This month, they got to show the Galileoscope, as you can see the picture below:
According to the review (the picture below this paragraph), it is a decent sized telescope with good packaging. The joke went around that the really crappy supermarket telescopes have on their package always an advertisement saying how magnified it is, while at the same time having a Hubble picture on their sides. So the fact that they showed a good approximation of what the scope could do on the package was a good sign. It turns out that the viewing itself is pretty decent, you can see Jupiter, the cloud bands, and its moons, heck, you can even see Uranus. Also, it is a good educational moment, since you have to construct the telescope yourself from the various parts, so one can get a better understanding of the working of a telescope. Oh, and the lens is made of actual glass, while the eyepiece has plastic lens. I just want to throw that out. Overall, it is a good scope for children and begginers. The downside is that it doesn’t come with a tripod, and it won’t hold well in a cheap tripod. 😦 But le’ts face it, there is only so much you can do with 20$, and considering the price, they did pretty well.
Say, looking at this picture, isn’t the fact that I attend the club is a bit awkward? The meeting is full of old people, and around three young ones, including myself. And I am the youngest whippersnapper there, being 19 years old. I want more young people into science! ^_^
And finally, there was the hour long presentation, showing how astronomers eventually got to know the composition and lifecycle of stars, which also required the fundamental understanding of atoms. The man of the picture above is Bunsen, you know, of the bunsen burner fame. Also, it turns out that the man presenting this has also worked with one of the guys presented in there (don’t remember which one). Hearing the presentation, I thought it was amazing the way all of these people working separately were connected in one form or the other, almost as if they were all working on the same problem without knowing it. It is somewhat six degrees of separation-ish. Plus, sometimes, there were people who got the same result working separately, which happens often in science. Which is a good thing, of course, it tells us that reality is self consistent. Overall, it showed science as a process that got closer and closer to describing reality, often plagued with dead ends, egos, and personality clashes. Although it showed more of the latter two, the human aspect of things, the dead ends were rarely shown. But frankly, I think science classes has to show the human side of things more often, and this presentation succeded well.