A great idea

Galileo moon by stuttermonkey
I got my Galileoscopes!:
[Via Bad Astronomy]
My Galileoscopes arrived in the mail!

Yay! There were some shipping problems, and it took longer than expected (they arrived about a month ago but I’ve been too busy to write up this post). But still, very cool. I ordered three; one for my daughter and me, one to give away …

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I had heard about these several months ago but had not done any real investigation. It is really nice to hear just how well they work, and for only $20 dollars.

When I was young, I had both a refractor and a reflector telescope. Even in the light pollution of Houston, I still remember looking at craters on the moon or seeing the disk of Venus. I ended up a biochemist but I really enjoyed examining the night sky.

Having simple ways for people to see the wonders of nature can only enhance humanity’s investigations of the world around us.

While the Seattle sky always seems to be cloudy whenever anything really interesting happens, like meteor showers, there are enough clear nights to have some real fun. I’d love to look at Jupiter or Saturn again.

And it is a great education tool. I can see why some people are buying two and donating one to a school. This is a nice way to put the power of optics into the hands of kids.

I think it is a nice idea to provide people with the ability to see the stars the same way Galileo or Kepler did. That permits personal experience to resonate with historical perspectives. Now if there was only a similar device for microscopes. (Of course, my real dream would be a scanning electron microscope for home use but the price would have to come down substantially.)

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