Berlin, March 5 (ANI): A team of leading astronomers, optical engineers and science educators has designed the Galileoscope - a high quality, easy-to-assemble and easy-to-use telescope, which would make the wonders of the night sky more accessible to everyone.
The Galileoscope was developed as a Cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009).
By encouraging the experience of personally seeing celestial objects, the Galileoscope project aims to facilitate a main goal of IYA2009: promoting widespread access to new knowledge and observing opportunities.
Observing through a telescope for the first time is an experience that shapes our view of the sky and the Universe.
It prompts people to think about the importance of astronomy, and for many, it's a life-changing experience.
Galileoscopes will open up a whole new world for their users and are an excellent means of pursuing an interest in astronomy during IYA2009 and beyond.
The Galileoscope is named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who first observed the heavens through a telescope 400 years ago.
The Galileoscope is optimized to provide views of the very same objects that inspired Galileo all those years ago - including craters and mountains on the Moon, the rings of Saturn, the phases of Venus, a variety of star clusters, and moons orbiting the planet Jupiter.
Galileoscopes are also educational tools, tying in with topics such as mathematics, physics, history and philosophy.
As practical instruments they can be used to demonstrate basic optical theory in a real-world scenario, a technique often praised by educators and pupils themselves.
"Users will learn many aspects of optics and even have a chance to construct two types of telescopes - a modern one and a more primitive one similar to Galileo's," said Stephen Pompea, US IYA2009 Project Director and member of the IYA2009 Cornerstone project.
"Building and using a Galileoscope gives kids the feeling that science is fun," he added.
Galileoscopes are available at a low price of 15 dollars (US) per kit.
Discounts are available for group purchases of 100 or more, bringing the price down even lower, to 12.50 dollars each, reducing costs for schools, colleges, astronomical societies, or even parties of interested individuals.
To further this aim, the Galileoscope Cornerstone project has also initiated the "Give a Galileoscope" program.
Donated Galileoscopes will go to less advantaged schools and other organizations worldwide, especially in developing countries.
This will help bring a modern education to students in poor schools and empower them to pursue science and technology knowledge. (ANI)