Ateneo’s League of Physicists (LeaPs) assemble Galileoscopes at the Manila Observatory
January 17, 2011 1 Comment
by Genie Lorenzo (BS Ps ’98)
Members of the League of Ateneo Physicists (LEAPS) assembled Galileoscopes last December 9, 2010 in the Manila Observatory. The Galileoscope is a 50-mm diameter, 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor telescope kit designed by the International Astornomical Union and the American Astronomical Society, with the educational support from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Before assembling the telescopes, LEAPS members used a pre-assembled Galileoscope and an Astroscan telescope (named “Eddie” by its owner: Astronomer Erika Valdueza) from Edmund Scientific (105mm diameter, reflector), to look at the crescent moon, Jupiter, and the main satellites of Jupiter. The participants saw the moon’s craters as Galileo might have seen them four centuries ago.
Erika Valdueza shared her knowledge and passion for observing the sky. An introductory demonstration, taken from galileoscope.org, was presented on how refractor telescopes work . Two convex lenses, with different focal lengths, which served as the objective lens and eyepiece, were used to look at a colored lamp. Working in pairs, participants assembled the main telescope body, the objective lens, and the eyepieces of the Galileoscopes. After focusing on objects in the room to familiarize themselves with the assembled telescopes, the high spirited LEAPS members ventured outside to gaze at the heavens for a fun-filled evening. Days later, some participants used the Galileoscopes before dawn to observe the crescent Venus as well as Saturn and its rings. In the coming months, we hope more LEAPS members may experience assemblying the Galileoscopes to view the skies.
We thank Ateneo Physics alumnus John Ong (BS Ps ’91) for providing the Galileoscopes through a donation from Dr. Alymer Tang (Xavier School, batch ’86). Five Galileoscopes were also donated by Galileoscope, LLC.