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The Galileoscope is a high-quality telescope kit created by astronomers, optical engineers, and science educators. Because it was produced and distributed by volunteers, it is still available at low cost to support science education worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of kits are already in use in more than 100 countries.

The Galileoscope Kit includes everything you need to build your own refracting telescope.
The Galileoscope Kit includes everything you need to build your own refracting telescope. 

While assembling the kit, which requires no tools or adhesives, you can learn basic optical concepts, including how lenses form images. With your completed 2-inch-diameter, 25- to 50-power telescope, you can enjoy sharp views of lunar craters and mountains, Jupiter and its moons, and Saturn’s rings. The kit is augmented with free, standards-based optics-education and observing activities, available in multiple languages. The Galileoscope is suitable for students of all ages from 8 to 88!

Created as a cornerstone project for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA), the Galileoscope telescope kit solved a long-standing problem: the lack of a high-quality, low-cost kit suitable for both optics education and celestial observation. The Galileoscope was also a cornerstone project of the 2015 International Year of Light (IYL).

Over the course of the project managed by volunteers and promoted mainly through word-of-mouth, more than a quarter-million Galileoscope kits have been distributed to teachers, students, and other enthusiasts in more than 110 countries for science education and public outreach.  

The program was only expected to last through the IYA, but the global astronomy education and outreach community loved the kit and asked its creators (Stephen M. Pompea, Richard Tresch Fienberg, Douglas N. Arion, Thomas C. Smith, and Douglas Isbell) to keep it in production, and after nearly ten years of serving the educational STEM community that team was preparing to wind down.

But the demand by the educational community has remained strong, and a search ensued to find a worthy successor of the Galileoscope.  Explore Scientific was approached in late 2018 to take over manufacturing and distribution, and we both felt the project was a good fit for Explore Scientific.
Now we can ensure that educators and students around the world can continue the legacy of unlocking the learning process of exploring the universe with telescopes that people assemble themselves with the original Galileoscope Kit!

Galileoscope Assembly Instructions

The assembly instructions that came in the Galileoscope box were originally 2 pages, black and white, and incomplete. We now ship the Galileoscope with much better 4-page color instructions. Whichever ones you received, we also have a more comprehensive 7-page set of instructions, with more photos and illustrations — all in color — available for download as a PDF file in several languages. You’ll need a copy of the free Adobe Reader to open and print the document.


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