Scientists use a telescope to observe remote objects. Telescopes are also used by people to have a closer look at the sky especially those who love star gazing. There are different types of telescopes such as optical telescopes, radio telescopes and high energy particle telescopes. There are 3 main types of optical telescopes—reflecting telescope, refracting telescope and catadioptric telescope. If you have a science project you can make a telescope like a reflecting telescope. Reflecting telescope uses mirrors to form image.
Here are the steps on how to make a reflecting telescope.
- Find the materials that you will use in making a reflecting telescope. The materials in making a reflecting telescope include hobby knife, concave mirror, glue, different sizes of cardboard tubes, duck tape and 1 inch square mirror.
- Get the focal point. Once you have all the needed materials ready, it’s time to get the focal point. To do this get your concave mirror and go outside. Choose a place where you can get the full brightness of the sun and you should be facing a wall. Raise the mirror to catch the light of the sun. Move the mirror until a point is formed in it from the light. Once a point is formed, get the distance between the mirror and the wall. The distance between the mirror and the wall is the focal point. If you don’t have a concave mirror at home, you can purchase one on any hardware store near your area.
- Get a cardboard tube to fit the mirror. The mirror should fit in the cardboard tube so make sure that the cardboard tube and mirror have the same diameter. Attach the mirror inside the cardboard tube by using glue. The reflective surface of the mirror should be facing the other end of the cardboard tube. Make sure that the cardboard tube is also a bit longer that the focal point you got. Measure the cardboard 4 inches down the mirror and mark it using a marker.
- Get a smaller cardboard tube to fit in the bigger cardboard tube. Measure the diameter of the smaller cardboard and cut a hole on the mark that you put on the bigger cardboard. The hole should be the same diameter as your smaller cardboard so the smaller tube can fit in the hole. Cut a small hole on the smaller tube and another hole opposite the first hole on the smaller tube. The size of the holes on the smaller tube should be enough to fit a small dowel. Fit the small tube to the hole on the big tube. Insert the dowel through the holes on the small tube. Attach a 1 inch flat mirror to the dowel using glue and tilt this to 45 degree angle.
- Put a magnifying glass inside a small cardboard tube. Get another small tube and cut it to open. Put a magnifying glass inside the small tube and close it again using a tape. Slip the small tube with magnifying glass to the small tube with the dowel. You will be able to move the tube up and down without making it fall. Place the magnifying glass on the small cardboard to the hole of the big cardboard.
You now have a reflecting telescope for your science project. You can use this to have a better view on remote objects.