While working with my astronomy students at Pensacola State College, the Escambia Amateur Astronomers built and distributed over 100 Galileoscopes, equipped with Baader solar filters from our sponsor, Draco Productions, in preparation for the eclipse in August 2017.  Alas, these are no longer available, so I began looking around for a comparable scope kit for beginners.  Back in 2009, the AL Reflector featured an article I wrote on using surplus optics to replicate Galileo's first scopes, at this link:

     I went to Surplus Shed for cheap achromats, and WalMart for inexpensive roof binocs to make a "spyglass" style terrestrail scope.  In addition to local schools and beginners, I also envisioned sending some of these to the elementary schools of Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much as Mike Simmons and Greetchen Diaz of Ciencia PR were doing for high schools with the SWB 5" reflectors.  I contacted them with my proposal, and we have now send 14 of these scopes to Ciencia PR.  Here is the link to how to build these scopes for about $25.

Here is a prototype in use at one of our Sidewalk Astronomy Pavilion Gazes at Pensacola Beach last summer.

Spyglass prototype


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About Me

Winner, Astronomical League Award, 2010 Asst. Exec. Secretary, Astronomical League, 1986-1992 Professor of Astronomy, Pensacola State College, 1974-2017 Professor of Astronomy, University of West Florida, 1984-2015 Sky Interpreter, National Park Service, 1976-present


Location:Pensacola, Florida
United States of America (the)
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