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Home / Science projects / Make a Simple Telescope
  • Make a Simple Telescope

    Make a Simple Telescope

    Building your own telescope is a fun optical experiment and it can be used to get a better view of the moon and other distant objects.

    What You Need:

    • Two lenses with different focal lengths (We recommend 150 mm and 500 mm double convex lenses.)
    • Paper towel roll
    • 1 piece of paper or cardstock
    • Tape

    What You Do:

    1. Roll up the sheet of paper or cardstock the long way to form a tube that is about the diameter of the lens with the shortest focal length. This will be the eyepiece. Tape the edges of the eyepiece lens to one end of the tube as neatly as possible.

    2. Tape the second lens neatly to the end of the paper towel tube. Insert the empty end of the paper tube into the cardboard tube. Now your telescope is ready to be used!

    3. Look through the eyepiece and point the other end of your telescope at a distant object. Slide the two tubes in and out until the object comes into focus. You will see the image upside down and magnified. If you have trouble focusing the telescope, you may need to lengthen the tube, either by using a larger piece of paper for the eyepiece end or a longer cardboard tube (such as from a wrapping paper roll).

    What Happened:

    You have just built a simplified version of a refractor telescope. The lenses at each end work together to focus on a distant object and magnify it so that your eye can see it better. The lens on the outside tube is called the objective lens. This lens collects light from whatever you point the telescope at. The lens at the other end of the telescope is called the eyepiece lens. It takes the light that the objective lens has collected and makes it bigger so that it takes up more space on the part of your eye that allows you to see, so that when you see the image that your telescope is focused on, you see it several times larger than you can see it with your eye alone.

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Date: Oct 12, 2015

it is very easy and useful. thanks

By: Nellie kamwendo
Date: Oct 10, 2015

This is great, i have my own telescope now…...thanx

By: himanshu malik
Date: Sep 04, 2015

i never think telescope can be made in a such wayway i thank to bruno,copernicus and Galileo

By: shivang
Date: Aug 09, 2015

can u please tell me…how far can i see in space by using this telescope?....please reply as fast as possible.

[HST adds:  You can read about magnification and focal length of telescope lenses here:  http://www.hometrainingtools.com/a/selecting-a-telescope-science-teaching-tip  Hope this helps!]

By: deleter
Date: Jul 20, 2015

thanks a million

By: Anas Khan
Date: Jun 25, 2015

It is not easy procedure.
It is the easiest procedure.

By: pascal
Date: May 09, 2015

This is the best and easiest procedures i have ever seen, thanks to Home Science Tools.

By: vivekmg
Date: Apr 29, 2015

very nice trick to do a telescope in don’t understand about the paper towel roll and cardstock

By: thirisa
Date: Jan 22, 2015

this information was very useful so i was able to make a telescope

By: ankush sarmah;INDIA
Date: Jan 16, 2015

thanks ...It has helped me so much