One of the major initiatives of the International Year of Astronomy is to bring astronomy to underprivileged children around the world. For this they needed affordable telescopes that children could put together and operate in any environment. A group of astronomers and engineers got together to design such a telescope and the result is the Galileoscope.
It is a new and improved version of the telescope Galileo used to discover the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn. The optics have been much improved, with various options for configuring the lenses depending on what you want to observe. The body is made sturdy ABS plastic and is easy to assemble, with no tools required. You can mount the Galileoscope on a tripod, and it accepts standard optical accessories so you can shoot photos or video through it. A great deal of thought has been put into this telescope and the result is a truly useful apparatus at a very affordable price.
Inspired by the One Laptop Per Child initiative, the creators of the Galileoscope are giving people the opportunity to donate one or more of the the telescopes, at a discount, when they buy one. You can buy a Galileoscope for a mere $15, but donating one is only $12.50. That’s less than most people spend on coffee in a week! It seems like a small price to pay to give a child the universe.
Find out more at the Galileoscope website.