Intro: Woodard: How to Make a Telescope
Space is something that humans have been wondering about since the dawn of our existence. This instructional guide will assist you in making a telescope that can be used for viewing both terrestrial and extraterrestrial objects. This is guide will help you make a telescope out of materials that can be purchased at your local hardware or optical supply store.
Step 1: Materials You Will Need:
The materials you will need in order to complete your telescope include:
1. Some duct or masking tape (duct tape works better)
2. 2 magnifying lenses, magnifying glasses will work fine.
3. A yardstick for measuring the distances between the two lenses
4. A cardboard tube to act as the body of your telescope
5. An object to focus in on to help you get your lenses aligned properly
6. A pair of scissors for cutting slits in the cardboard tube
Step 2: Step One: Find the Focal Distance
Take your magnifying lenses and focus in on an object away from you. The object will appear to be inverted. Adjust the distances between them until the object that is far away comes into sharp focus. Once you accomplish this, hold them there and have someone measure the distance between the 2 lenses. Record this measurement. It is very important to be as precise as possible when measuring in order to achieve the sharpest possible focus between the two lenses. (Also, make sure your tube is at least 3 inches longer than the distance it takes to focus your lenses).
Step 3: Step Two: the First Lens
Once you have measured the distance the two magnifying lenses are from each other to achieve focus, take your cardboard tube and measure up the tube that same distance. Now make a mark about an inch past that. This is where you will make a marking with a pencil as to how far you should put the lens in through the other end, assuming that it fits snugly. If not, you may need to tape it into place. If you want a more permanent fixture, hot glue can also be used to attach it into the tube. (If you choose to glue it, don't do so until you also have the other lens in place)
Step 4: Step Three: the Second Lens
Once you have your first lens in place up the tube, measure one inch from the end of the tube you measured from in the last step. This is where your second slit for your other magnifying lens will go. The extra inch of tubing is there to block outside light sources from disrupting your vision while observing through the telescope.
Step 5: Step Four: Make a Check
Put your second lens in, and take a quick look through the telescope to make sure they are aligned properly. You will know if they are aligned properly if when you look into the telescope, no blurring occurs in any part of the object you're looking at. If blurring does occur, try adjusting your second lens (If you glued it in, be sure adjust it before it dries) If there is no blurring, congratulations, you know have a functioning telescope! Because the image is upside down, it is probably best to use it specifically for viewing the night sky. But a telescope is a telescope, right?