Building a Telescope, in Low Cost

AASTRO Monthly session on home-made telescopes held at Thiruvananthapuram on 2nd June could attract a good gathering of astronomy enthusiasts. Mr. A. P. Prabhakaran lead the session with the aid of a 4" telescope which he had made with his own hands. He could convince the audience that we can build our own telescope at home spending only half the amount required for a commercially made one.



Quoting his own words:

The choice as to buying a commercially made telescope or taking the challenge of making one your own  is a personal choice.  It may be better for a beginner astronomer to build a suitable telescope. Making a telescope of your own is easy and very educational with the end product being a great learning tool where an amateur will learn astronomy and associated science.  So build your own telescope from chosen parts according to your budget and what you wish to make yourself.  Choices between using different types of optics are yours.

Dobsonian telescopes are probably the easiest to make.    The parts required to build your own telescope include Mirrors, Tube, Lenses & Mounting system.  The telescope which I have demonstrated includes the following parts –

Primary mirror                          - 100 mm dia, 100 cm focal length

Secondary mirror                      - 25mm dia

Size of tube                             - 140mm dia, 120 cm long.

Miscellaneous                         - Primary mirror cell, secondary holder, focuser etc.

All the parts are available from M/s Tejraj & Co, Mumbai.  With the aid of this telescope I was able to view  planets including Jupiter & its 4 moons, Saturn and Orion nebulae.  The approximate cost is Rs. 7,000.  A commercially made dobsonian will definitely cost double.

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