Galileo Telescope Philippines
The Galileo telescope is the cheapest and affordable way for budding Filipino astronomers to explore the night sky.
Here’s a product review by Paul Atchong Hilario, Physics graduate student in U.P. Diliman and U.P. Astrosoc member:
I just bought my first telescope today, a Galileo scope with 15x magnification, and gave it first light. Yes that means I used it to view heavenly objects. I was afraid at first that it is not worth it but believe me when I say I was wrong. It gave me a very nice impression.
The truth is it a rather nice telescope. It promises to be usable when viewing the moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter with the moons, Saturn and a number of deep sky objects. As a test, due to cloudy skies early tonight, I used it to view Plaeiades, Orion Nebula and Hyades. I must admit, I was impressed. Its magnification is good enough to appreciate the heavenly bodies mentioned. It also has the crisp of a refractive telescope. Sorry, I can’t pose any photos cause I haven’t tried to take one yet.
The Galileo telescope is one of the many core projects in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy. It aims to allow us to appreciate what Galileo saw 400 years ago. The Galileo scope is a replica of Galileo’s telescope, with which he saw Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings, moon craters and the sun (which burned his eye), only more powerful because of the techniques we have in making lenses. It comes in two forms (or at least the ones available in the Philippines), a 15x version (G15x) and a 35x version (G35x). The numbers indicate the magnification it can do. 15x means an object will appear 1/15 times closer the same is true for 35x (which would make the objects appear more than twice as close as with 15x). Now regarding the resolution and light gathering power, it seems that they are at par since they have the same aperture. You can see the attached file for reference. You can order your scopes at the numbers indicated in the brochures.
For a telescope, a decent magnification would help. However, let me stress out that a telescope does not make small things appear large but rather far things appear near. Furthermore, for astronomical purposes, these very far objects are usually very dim. Hence, you want more light from them. This is achieved by having a bigger aperture. Also, a bigger aperture would mean better resolution (Note: better resolution does not mean bigger, it actually means smaller). Hence, more details. Noting at the specs of both scopes, it means that they have almost the same power.
The main advantage of a G35x is that two points will appear to have bigger angular separation distance which will make them easily distinguishable. In terms of the objects you can see, the G35x and G15x are relatively the same. It will depend on how good you are in observing. The instrument is only as good as its user. A G35x is, however, enclosed in a paper tube which will make it more vulnerable. A G15x is enclosed in a plastic tube which will make it more durable and easier to assemble.
A word of caution for more experienced amateur astronomers. Though having a Galileo telescope would allow you to experience Galileo’s astronomical feat, having a Galileo telescope as a main scope is not quite a good idea. It’s power is comparable to a decent pair of binoculars which is just as cheap. But since the Galileo scopes come with an option for a tripod, you have the advantage of stability. But you can also mount your binoculars on a tripod.
All in all, I think it is worth it. And it is a around 4x cheaper than the toy telescopes available at the malls making it much better for starting amateur astronomers.
Ad astra per aspera!