Videos". In fact, all of Brady Haran's channels (Periodic Videos, Sixty Symbols, Deep Sky Videos, Numberphile, etc) are really worth a look.

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