Thread: Galileoscope
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:53 AM
N1 (Mirko)
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Dunners Nu Zulland
Posts: 1,290

The Galileoscope is a discontinued entry-level refractor developed for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and was meant to give people on a tight budget a means of making celestial observations that go beyond naked-eye. It's a 50mm, f/10 achromat of decent quality, although the objective (besides the built in nut that attaches the tripod) is the only part that is not plastic or rubber. It uses 1.25" eyepieces. It's no longer available new, but can be picked up cheaply on the net from time to time. I got two for $40 NZ earlier this year and played around with them. The experience has been so good that I've decided to start this thread and occasionally record some observations of and with a telescope that is all to easy to dismiss as a toy based on its specs and materials used. The scope has been covered on here before, but hopefully I can add to that info rather than just repeat it.

With two of these, it will be nice to see whether some mods made to one have a tangible effect. So I started by giving the objective of "Unit A" a clean and flocking the inside (it needed it badly) using self adhesive fake velvet bought on Aliexpress for a few dollars. Note that flocking may not always be a good idea, but with such low stakes who cares. The immediate result was an improvement during daytime use, especially when trying to find, and hold, the exit pupil produced by eyepieces with long focal lengths and eye relief. Internal tube reflections had been very distracting before despite the baffles (yes, this thing has baffles), and are now just about gone. Other improvements will be more subtle than that, and I'll do a side by side later to see how subtle.

I then added a 28mm RKE and took it to an international dark sky reserve. Cracking views, with a well-corrected field (as you might expect at f/10), great contrast and a still pleasingly bright image for the 2.8mm exit pupil. Detail visible was a step up from the 7x50s I had also brought along. Power was 18x and enough to clearly show the triangular asterism in front of the Sculptor Galaxy, for example. Handheld, I might add. The long, light-weight tube is easy to hold steady with one hand resting against your forehead maintaining the correct distance between the eye and eye piece and the other holding the scope near the objective. A 10mm SV bony eyepiece (the best of the currently available series as far as I'm concerned) gave a power of 50x in this unit, which is enough to show the current crescent of Venus very well. The 2 main belts on Jupiter and ring of Saturn. All very small of course but pleasingly sharp. At that power, a photo tripod or lens beanbag should be used. So the first impression under truly dark skies is a nice setup for quick peeks at the major planets or low power sweeps of the Milky Way, all essentially for the cost of the 28 RKE and a tripod.

Last edited by N1; 10-10-2018 at 07:05 AM.
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