The How and Why of Precisely Recreating Galileo's Famous Telescopes.
We make them for those  who want
to  understand and or  to teach,  Science through Galileo's  famous story.  They have been made from the  unique  point of view of  two experienced experimental  scientist,-----  who believe that Galileo's story is by far the richest source of learning about science in its most fundamental form.

Click here to go  directly to Pictures of our very beautiful Galileo telescopes Enjoy.....
Then come back here and learn all the details of them,---- and making them.

Click here   How much  simpler  can it get,  only two small, thin, pieces of glass, mounted  into the ends of a couple of  telescoping  tubes?                                              ( Last Revised 07/10/2013 10:48 AM )     

Jim & Rhoda    781 245 2897 e-mail  
   Also Visit Our web site
Historical instruments of science and technology


This is a modern  extensive set of web site covering the details of making both of the existing  Galileo telescopes plus  where Galileo fits into the development of modern science  Click here for additional web sites detailing more of the measurements  their optical performance and an error analysis we made of these telescopes.

  1.  Replicas and accurate replicas

  2. Visit the IMSS Home of the Galileo's Telescopes

    Visit our you tube site for videos constructing the telescopes

  3. Galileo's telescope construction

  4. Art work and making the tools

  5. Hot stamping the Gold Deco's

  6. Len grinding, polishing & testing the length of the telescope and the important question should the extra eyepiece holder be eliminated.

  7. Done Finished Telescopes

  8. Appendix random thoughts and references

  9. Galileo's IMSS #2427 telescope for Adler Planetarium in Chicago

  10. Visit our site Antiques of Science and Technology


  12. Click here to visit another site covering details of the measurements  their optical performance and an error analysis we made of these telescopes

     Click on the pictures with the colored boarders to get larger views.

    Send comments to

See the wonderful New book and catalog from the IMSS: "Galileo's Telescope The Instrument That Changed the World" edited by Giorgio Strano, Publ. Giunti 2008 (isbn 978-88-09-05938-2)  It covers the history of thought and technology in the development of the telescope over a broad spectrum of topics relevant to Galileo's time presented by a team of international experts.  It is an excellent historical and educational catalogue for their exhibition with wonderful technical analyses of the components of Galileo's telescope illustrated with magnificent photographs.

(We were privileged to be one of the collaborators)

Please visit the IMSS  in Florence Italy  where the original telescopes and other instruments of Galileo are on display.  It is the most wonderful museum which hosts a myriad of historical works from many great scientists some of equal importance* but with less notoriety than the Galileo telescope we currently celebrate .  Visit their  excellent web site
Without the help of the IMSS and the Griffith observatory the Adler Planetarium we would never have had the opportunity to offer these very accurate and beautiful telescope for your use or collection..


for links to the construction details.

Rhoda & Jim  with the magic wands for  teaching and touching science

for links  to  the most important topics we can learn from these telescopes.

 Recently  (12/4/2008) new and more accurate measurements of the length of both of Galileo's existing telescopes were made by IMSS.    The new   lengths for  IMSS inventory 2427 telescope is (1273 mm the old data 1360mm) and IMSS inventory 2428  is now (927mm. the old data 980mm). This is very good news for all of us especially those that build models of these famous telescope. We all appreciate the very careful and good work done by the staff at the IMSS. Thank you IMSS.

What were the dimensions of these instruments?  Here is a glimpse into the world of science and a working  example of  the more modern and descriptive tools  ( that is measurements of Time Length and Mass)  that Galileo helped to establish, and how it helped us solve an accuracy issue in the worlds most historically famous telescopes. In our Analysis using TLM, we found that the data in the literature had serious errors in the reported length of these telescopes.  These errors were too large to be ignored in building and using our replicas. It was clear that the lengths had to be checked out with new measurements. So with the help of Dr. Giorgio Strano - Curator at the IMSS  we  made measurement  of  the instrument, in the case, by a variety of techniques  on both the IMSS 2427 and 2428 telescopes. Our measurements did show clearly that both telescopes were considerably shorter than reported.  The  methods that we employed are abstracted below. and  are reported in more detail. Click here for more fun in the detail of these experiments.   In part as a result of this work IMSS reviewed the lengths of both telescopes out of the case  and up dated  the lengths with new and more accurate results. These new data are reported  on their very  lively web sites. Again thank you IMSS for your good work it is so very helpful. to all of us. and a wonderful example of scientist working together to achieve the best data.

Above One of four  ways we made measurements on Galileo's original telescopes.
See the good fun in how we  made these measurements

above  is one of our replica's at the IMSS Florence Italy in an exploded view  of the interior showing  the unusual construction Galileo used.

 As part of our determining the specifications to build our replica's we used  a variety of methods of measuring the originals telescopes.. One was  an enhancement, by  photographic means, of the cross section of  telescope. An example is shown above using a  photo of IMSS 2428,
By preferential magnification of the cross section of the instrument one gets otherwise hidden regularities in the surface and the diameter. Attention to camera distortions are required to get quantities measurements.

Discussions with many experts in the field. Their helped made it possible for us to  make these very beautiful replicas  which can help us all to understand what science is all about. the Galilean way.




Again Ignoring errors of the length and . using these incorrect data to build  Galileo's telescopes would give  blurred images for distant object. We have encouraged  a number of the sources of these data to look into the matter and they have assured us this will be done. We are looking forward to this new work. From this one will see a beautiful  Galilean example of scientists sharing their data and  working together to increase our trust in the results.

 The new and more accurate measurements of the length of both telescopes are for  IMSS inventory 2427 is 1273 mm not 1360mm and IMSS inventory 2428  is 927mm. not 980mm. This is very good news for all of us especially those that build models of these famous telescope. We all appreciate the very careful and good work done by the staff at the IMSS. Thank you IMSS.

Galileo ,The famous super spokesperson
for science. 


  is one of the most valuable  teachers of all times to show what the raw guts of science & engineering is really all about to the grand majority.
There are few if any richer examples that can stand up for science like he does.    His telescopes, compass, pendulum, incline plane thermometers and such instrument of measurement  helped  research  turn the corner on to the road of  modern methods of present day science.  His famous story is rich in content,  very dramatic, broad, and alive covering example after example of all the things that can happen in science. Galileo continues to help  address the  troubling changes in trust in science that are out there and getting worse. 



Galileo's office in the Santa Croce Church Florence Italy.
His office hours are  Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:30pm; Sun 1pm-5:30pm
Click photo to make it larger.

Yes Galileo  is still teaching   7-24  with no vacation, no time off helping  to filter  fact from fiction about science. Galileo teaches us  how to separate  the (well?) intentioned but  miss informed things that keep  popping up everywhere about every imagined down side of science.  Galileo  best shows by example to the grand majority, whose first priority is not science, what the day by day job of science  is and about trust in science.
Today our teachers are doing just that. in schools, museums, libraries everywhere.   They  appreciate the needs to show by example , in imaginative ways what the day by day job of a scientist really is. i.e. ; the extraordinary high pressure on each scientist to get the answers right., the day by day the no fun tedium of repeating measurements by as many ways as possible to get it right, Vigorously  confronting each other as to who is rightest .
      Galileo recognized all of this and clearly stated it  in his letter  (also see  his message in the top most  picture above) to the Tuscan Court  on March 19th 1610. He suggests that no one can convince another  with words alone about discoveries in science and how it is done. That what one needs are Common Experiences  to help us in  using Common Sense Sensibly to understand the truth of  scientific issues.


;In the years prior to 600 people used mostly  common sense to gain an understanding of  how things in nature worked. Galileo was one of those who recognized that  common sense had a place but not in science. It was  wasting  time and resources going no where  like the little figure in the animation above. Old science ,  on the large part, had been  on a  never ending climb up stairs going around and around without getting anywhere,  just going around in square circles.

Scientist like Galileo were beginning to recognize that  one has to make measurements and look at the data  repeat and have others repeat your measurements  to get at the true nature of nature.

A Galilean example of  using measurements to get the answer to making A MORE powerful telescopes.

Galileo  great discovery in telescope  design was that   bigger was not bigger.      Littler was bigger!---------Click here to actually see what he found with his lenses including  another example of The Nonsense that can happen in Commonsense

Here; is a Short, Fun, and typical example of the nonsense of commonsense that Galileo as a scientist was repeatedly faced with in designing his  telescope among other things. There are lots of examples like this, in Galileo's work,  that can be used in demonstrations to show the Grand Majority science working mutinously to get it right. 



Galilean example;
The tubby telescope; Measuring its cross section

Below is one photo from a number of examples of a unique technique  we used to enhance, by  photographic means, the measurements of the cross sectional dimensions of the telescopes. The  photo below it is from the IMSS 2427 paper covered telescope. We enhanced the cross sectional shape of these photo by magnifying the diameter ten times the length. giving the fat telescope shown in the photos. We have made the optical barrel distortions  corrections to the photos to use them for quantitative measurements.

It is  interesting to note that it is warped. Lots of things to learn about this fine working instrument.

The literature, ref 2, would have us  believe that Galileo's IMSS 2427 telescope has a linear taper from objective to eyepiece. Not true. It has a fairly small taper for about the first half of the telescope then a much stronger taper to the eyepiece. Using a micrometer would work better on the first half as you slide it along.



You may ask why are we showing a picture and a drawing of a spectroscope made from two of our beautiful Galileo's telescopes ?
Answer; To show the  broader  value of the telescope.  This is a demonstration, a symbol, of the beginning of the science of optics. Telescopes are good teaching tools  showing the versatility,  and  impact Galileo's telescopes had in our modern science and our every day life.

The special one of a kind photo above is a prism spectroscope made from two of our beautiful replicas of Galileo's telescopes.

Why is this an important display for the IYA? For those not  aware,  Galileo's  inventions and discoveries added a lot more to modern science than his discoveries in astronomy or his teaching of the use of  physical measurements instead of intuition.  The telescope for example became an essential part of many other engineering and scientific instruments and the beginning of modern optical instruments.  We mention just a few:  Transits gave us much more accurate surveying data and for example at Greenwich, we get more accurate  time from sun and star transits. The telescope led the way to the microscope and gun scopes.  But in our special celebration of the IYA we should include the spectroscope.  The spectroscope is a big time instrument in our every day world as well as in astronomy. And that is why we have included this most beautiful instrument all dressed up and fancy for this occasion.

Did you know that there are spectroscopes on Hubble and that most observatories  have  numbers of  them? In fact a telescope is just one part of a spectroscope.  Astronomers use them to study the chemical composition and motion of the sun and stars that  surround us . It also gave us a start to the world of quantum mechanics by explaining the spectra from glowing solid bodies and gases.

Click here to see our "you tube movie" of this spectroscope

Using three (3) Galileo telescopes or equivalent,  trade one eyepiece, for a slit in one , slip  put a prism between the last 2   and one has the essence of the tool  that is in most every observatory in the world including Hubble. Astronomers  use the spectroscope to tell us what chemicals that the  heavenly bodies are  made and  how fast they are going etc..












Click to make it larger


Are we going to be the generation that fail them

 Wonder if  Galileo was breaking any child labor laws Keeping  the kids up pass their bed time looking up in the sky  at sinful planets?

Galilean example;
Click here  for some fun stuff from IMSS web site to  Play with Galileo's 2428 telescopes. It looks like one of our replica's may have helped out in one of the IMSS beautiful websites animations.


Here is a once in a life time opportunity to be there and join Galileo following in his foot steps teaching with exact duplicates of his instruments, the experience of all aspects of science working then and now at first hand in permanent but rotating subjects about the non science type of science exhibits.   Several major museums. planetariums  and libraries are very successfully. using our precise replicas. showing  the combination  of works of art  and science for all to enjoy and learn from.

Jim is a


Be careful of the trouble with the length issue on the original Galileo telescopes  Certainly having a mini-Hubble-focusing problem in Galileo replicas in 2009 would not be appreciated by celebrating astronomers and educators. [:-)



Galilean example;

The all important equation;

The guy in the middle has spent 60 years of service in science. He spent his 80th birthday working in one of the libraries at IMSS on half models of 2427 & 2428

[Teaching Greater Trust in how science works]  = 
[ A Greater appreciation for science =  
[ Greater [$] for teaching science in our schools]
[Greater [$] for teaching science in our  museums ]
[Greater [$] for basic scientific research] 
[A better life for everyone].

Editors note; an interested critic  thought that we might have  set some kind of record for the number of equal signs in a single equation. 

The photo above  shows  scientist working together  at IMSS helping  everyone to understand   science and how it works through Galileo's story and his telescopes.



How can we improve our demonstration in Teaching of Greater Trust and understanding in how science works ?

Galileo's story of his science is famous through out the world ----high in historical significance---- extremely well documented in most every  language ----  of interest to  every culture ----- filled with powerful drama -----  all of these and more for close to 400 years. His science, his methods, were revolutionary  They were among the start up seeds of modern science.   Galileo's Telescope The Instrument The Changed the World" . He represents all the facets of science in one man.

Our telescopes are superb teaching tools as well as striking works of art. They are made so accurately as duplicates of the originals that they serve as  tactile time capsules leaving one with a feeling of awe while handling them. Each telescope is so similar in every detail inside and out to the originals that it's like stepping into a time machine and journeying back into the past. We feel humbled yet proud that a number of major museums,  planetariums, and libraries including the IMSS, home of the originals, chose our replicas for their displays and projects.
Each is hand made, with loving care, based on  extensive data that we measured from the originals with the help of staff at IMSS Florance Italy. The leather covered telescope, a presentation instrument IMSS #2428,  has over 100 pieces. It is covered with beautiful leather in two shades, embossed with pure Gold leaf  using over 20 dies at hundreds of dollars a die, faithfully following the impressions of the original including most of their mistakes, with 400 individual hand gilded die strikes.

The most historically important, yet  unheralded telescope in the progress of science is  one of Galileo's development instruments, IMSS #2427. It's  shy of decorations yet handsome in  simplicity. It is  paper covered, over two cored split wooden tubes, glued and wire wrapped to keep the halves together. The lenses and apertures  were designed by Galileo to be  easily replaced being held in with  wire snap rings. etc.  We offer further demonstration  of Galileo's development methods in the form of  experimental eyepieces, such as positive a eyepiece, and half models to show their inner workings.


Pictures of the most precise, to date,  replica's of Galileo telescopes
That we make for your projects.

 They are very beautiful works of art

They give one a feeling of awe seeing  and using them as Galileo would have seen  and used them. Touching them as Galileo would have touched them can be a very moving experience.   We make  them very accurately inside and out to the originals, by hand,   using period techniques. We have made several for The beautiful IMSS home of the originals in Florence Italy  and other major Museums including half models showing their internal  construction  They can be yours by special order. call us at 781 245 2897 or email us at

Click   IMSS 2428 to see the original at IMSS

One valuable  feature we make  available:   For those interested in demonstrating the difference between a Kepler positive lens in the eyepiece to the Galileo's negative lens, we offer both lenses for your consideration at a modest increase in price.
Above are  two displays we made for IMSS in Florence Italy  of  the interior of Galileo's leather covered telescope  showing the very unique construction of this famous telescope.   For more detail scroll down to the figures of the IMSS 2427




One of the  Galileo's early development telescopes. A very important instrument, perhaps the only one left. Click   IMSS 2427 to see the original at IMSS
To demonstrate the possibilities of what Galileo could do with his development telescopes:   We have expanded the features of our IMSS #2427 telescope without in any way altering the authenticity of the replication of the instrument. We have  added an extra eyepiece with a 50mm positive lens for your consideration thus giving this development telescope an increase in magnification up to  26+ power and a Kepler version of Galileo's telescope.  Below shows that we can also increase the length of the eyepiece extension  tube length to  allows it to focus on objects less than 50 feet away.  This is an aid for demonstrating this instrument indoors with limited space. We add Galileo's micrometer and one has the ability to make optical and astronomical  measurements. Click on the thumb nail below to show the extra feature  available at a small increase in price.


We have recently furnished the extra accessories below to the Huntington Library  for their new displays on science.

A short note; One cannot convince us that Galileo did not try positive lenses in his development work because there were certainly more positive lenses than negative ones in the inventory of spectacle and magnifiers shops, one of his first sources of lenses.

Click here to get  a quick comparison of the field of view  with a discussion of each..

This was a special Kepler eyepiece we especially  designed to focus on objects less than 40 feet from the telescope and have a power of about 26. We have coupled this telescope with a sort of "Galiletarium "(a planetarium for Galilean objects, as a target of  images, with proper scale, of the celestial objects for which Galileo made such remarkable new discoveries  through his telescopes. Call or email us for details...


This model has been a successful  tool for showing the location of the essential  parts

of Galileo's  work/development  telescope. Throw a light shield over it and it works


Our  half telescope IMSS 2427 mounted on a stand for  display.

The objective end of our half telescope IMSS 2427



This is a very rare and important opportunity to see, with an  insiders view, what it is really like when two experienced experimental senior scientist pit  their experimental skills in  replicating, to their original condition, two of the worlds most historically  significant  telescopes. On these web pages you can see,  with the  most intimate detail, these telescopes inside and out but It will not be easy  to find your way  about  this web page because it is very large  over 8,000 lines ( Alla! FrontPage's count), not including links.  We also cover  important relevant  topics including the connections between the condition of science in the 1600's and today. There are lots of pictures, graphs and drawings,  always from a  fresh point of view. It is  arranged linearly in time like a researchers log book skipping back and forth through complex variety of issues as they appeared which is not always linear with time. We have left  notes and scribbles developed in the process of editing and thinking about Galileo's skills and how he would have done a specific task which since has  been covered up and hidden with time.




Galilean example;

Below are some of the people and places who helped a lot in our project. You can help too use them to teach not only about  telescopes but about science. We need more permanent and broad exhibit of this universal caliber.

We cannot thank enough all those who made it possible  for us to  produce these very precise recreations of both of Galileo's existing Galileo's telescopes. Dr. Giorgio Strano - Curator at the IMSS ( a very beautiful museum with beautiful instruments of science  where the original telescopes are kept)  and the staff of IMSS who made it possible to have access to the originals to gather the measurements so important to the success of  this project.




No better test can be made than a side by side comparison with the original?

Click photo above for a more detailed photo of  one of our replicas at  IMSS Florence, Italy next to Galileo's original telescope  IMSS # 2428

Click here to see our  very unique educational exploded view of the  Galileo's  IMSS 2428 telescope that is on display at  IMSS . We  cut one in half to show  the very unusual interior barrel stave resin composite construction. It also shows the arrangement of the lenses with their stops. Equally visible is  the very beautiful gilded leather exterior on the outside of  the construction with all of its decorations. We have recently furnished this model to the History of Science Florence Italy home of the originals and it has been very well received by the visitors. Schedule a visit to the beautiful IMSS in Florence Italy.

 Read on and learn more about what it looks like inside, how it was built, how well it performs and above all about  the poor forgotten but equally important development telescope IMSS 2427. We are  humbled  to be  chosen to furnish such important replicas for exhibit by famous museums, observatories, and libraries in both hemispheres.

The IMSS  Institute and Museum of the History of Science - Florence, Italy on the banks of the Orno river in Florence Italy is one of the most beautiful and wonderful places to visit.  The IMSS has one of the most  extraordinary collections of very significant and beautiful  scientific instruments including examples of Nobile's Astatic galvanometers the instrument which was the foundation of modern electrical discoveries. It will be one of the most important visit you can make in any trip to Europe.

One  very important  scientific project of the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (IMSS) Galileo’s Telescope is

Galileo's Telescope
The Instrument that Changed the World

Beijing, China
Beijing Planetarium
October 15, 2008 – January 10, 2009


The two of our replica's IMSS inv #2427 and 2428 are on the exhibit at
Beijing Planetarium  Beijing, China

A new version of Galileo’s Telescope, implemented with a section devoted to “The telescope, measurement of time and longitude”, is displayed at the Beijing Planetarium from October 15, 2008 to January 10, 2009.

The Beijing exhibition has been made possible thanks to the financial support of the Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Universitŕ e della Ricerca (MIUR), the joint efforts of the Beijing Association for Science and Technology (BAST) and the Beijing Planetarium as well as the generous sponsorship of Officine Panerai.

Galileo’s Telescope is a scientific project of the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (IMSS)

The exhibition will be open in Florence as well until December 31, 2008 at the Museo di Storia della Scienza..




Galilean example;

Do any of us really understand us?
Do any of us really know what its like to be a if we have never been one?

One of the reasons this web page is so large was triggered from  a  criticism we heard at the start  of this project  "Who cares about such detail especially of the insides  of the telescopes which no one will ever see?"  This was caressed by criticisms of Galileo;  "He was too dumb to use a positive lens with its "larger field of  view ". (  a Kepler 1611 suggestion but never rendered into practice until some tens of years later~1630), Christoph Scheiner used Kepler's suggestion for a positive eyepiece.



About the science;  During our research of these telescopes we became more and more  frustrated as we found more and more  uncertainties and errors in the measurements of the telescopes physical specifications reported in the literature. We needed physical measurements to recreate these simple little telescopes as they would have appeared when new, but we found more uncertainties than we ever expected  and  much more than one would ordinary find in  basic scientific research publications that we were  accustomed to in our researches in plasma physics.( Grumble number one).

This in our hearts and head was not in the best interest of demonstrating science especially in basic research.  where truthfulness and accuracy of data is the first and foremost goal of every scientist. Scientist get paid and awarded for being the right(ist) in their measurements.  Therefore to some who might take offence at the magnitude of our grouchiness through out the discovery phase in this project we  hope you understand and apologies to those who do understand and want to get on with it. So stay with us there is a lot to be learned and you may want to help in the cleanup of our public picture of science and scientist.. We generally vent and scold in our diatribes everywhere we found these troublesome uncertainties.   As each topic was researched we continued with this approach as we were  gathering  and evaluating the data for each specification. 




Just one little example of unknown  danger of implied honesty in the literature. Let us start with just looking through the telescopes with two simple eyepieces. Not many have. The photos on the web through a typical Galilean telescope usually  show only the object and leave out  the enormous surrounding field of blackness of the interior filling the eye.

Take a look at what one really see's looking through both types of eyepieces and what the field of view means in a users sense. By the way few, if any,  really talk about the eye relief problem in a Kepler's  single convex lens system.  It's  around 2 inches in a Kepler design with a 50 mm f.l. lens.  This turns out to be a very difficult challenge holding  one's head in just the right place both up and down , left and right and in and out. The image flips on and off which is very annoying. This does not happen in Galileo's single negative lens system.





We have made an effort to answer,  here, in this web site, most of these and most other questions that have been presented to us. Of course the answers are, as we see them, through the  experience of two skilled experimental basic and applied research scientist.

f   y
ou find any technical error's, backed by TLM,
 please  let us know directly. by e-mail  We cannot possibly look through all the web sites associated with Galileo and his telescopes  for your comments so please  address them to us directly.
Also please note
 that The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the people or organization that have sponsored or helped in the project.

Why chose Galileo as a format for discussion over and above the simple making of his telescopes? After all aren't you here to see about building or buying a  Galileo Telescope?  But why are you interest in his telescopes?

Could it also be;
He is one of the most important and easy  examples to "build" up the true understanding of what science is all about?  His simple but very powerful and famous story includes the   historical connections of one man immersed in  politics, business, religion and the common folk which is just as relevant to day as it was 400 years ago.






Foremost; We apologies for all the grammatical & spelling mistakes (~ 99.9999...% of which are Jim's and the grumbling very much ~99.9999999999999.%.Jim's).

There is great value using Galileo and his instruments to study science.  His story is of historical significant on  a world wide plane. His science, his methods, were revolutionary,  the seeds of modern science. The investment in his telescopes is critical and a wise choice because  it is so completely universal in its broadness sense of teachings all aspect of science.

It has has stood the test in time in teaching almost all of us for nearly 400 years as "THE WORD" for how science works?".  If it is not now, it should be a year round exhibit where the initial investment is  spread over each  year as generation after generation comes to learn the fundamentals of the profession of science which has not changed in 400 years  and will not change in the for seeable future.

Starting   with Galileo studies; using measurements of length mass and time  he began to show that  common sense answers, for how thing in nature work, were more nonsense than common sense! The results in his use of the measurement of length and time for less than a few hours of observation using two little pieces of glass held together in a skinning little tube  showed striking evidence  that  humans were not the center of everything. Something that many thoughtful people of strong minds  were, and today, are not prepared to hear.





To say again we needed reliable  data for the re-creation  of these wonderful telescopes so that they could act  as honest  symbols to represent,  in the most accurate appearance, what these telescopes might have looked like  and operated  like 400 years ago thus giving them the right to  become  part of  the standard bearers of the history of modern science.

One of the biggest  frustration we have suffered from is why is there so little attention paid to the development telescope IMSS 2427 the beast as one of us call it.  It probably is  not "THE  telescope that he saw Jupiter with" but it would have been something  like those Galileo would have used in his scientific and development work.  which Galileo got in trouble. It is like a miracle that one of these type of instruments has survived these 400 years being  a simple, rugged, dull, beat up instrument "The beast". Yet one that we can enjoy, wonder at and learn from.





Although this web page  emphasizes  the  building of the red leather telescope  IMSS can_______________________
Click here to go to the special site that emphasizes most of  the technical details of probably one of the most historically significant, from a technical view point, telescope in the world. It is the  wood and paper development telescope IMSS 2427.

Photo courtesy L. B. Johnson Library
Note Galileo as he is looking at us imploring us to join him in his unfinished work.

 Above  is one of our #IMSS 2427 re-creation of  Galileo  development telescopes  on display at the beautiful L. B. .Johnson library





 In addition, on this webpage,  you will find us  struggling  with an earlier replicator (
Cipriani 1920-1940) who also had access to these instruments, a builder  who (in our opinion) made to many compromises'  in  his building of these  telescopes for Dr. George Ellery Hale of the Hale 200" telescope and a number of major museum's. Then there are those who make plastic versions of Cipriani replica's even further from the originals  and they have found  their way into a number of major  museums where does it stop ?-- But there we go, grouching again.

Join us! No! Struggle with us on this journey through the frustration and discoveries of building these famous telescopes. Just think two little pieces of glass and some simple tubes housing them. How hard can it be? 

 Some  examples,  not directly part of a project building these instruments,  but are nevertheless important to those using or intending to us our replicas in teaching science.   Below are some  rather disturbing issues not being worked on hard enough which are not good for the progress of  basic scientific research. They center around the issue of trust. Yes Trust.






Do you know  that  in the U.S., Germany, and Great Britain, one out of five of us still believes that the sun goes around the earth? Click here  to see these details and more.
Do you know  of 500 people surveyed by the authors of this web site, 85% said they believe that scientists distort, lie about, or falsify their data published in their reports. To many its only common sense (Galileo was always frustrated  with the non sense of common sense.) that scientist would distort their measurements  because pressures of being first, to be famous to get funding,   etc., etc., and etc,.! 
Does this tell us that that science's open book, checking and corrective processes is not known.
Do you believe that this Is  the best that teachers of science. the educational institutions of science and  all the scitech web sites can do for the scientific community? 
We Think Not! Much of science is complicated and a chore to comprehend. Yet one thing that  is for sure  we need to spend greater effort developing better programs to develop greater trust in how science works a trust that most everyone can relate to.
Galileo encouraged others to view through his telescopes and verify what he saw. 
He understood that to get other scientist ,and most important, the people who were paying for his work to trust his work he had to show them how he did his work as well as the results of his work.
For those who are responsible for educating us in the ways of science  they have to  spend more time developing  more effective ways of teaching us about trust and how scientist  developed this trust among themselves and their sponsors as they use each others work in their own discoveries.
Help Galileo in his  quest for spreading more trust in science's teachings about how nature works.




Take this  Rare Opportunity
in this upcoming international year of astronomy
to acquire the world's most accurate scientific re-creation of  Galileo's existing  two internationally famous telescopes and help Galileo to develop greater trust between science, scientists and the ones they serve.
Call 781 245 2897   e-mail us at


Above  is one of  many  photos of  our very accurate replica of Galileo's telescope IMSS #2428 on display  at  Griffith Observatory and
circulating the web  Web-1 Web-2 , We-3 , Web-4 , Web-5, Web-6 , WEb-7, ,Web-8, etc. etc

.  Our hats off to Griffith Observatory  which helped to provide some of the initial funds for this very accurate and beautiful  re-creation of this historical significant icon of science.  Griffith observatory is one of the most wonderful Inspiring place to visit. A beloved icon of Los Angeles and world leader in public astronomy. Since 1935, the Observatory has given tens of millions of visitors the opportunity to become observers. Do visit  this wonderful place and take some time out to visit  the re-creation of one Galileo's telescopes and marvel at what it  looked like when it was new 400 years ago.

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These instruments are precisely and accurately made, both inside and out to Galileo's specifications based on  measurements and analysis of the originals carried out by two  Senior Experimental Scientists  and the very able help of the staff of IMSS  '"Institute and Museum of the History of Science" in Florence Italy where the originals are on display.




These extraordinary telescopes  are much more than just two pieces of glass held together in a tube.  Each is hand crafted to very tight tolerances even replicating the very unusual interior construction for the IMSS #2428 and the crude but very important development instrument, the  IMSS #2427 telescope.  Because of this accuracy they are honest symbols for viewers when they come to hear and learn from Galileo's story about trust, truthfulness, and accuracy of science.

Poor replicas not accurately made undermine the symbols for this important part of the Galileo message of trust.
  Galileo's telescopes also bridge the culture gap between art and science because these fine telescopes  are works of art as well as works of science.
Possessing them in your inventory is a very valuable investment for today and the future. Not just 2009 the international year of astronomy.




The following web pages have valuable and new view points about Galileo that can be used to develop a display or presentation about science using Galileo as the example of how science and scientists work. They can help us teach much more than just optics and astronomy.  They can teach us the fundamentals of the way science functions covering both its problems and the methods of driving science to its modern successes.

Among scientists Galileo represents  an almost perfect symbol of  the development of modern science deducing the descriptive laws of nature using  measurements of time, length, and mass  and  the language of applied mathematics.






In Galileo's time  his telescopes were comparatively simple, 2 little pieces of glass, and a micrometer to measure magnification and the motion of moons around Jupiter. He nearly suffered burning alive carrying out his work. But in the end he almost won his case.  Remember; in the U.S. one out of five still believe that the sun goes around the earth. In addition some  teachers or reporters covering the Galileo  story lose the fact that Galileo's interest was not in developing telescopes or other instruments  for their own sake. As a scientist he was more interested in making measurements using his instruments. His contribution to science was not so much his telescope and other instruments but how he used them and what he discovered using them.   So there is still some unfinished work left for our educational and reporting system to work on. Encourage your teaching institutions to include these wonderful instruments in their inventory to remind us about trust in science.






Scientifically the paper-covered telescope IMSS2427 is the most important of the two existing telescopes because it shows us what a development (laboratory) instrument looked like. Still the handsome one covered with leather and gold, IMSS 2428, holds our focus as Galileo intended in his marketing of  discoveries.

We have  furnished a number of  these beautiful telescopes to major teaching institutions including  the  most beautiful and interesting IMSS, Institute and Museum of the History of Science, in Florence Italy the home of the originals from which we took measurements for this project.

We furnish a number of configurations with and without  accessories .For further information We are  Jim & Rhoda Morris call us at 781 245 2897    Our e-mail is   Our main web site is


Above one of our re-creations  of Galileo's telescope IMSS 2427  at Adler Planetarium. Michelle Nichols Master Educator at

the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago Illinois checking out  Adler's new replica of Galileo's telescope IMSS 2427 which we built to the precise specifications of Galileo's original telescope. Adler Planetarium a wonderful, must, place to visit spectacular and beautiful collection of instruments of astronomy and view of Lake Michigan, the sky line of down town Chicago.




Below Watch a short You Tube video of Rhoda, of Jim & Rhoda, making measurements on one of Galileo's telescopes the original 2428

Also See a write
up about our replica  in the wonderful New book and catalog from the IMSS "Galileo's Telescope The Instrument The Changed the World" edited by Giorgio Strano, Pub  Giunti 2008 (isbn 978-88-09-05938-2)




We recreated  both Galileo's telescopes  seen above using our measurements of the originals which are at  the IMSS in Florence Italy.

We make them to order .
To own them e-mail us at  or call 781 245 2897
  for details.



Click here for a video of a talk we gave at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Click here For those who want a more condensed  version of this site principally covering  the design and construction of Galileo's telescopes IMSS 2428. The leather covered instrument.
Click here  Development instrument are very important in understanding the history  of science.   IMSS #2427. is  version of one of  Galileo's  development telescopes  that we believe may be  more important historically of the two.  Ordinarily development instruments  are thrown away because they look like junk and are junk at the end of the project.  However this  one is a version of  what Galileo would have used to make his optical experiments with.

 is a  homely instrument  constructed along traditional lines with split half cylinders of wood for the barrel covered with paper that has become very dirty with tears from use.  The objective lens holder shown in earlier photos had  large chunks missing from  it  from shrinking and modifications . The half cylinders making up the barrel are  tied together  crudely with wire, part of which is missing. 

This original  instrument has been  very carefully  and professionally patched, and restored without losing its flavor and importance to the history of science. This telescope has been sitting almost neglected by the public at the bottom of  the cabinet below  the more beautiful  leather covered IMSS 2428.    We have chosen to replicate  this  very valuable instrument  to  look  like new. Again it is a very important instrument.




Click here  for a list  of links on the  topics  covered on this web  site


To get a clearer picture ----------------------------------------of how science and Galileo worked and to demonstrate  the broader skill set  that Galileo had  and needed as an experimental scientist studying the laws of gravity and  motion  of bodies  whether they be planets or cannon balls.

we've also constructed
an Inclined plane,   Cycloid,   Compass-sector




Below a road map to some of the most important topics on this website.

Researching and Evaluating the Literature for the dimensional data needed to build the replica
Will the Real Galileo Galilei  Please Stand Up Please
The data for precisely replicating  these telescopes.
Click Here A more detailed analysis for errors in the literature especially in  the optics and what one really see's when looking through Galileo's telescope is demonstrated and discussed.
Click Here  Dimensional errors in the literature of Galileo's telescopes required us to go to Florence Italy and make measurements of the original.

The Construction data  and details of IMSS INV #2428      red leather presentation telescope
Galileo's Original telescope in detail disclosed a unique resin composite construction.
The telescope optics important choices

Overall length of telescope determined by the optics and making them.
The over all Important art work

Applying The Impressions

What Does All This Mean, Why Should We Care, Galileo as a

Basic research scientist, 
Applied scientist,
Engineer and product development

The Galilean Syndrome
The Value of Basic Scientific Research
Photos of our telescopes being used

Jim & Rhoda Morris  Comments invited, e-mail  781 245 2897
07/10/2013 10:48:53 AM Latest up date 

On our knees at IMSS




Behind the scenes at Adler






See some of the unsung heroes behind the scene who make  these displays and presentations possible for you, I, and our children to learn more about the  very important  world of science.

We cannot thank enough all those who made it possible  for us to  produce these very precise recreations of both of Galileo's existing Galileo's telescopes. Dr. Giorgio Strano - Curator at the IMSS ( a very beautiful museum with beautiful instruments of science  where the original telescopes are kept)  and the staff of IMSS who made it possible to have access to the originals to gather the measurements so important to the success of  this project. To the Griffith observatory and its director Dr. E. C. Krupp, and to   Mark Pine the Deputy Executive Director of the "Friends of The Observatory that helped finance the initial steps in this projects. Dr. Paul H. Knappenberger jr. President Michelle Nichols, Master Educator and Devon L. Pyle-Vowles collections Manager Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum for access to the two replicas made by Cipriani  c 1920-1940 . The members of the Atmob and all the skilled artisans with the skill and historical knowledge of the craftsmanship of the 1600's. We thank all of those who have made it possible for us to  recreate the worlds most accurate examples of the worlds most historical famous telescopes

All of us owe a lot to  those who spend considerable effort behind the scenes in museums and other teaching institutions  which gives us a  better appreciation of science and how it works. 

On our sites you will visit and see photos of the  goings on in the background of our museums and other teaching institutions (the back rooms so to speak) where the work of many professionals who in one way or the other helped make our replica project  possible and above all useful for teaching  science.  They come from a broad range of disciplines' talking about science such as; 
psychologist, physicist, historians, museum presidents, curators, educators, iconographers, collection managers, authors, actors, photographers, producers, movie makers, die and stamp makers, super skilled craftsman in leather and gold stamping, experts in adhesives, wood, glass, --to name a few--.. You will see what it is really like to look through Galileo's  telescopes; you will see us on our hands and knees  almost in prayer measuring the original telescopes with our telescopes. You will see us  in conferences  with  scientist about their  measurements of the telescopes lenses, iconographers who took photos of the interior when the originals were taken apart for restoration. see those who made measurements of the optics of the originals.  You will see Galileo's real middle index finger from his right hand pointing to the sky with a discussion of the many images created by science writers of  Galileo. Most interesting to some is  you will see and meet Galileo though the eyes of two present day professional experimental  scientist and watch Galileo, in spirit, at work in that brief moment in time when he was at his best making his discoveries.

Scientist meeting at the IMSS comparing notes about the optics of the original and our recreation of IMSS #2428



Dana Sobel Famous author Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, The Planets,

filming Sinful Telescope (ours)-Scenes behind the camera

  Tooling the Gold


Reading the many histories of science one notes that many of the greatest scientist have tried and failed to address the issue of the creditability of science.  " See Trust in Science" the most important unanswered question always  facing the teaching of science  through the ages has been one of teaching how  scientist  gain trust in their and other scientist work. Galileo, his instruments and his story of how he did his work, is an important  example of  this problem and points to a possible solution of it. .

How can we best show that one of  the  most important marvels of science is not so much in its discoveries of the physical world but their  discovery of a  method they use  to develop  trust  in each others work.?

 If a student learns only this common sense scientific method from his or her schooling  we have given  the student the most powerful tools to face the challenge of the modern world.

Click Here   Trust; Some thoughts about the  Pros & cons of joining Galileo  and his instruments in  teaching  more trust in science.





Introduction II What you are faced with making these replica's to spec.

Welcome to one of our Galileo web sites. Visiting these web sites shows your general interest in science and or teaching science and collecting items of science.   Before we get into the details of Galileo and building his wonderful telescopes, from two experienced professional scientist’s point of view. We want our visitors to understand the organization and intention of  our Galileo web sites. They are continually in revision. In a number of cases where the subject is very important  it is treated and  repeated with different styles for different people of different back grounds in different places on the web site.

 In most cases these web sites were  intended for the professionals in science,  museums, historians, and teachers etc. who were/are developing programs for teaching science in action, and how science works, based on the story line of Galileo;  his measurements, his instruments, especially his telescopes, and the way / why he used them to earn a living in science and engineering. Basically Teaching what science is really all  about to the Grand Majority.

For those that want to make one of the beautiful leather telescopes. Building one is a time, skill, and  labor intensive set of tasks. There are over a hundred pieces in making the telescope IMSS 2428,over 400 decorations using 21 gold stamps, at $150 each, not to mention the months of measurement of the decorative patterns on the originals to make these gold stamping dies. On one of our other web sites  we show the visitor  how to make a card board version of a Galilean telescope  for under $30 with pretty outside printed decorations. Decorations in a creative style to suit an independent owners. They are much prettier than the PVC telescope appearing on many web sites They may even be simpler to make and in some cases give a better image if the inside has been painted with flat black blackboard paint.  These Galilean  telescopes with their 1000 mm objective focal lengths all have the  optically equivalent viewing performance. but using our technique one can have a stylish personalized, out side appearance reflecting the owners personality.


 Jim & Rhoda Morris   email c all at 781 245 2897


Making Every Possible Effort at Doing  Right?

We have  very precisely replicated Galileo's Telescopes for the IMSS in Florence Italy, the home of the originals and  currently displayed next to the originals, the Griffith Observatory, the Adler Planetarium, and President LB. Johnson's Library. This web site reviews from a scientist's viewpoint their design, their construction and operation as well as their important value in teaching us about the role of science as an institution in serving the whole of society. It could be vitally important  to focus  more clearly and more often with real stories how scientist  as a small and very tight community are forced by nature of the business to work in a  very powerful self policing and correcting system assuring that their and other scientist  data are as free as possible from all errors. We have to stress that  scientist  by their nature and their work are genetically goal driven , in an enormously competitive race with each other , to be  first  and most important  to be right. Their discoveries never stand alone in some journal or text book gathering dust on a shelf. They are tested  again and again by being used to make the next new discovery and next and a next each new discovery being  built on earlier discoveries  like  bricks in a chimney.  We have to drive this process home to all  especially to those which are in the vast majority that are not as close to science as we are. The dramatic story of Galileo and his instruments clearly demonstrates these points. He was  very much in a race with others who were only weeks away from steeling his thunder. Still  in all his hurry his measurements had to be right.  (Note: we used the measurements we made from the originals at the IMSS in Florence Italy in building our instruments. We  thank the staff, in particular Dr. Strano the Curator of the IMSS, for their help in this project)







The year 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, brings with it the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s principal work with the telescope. It can be expected to bring outstanding high profile attention to the Galileo story and his instruments. This story, one of high drama, has born witness, on an international scale, to the struggles that experimental scientists and the institution of science face in gaining acceptance of their discoveries by society and fellow scientists. Read below an excerpt from one of Galileo's letters in which he proposes  a plan to address this difficulty by building many telescopes for people to be able to see what he saw and convince them of his discoveries. This letter was sent to the Tuscan Court  on March 19th

 1610 - Galileo writes;



Continuing Galileo's plan we are building museum grade clones of both of Galileo's existing Telescopes. We are making them as authentic as possible so that the public do not  feel they are being duped again with just another almost replica.


We recommend that everyone  consider the value of joining  the major museums who already have our replicas and  help  Galileo spread the word of how science really works.

We also are providing often neglected  accessories and half models of his telescopes to demonstrate in new ways the details of their internal construction.

We are  making available some additional beautifully finished instruments that Galileo plus was working on such a an inclined plane, 
a  sector/compass and last but not least developed by Kepler etal a brachistochronous .


Galileo in 1610, faced with criticism of his discoveries, decided to demonstrate the truth about his observations by making more instruments and providing them to his peers and sponsors as teaching tools (ref. 17) .  We are continuing his example today as a positive way to convey the value of the discoveries of science and to highlight  the institution of science as a means of revealing the truths about our world  through the Galileo experience.  Our replicas of Galileo’s telescopes are  beautiful, hand made works of art.  We believe them to be a credit to Galileo for they are precise, museum grade instruments.  We also offer cutaway models to demonstrate the principals of the optics and the very unusual interior construction of the telescopes.  We encourage museums, planetariums, serious collectors and those who so kindly donate instruments of this quality to their favorite museums and teaching institutions


Below  an extraordinary set of photos showing the world's most exact and complete replicas of the two existing Galilean Telescope at IMSS mounted together on a working modern refractor. On the left are the originals  at IMSS in an older photo
Again we are
 Jim & Rhoda Morris of     at  or   781 245 2897

Above the very old display that has not been used in years.

Above is the  displayed case with the telescope.  IMSS is  revising  display.

Rhoda and I can not thank the staff of  the INSTITUTE E MUSEO DI STORIA DELLA SCIENZA   Florence Italy enough for their help on our visits to gather data on Galileo Telescope. Most of us cannot appreciate enough  the hard work and dedication  of the museum staff behind the scenes that preserve and prepare for display those precious things that demonstrate so well the positive attributes of the scientific community.
This is a beautiful Museum  for art lovers and scientist alike. The Instrument are truly works of art  which  also have had a major influence on our quality of life.

Objective end. The telescopes were mounted on a modern refractor for comparing the images and illustrating the mechanical differences.

Eyepiece end of our replicas


This web site is large with many  pictures and discussions. It contains several major topics.

1, The construction details of our replicas.  The details of the originals at IMSS Florence Italy .
2,  It includes what one really sees looking  through Galileo's telescope, the reason Galileo chose a negative lens for his eyepieces, how people understood how things in nature worked in 1600 and compared to today?
3, One of our goals has been the development of a clearer understanding of Galileo as a technologist as viewed by two modern day professional technologist  a comparison of the stark business of science then and today.
4,Why these telescopes are so important as  teaching tools in today's environment and why we have worked so hard to make them as close to the originals as possible.

Comments are welcome



A abstract II+
 We have replicated, with great care, Galileo's  two internationally famous
Telescopes. We based our replicas on  data we measured from the two originals which are attributed to Galileo and are on display at  IMSS in Florence Italy. Our replica's of INV # 2428.  are complete with their gilded leather covering  even  duplicating their  very unusual  thin-stave internal construction, something that has not been done before.  We made five 2428 telescopes, three instrument for IMSS, the museum that has the originals. With one of these being  scheduled to be put on display at the Patti Palace Florence February 2008. Two  are split in half showing the  internal construction and will be part of the display containing the original. We have made another that is on  display at the Griffith Observatory (see photo below)

We also constructed three   INV#2427  The equally perhaps most interesting laboratory type telescope.  One for the Adler Planetarium another President  L. B. Johnson library. The original  is a very rare and valuable telescope because seldom are the developing instruments kept. They are crude tattered and torn often modified over and over again for various experiments and after having served their purpose are usually cast in the junk heap. So we are particularly favored to have a prime example of one to replicate. We can also replicated a typical replication of Galileo's micrometer for measuring the  paths of the moon's of Jupiter, the relationship of shape and power of various eyepiece lenses and the distance of Jupiter's moons  from the planet. The telescope  has a split wood tube  covered with paper painted  and reinforced with wire reproducing each part of the instruments  to be as  close as possible to the originals. Each telescope was  assembled  by hand as they were in Galileo's day. Our  dimensional accuracy has been kept to within a few percent in all cases and in some instance's to  fractions of a millimeter of  the  originals. We also chose not to antique them but to show them  as they would have looked when new.

Because our replicas are   accurately reproduced they are  particularly useful  as research, teaching, and display tools. One can see, feel, and operate them as Galileo saw, felt and operated them. This tactile experience high lights more accurately  their virtues and their  faults giving  a more mature insight into 1609 telescope making and operation that Galileo, his associates and customers experienced. It also demonstrates Galileo's role as both  a scientist and entrepreneur and how little the business of science has changed in over 400 years.

The telescopes are high museum grade replicas and very rare.  The leather covered telescope, the  replica of  IMSS inv #2428, has over 100 pieces  and  is embossed with over 400 gilding die strikes. It has  very unusual construction features both inside and out, with an  optical power of 21. The replica of  IMSS inv. 2427 represents a construction style commonly used in research / field grade telescopes for that time period.  It has nearer 17  pieces and  a power of 14. The pair complement each other, one a presentation piece designed for people of power and influence ,the other a field type instrument for  customer or colleague.

Achieving  this high level of accuracy in the reproduction of these telescopes was through the patience and  very professional help of  the staff at IMSS in Florence Italy, the staff of the Griffith Observatory, and the staff of Adler Planetarium with their interesting replicas made by Cipriani. They made it possible for us to make measurements and make   high resolution photos of  the originals and some Cipriani replica telescopes. They also shared  their considerable experience of  these instruments with us.

We found It was absolutely essential to  make our own measurements of the original  having found a number of important differences in the data for dimensions and materials in the  published literature  and   some exiting replicas. We made a concerted effort in checking and cross checking our data  in  resolving  these differences.  It is important to note in our comparison that we distinguished data between Galileo type telescopes and those reporting to be Galilean replicas. For those instances where there was no data  such as the  eyepiece holder in IMSS 2528 we made and noted our best guess.  based on our
technical experience  which is considerable. Last but not least  In the virtually all cases it is  possible to make simple modification to our replica telescope if necessary to accommodate any  new  and more reliable information  if it becomes available.

The bottom line is that our replicas are the most accurate and finest made to date and will hopefully serve as  standards for other replication in the future.
From our technical point of view researching  and building a number of Galileo instruments we saw Galileo and his telescopes as remarkable and timeless examples of what the business of science is  all about.  Galileo and his instruments is a  first rate case study of science, technology and its support. There is much to learn for our future from his story and his instruments but  we  first  have to deSobelize our selves.  Below is an outline and some simple, at times stretched, examples of Galileo practicing technology as seen from  fellow technologist point to view.

One will  find  some gross faults (most  Jim's) in our grammar our spelling  on this web site  we apologize for them. Our choice of examples and our reason for making them we believe are  solid,  We can only hope that you the  reader  gets at least an inkling of how important the  case study of Galileo and the business of science is.  That it helps  us understand what basic research is all about, how important it is and that it will  encourage  some to join the effort of bringing the
Galilean Syndrome under control so our scientist can bring  us to fuller understanding of our selves, the  universe we live in and depend upon.

Most scientists we hope will  recognized  themselves in many ways as the Galileo's  of today.
We encourage those who have been taking a back seat to come forward and help.    TLM

We have made five of the leather telescopes and three of the wood and paper covered on one  of each of these telescope for our collection
 They have been well received along with our perception of the  Galilean Syndrome  by magazines, TV programs and talks at Harvard Observatory and Bunker Hill College    See the photos below.

The date that this page has been last edited 07/10/2013

Below are some photos of our telescopes, the people they have met and the places they have visited.

Picture of replica of Galileo's red leather telescope IMSS2428
This telescope is hand made and based on  data we measured from the original at IMSS Florance Italy. It has over 100 pieces. It is covered with leather which is embossed with pure Gold leaf  using over 20 dies, faithfully following the impressions of the original, with 400 individual gilding die strikes. It is truly a striking work of art as well  as a tactile time capsule giving one a feeling of awe while handling it.  It is  a superb teaching tool.. The telescope is so similar in every detail to the original that it's like stepping into a time machine and journeying back into the past. We even felt a little nervous while filming a church steeple scene through our telescope for the TV Discovery Channel wondering whether an official from the church might take an  overt interest in us and our telescope!
During our research and fabrication, which took nearly a year,  Galileo's guiding  sprit always seemed to be with us. For those who care,  he was very good company, handy around the shop but had a mischievous sprit as one  might guess from the twinkle in his eye.

Dr. Giorgio Strano - Curator of IMSS, the museum where Galileo's telescopes are kept on display. He  is looking out over Florence's roof tops  from the top of IMSS building,  using our  precisely made  replica of IMSS 2428 just as Galileo Galilei might have done with one of the original telescopes some 400 years ago.

Rhoda co builder of our replica checking out the quality of the image

Dava Sobel author of the  very interesting book "Galileo's Daughter" looking through our replica sharing the experience that Galileo would have had using his telescope. The photo was taken during  the conference of the  History of Astronomy Workshop at Notre Dame July 2007

The  replica of Galileo telescope we fabricated
now at  the very beautiful Griffith Observatory ready to do its job for the museum's staff  to help you appreciate and learn even more about the value of science. It's ever so gently  being
held by Mark Pine the Deputy Executive
Director of the "Friends of  The Observatory".


Above our replica  telescope we built  on display at the Griffith Observatory

Michelle Nichols Master Educator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago Illinois  checking out  Adler's new replica of Galileo's telescope IMSS 2427. which was   precisely made  to the specifications of Galileo's original telescope.

Dr. Paul H. Knappenberger jr. President Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum checking out  our two replicas of Galileo's telescopes with Galileo, Jim and Rhoda looking on in the background.

Samples of the Media's Interest

The objective end of our replica showing the  layers of planking that make up the lens holder. The gold decoration has not been applied yet.  Steven A. Simpson photographer of the magazine "Night Sky" taking picture of the  objective end of our replica without the gold decorations for an article by Jim Quinn "Stargazing with Galileo". May/June issue "Night Sky".

One of our two replicas of Galileo's Telescope being filmed on set for its first public appearance on Cable TV From left to right are director of photography Boyd Estus of Heliotrope Studios Ltd., Hunter Ellis host of the History Channel's "Man Motion. Machines" Series and Rhoda and Jim Morris of co-maker of the telescope


Note the Camera/Telescope set-up for filming the image as actually seen through the replica of Galileo's telescope We had to make a special mount to couple the very fragile very rare 12 oz telescope to the very expensive 42 pound camera to give the TV audience a feeling for the image quality Galileo worked with as he scanned around the neighborhood through the astounding instrument that brought the "far away so much closer"

Filming one of the scenes of Jim Morris and Hunter Ellis chatting about Galileo's telescope and how it works


One of our replicas is at the Griffith Observatory the other is playing its  first acting job of the history channel. Below are some pictures from the set of History Channels  "Man Moment & Machine"

The crew Gathered together watching the monitor displaying the image from the telescope Third from the right is our Producer/ Writer of the History Channel 's Man Moment. Machine Julie Mirocha. Rhoda is taking the picture.

Meet the principal members of the replicating team

Jim basic and applied research physicist on temporary duty as apprentice to Galileo.

Rhoda Basic and applied research chemist on temporary duty as apprentice to Galileo.

Galileo Senior member of the team working toward getting  more  help for funding and more   support for  basic research.








 Again read below an excerpt from one of Galileo's letters in which he proposes  a plan to build  many telescopes for people to be able to see what he saw and convince them of his discoveries. This  letter  was sent to the Tuscan Court  on March 19th 1610 - Galileo  writes;


Galileo's job is not finished

While researching and replicating  Galileo's Telescopes  We discovered another replication  that was taking place, which was  the replication of  the lack of support  of basic research in science today, especially in the U.S.A. , Just as there was lack of support 400 years ago.

A recent informal survey conducted by the authors of over 400 people  indicates that almost 80 % of the people on the street when asked do  scientist lie in their published papers said yes!

Galileo's story on an international bases is  a well documented case study, reminding  us  that these  telescopes  stand as  symbols  of  a long held  prejudicial miss understanding against basic research. 
We are all victims  waiting on  the side lines while the various factions in this  debate  work out their differences so that we can get on with the basic scientific research and turn this knowledge  into ways that will give us   a fuller, healthier, safer life as it already has shown that it can do.

The authors suggest that Galileo---- this one man---- and his telescopes  represents in a simple, elegant  and dramatic and  important way,  all the aspects of what technology and its mistrusting antagonists are about in 1600 and to day. One is compelled to ask Isn't it the time for both sides to work together to gain a better understanding  of each others point of view with data so we can work out a compromise  that we can  resolve  this dilemma and  we can get on with the research we all so badly need.

There is a beautiful case study buried in  this 400 year old   story that is both unique and valuable because each phase of the complex and often hidden important business of doing  basic research is all  rolled into one type of instrument and one  scientist. All the tasks of doing science are being   played by  one actor, in a one act, one prop play   with  Galileo playing  all the parts. Today research is done by teams of scientist and  has  become very complicated to extract out the many steps needed to understand  how  discoveries are made and used i.e.  the business of  basic scientific research. Unfortunately the dialog for such a  play  is spread thought out the literature filled with errors of a personalized nature waiting to be complied into a single script  minus all the media melodrama that clouds the issues.

This web site suggest that Galileo's story as told through the telescopes can stands as a mile post  showing us what is going on today by looking at 1600 AD  and measuring our  progress  and understanding of this  prejudice  that sadly  still exist today, which we call the Galilean syndrome.






400 Years Ago 1600
A dramatic picture, a dramatic story, a dramatic lesson for all of us In the 21st century

News flash
Warning:  Pernicious Galilean Syndrome, a dangerous myopic anti science disease is again infecting our society


400 years later 2000 +
A dramatic picture, a dramatic story, a dramatic lesson for all of us In the 21st century

News flash
James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies  on trial before the U.S.  congress for warning the public that  man is making the earth  dangerously warmer. If  true who will be faced  being burned at the stake this time?

One of the country's leading climate scientists, has testified "the White House (Politicians & Oil Companies) repeatedly tried to control what government scientists say to the public and media about climate change."  It has been reported that 181 changes were made  by non science political appointed officials,  to three scientific climate reports reflecting a consistent attempt to emphasize the uncertainties surrounding the science of climate change and undercut the broad conclusions that man-made emissions are warming the earth. Hansen also said "Interference with communications of science to the public has been greater during the current administration than at any time in my career,"


Symbols of Progress and the Galilean Syndrome?  

The Galilean Syndrome

Galileo's telescopes  are especially important today because they stand out as  symbols  warnings  us to keep   constant vigil against those that would  turn us away from science, its methods and tools.

The Pernicious Galilean Syndrome its always there!
The support and funding of basic scientific research so vital to us in the U.S. and the world, has come under attack again by a few powerful, charismatic,  zealous, leaders  repeating the same mistakes of myopic  judgment  that  Galileo  had to contend with 400 years ago,

In spite of science's success it is always vulnerable to influential misguided leaders ready to summon their followers to take our basic scientific research away from us. These followers go after their congresspersons threatening their reelection for supporting science. Although relatively small in number they are well organized have proven to be very effective.

Scientist  can not solve  the  problems they are given without adequate funding. They need our help and support.  There are so few scientists compared to the world's population including the very active dissenters that their warnings and cries for help are too weak to be heard by the general public.

The cure  for
Pernicious Galilean Syndrome takes less than five minutes a year; Most of us do not appreciate that we are  automatically part of the science team.  We  don't need a degree in science or take courses in science to be a  very important contributor to the progress of

The Beautiful Home of Galileo's Telescopes

science and their are allot of us on the team.  However, we do need to stop taking science for granted and we do need to  actively start supporting  it!

As members of the science team we have a vital role.
We need to bring to the attention of our congressman  the  critical need for our government to strengthen its  interest and support for  basic scientific research.   All aspects of our future depends on it.

Yes most of us understand the value of basic scientific research.   Yes we are large in numbers, and want it supported, but we must be vigilant, contacting our congressman showing our support in numbers that at least match the dissenters.

Galileo's famous and dramatic telescope story is repeating itself today and we as well as the dissenters are the victims of this Pernicious Galilean Syndrome.

In the foto above is part of the team  Jim & Rhoda, best of  friends, husband and wife,  grandpa and grandma, physicist and chemist, hanging around  Galileo's neighborhood.  Here we are in front of  the extraordinary museum where Galileo Galilei's telescopes, his other famous instruments, and his index finger reside.  The museum lies on the banks of the beautiful Arno River in Florence.  Galileo  is  buried just down the street and  is still teaching science (and the danger of  Pernicious Galilean Syndrome) to the public visiting his stylish crypt in the  Santa Croce Church.  He and his telescopes are still in there fighting for science. Don't let him down. Join him in the fight

More Detail on how you can help


Click Here to see some detail on how one can help









Galileo and his telescopes the important technical and cultural issues surrounding them in1609

Our goal  is to help readers to enjoy the new information on the construction details of Galileo's telescopes  their  optics and  the  scientific anomalies that Galileo dealt with in designing and building his high powered telescopes i.e. why he really developed them and how.

Even though there is a 400 year time gap between Galileo and the authors . we  found ourselves being  drawn into a close personal and professional  relationship with Galileo or at least his spirit while working on the replication of his telescopes   He seemed to always be at our side judging our work piece by piece even the inner most details of his instruments. Galileo grew into more than  a colleague for us, but a friend with an agenda of pushing us to build his telescopes to the highest quality standard so  they might act as symbols of one of  sciences most  dramatic stories  highlighting the dangers to our science from  leaders endowed with poor judgment in matters of science who assume  control of our science. to our detriment. When we shipped our replicas off to Griffith observatory we felt very much like we were shipping the spirit of Galileo  with them. When they were gone our shop/lab felt strangely empty. It was only after our telescope returned from its journey to California and back and we could give it a little pat now and then that the lab felt more complete.

Our web site  takes you on a step by step tour of the construction, the surprises and the frustrations of building a truly precise and high quality  replica for  very high quality museums. We take you on tour into bowels of the telescope wherever very  few have been before. Experience the personal design and political choices Galileo built into these telescopes and why.

We provide for you  a very rich example of what it is really like to look through Galileo's telescope  and you will be shocked at  the  very tiny speck of light  from a  window  far off in the distance of  a very large  dark cavern. You will develop a  great respect for Galileo's masterful skills as the first observer of the heavens, seeing them as no one else had ever  seen them before.

The following section speaks to the techno-political issues of why  we feel that Galileo and his telescopes are so important in today's environment. We state the ground rules we  set for ourselves in this project, and give what we feel is a more experienced informed look into Galileo's  technical and judgment skills. We also express our views of Galileo's most important and unique contribution  to days science which goes far beyond his celestial discoveries.

Back ground information for studying  Galileo's Technical decisions

The following section gives a brief  a description  of the technical environment, the tools that were being  used to explain how nature worked that Galileo struggled with in earning a living

The Nonsense of Common Sense Is it in our Gene's?

We start with  comparing the tools of common sense used in 1600 with  tools of the scientific method during its earlier stages of its development.

A statement and a question. Two lenses plus a narrow cylinder three feet long, with a total weight of less than a 12 ounces is all that one needs to build a Galilean telescope, It seems so simple yet caused so much trouble for a major church of the day and the scientific community. Lenses had been around for centuries as eye glasses. Why weren't higher power telescopes invented earlier?

 The following example is certainly part of the answer. Below we give two  simple demonstration of the old way "common sense" was used to solve or couldn't solve problems and how it came to be recognized as the non sense of common sense which was contributing toward the slowing of the progress of finding out how things really worked.

Up until the time of Galileo common sense was virtually the only tool of choice to explain how things worked. Some people might like to call it logic?. Common sense had the advantage of being simple to use. It was a one liner tool that anyone  used  It didn't take much work to make up one liners. Using common sense one didn't need to take hours making quantitative repeatable measurements to take a position of authority. One didn't need to have your competitors review your conclusions for flaws in measurement and reasoning because there would be no reliable measurement. You didn't need them. You just used common sense with the right tone of voice or pen.

1 ST.  example Lets look at a simple example being dealt with in the religion---techo commonsense debate going on at the time showing  the type of common sense that Galileo and those that were around him at the time had to deal with.

  • It was common sense that told us that the sun went around the earth.

  • Everyone could see it go around.

  • Everyone with common sense knew that it was very hard to move  rocks to build a pyramid and it would take allot more  to move the earth.

  • Obviously the earth was just too big to move.

  • Besides you would feel it moving if it was .

  • One could see that the sun was smaller so it had to be the sun that moved.

  • Mathematical formula which very few understood suggested that the simple retrograde motion of some of the planets could  be explained if every thing went around the sun but common sense told many that  mathematics' could not be trusted, which most believe to this day especially when it comes to statistics, and they say it with great gusto and assurances.

On and on with reason after reason It was just common sense ...... 




2 nd. example, The Politics of Optics Galileo the Engineer and Entrepreneur

Galileo as a businessman; The authors comments on The business of basic research 1600 and 2006

Scientifically the paper covered telescope IMSS2427 is the most important of the two existing telescopes because it shows us what a development ,(laboratory) instrument looked like. Still the pretty one covered with leather and gold IMSS 2428 holds most writers of science focus?
The challenges of replicating  Galileo's existing telescopes and judging his technical skills requires a  perspective of why he was building them and for whom he was building them. This knowledge is critical in judging Galileo's skills as a Scientist/ Engineer/Entrepreneur. (Yes we have to remember that Galileo was an entrepreneur earning monies to support his research and family needs just scientist do today.) The decorative red leather telescope and it negative lens with its limited field of view but upright image most likely was an experienced business decision on Galileo's part.  The red leather telescope should be  considered as  part of his  product line of technical instruments for sale or bartering. The very beautiful art work would hardly have  been put on one of his data gathering instrument for his own research. Its seemly compromised optical design  the poor field of view yet high magnification with a short over all length reflects  his customer needs not a design flaw from a lack of Galileo's skills in optical design as some have suggested in the literature.





Galileo Versus Common Sense

What was the challenge to Galileo as he designed his high powered telescope? How did he do it?

Below are three remarkable  experimental observations where common sense seemly makes no sense when it comes to optics. Here Galileo used the scientific method in designing his telescopes to get past this anomaly  created by ones visual senses.

1 ST. observation of the magic of lenses; The lens on your right of the above photo  is the kind of lens used as an eyepiece in a Galilean telescope. Look at the eye in the photo notice how much smaller the eye and face look through that eyepiece lens. Now Galileo found with measurements that the telescope becomes more powerful and makes distant things look bigger by selecting a lens for the eyepieces that makes things look smaller, " Smaller?" It doesn't make common sense that you would use a lens that makes things look smaller to get a telescope to make things look bigger. . Lets go through that once more if we used a lens that made the eye looks even smaller than the one in the photo the telescope that would make things through the telescope look even bigger. "Smaller is bigger" Hmmmmmmmmm? .

2 nd. observation of the magic of lenses: . The lens on your left is the kind of lens used as an objective. It goes on the far end of the telescope gathering the light from the object and sends it to the eyepiece. Galileo found from his measurements that the weaker its magnifying power is (as long its greater than 1) the stronger the telescope "Weaker is stronger" Where is the common sense of that? Again note the lens on the left in the above picture makes the eye look bigger Galileo found that that was not good. One needs to pick a lens for the objective that would hardly change the size of the eye when held close to the eye to the make things in the distance really big. Low power lens makes hi power telescope. The focal length of the objective on this telescope below was 60 foot the lens was very weak but made objects come in very big? Where is the common sense in that. But it works see photo below.


3rd observation of the magic of lenses: Looking through the telescope from the objective end through the eyepiece, everything looks smaller rather than bigger. That certainly not something anyone using common sense would have guessed. Could it be that Galileo's critics were and still are  looking through the wrong end of the telescope and therefore couldn't and can't see what Galileo was seeing. Could it be that the critics of science today are looking through their telescopes from the wrong end?

So  in and around 1609 one of the first popularly dramatic examples of using the scientific method showed that common sense made no sense in the designing and building  the telescope nor interpreting what you saw through the telescope. Galileo decided and demonstrated that its far more productive to use this newly invented tool to design his telescope, the scientific method! The new tool he used was based on  the measurement of length mass time then with mathematics as his language he could  more reliably explain how things really work. Galileo used the scientific method to get past the magical tricks that lenses seemed to play on observer's eyes  and mind described above thus finding the better way to make a telescope.

So here we have the  1609 environment that Galileo worked in. The leaders and their followers  had little to no experience in how things in nature worked they assumed it was just common sense, accept when employing natures secrets  to  inventions of war and political control. Sounds like what still goes on to day.
But first and more important thing  to learn is how basic research scientist work, how they  get the research funds  to do their work and support themselves and family. Let us look at why Galileo his telescopes and the American military decided to spend  time and money designing and building  the Hubble and other orbiting telescopes.
Was it to explore the heavens and make new discoveries? 



The other side of the coin!
 Aren't The Galileo & The Hubble  telescopes,  Weapons  for and against  Mass Destruction?

What was the motive driving Galileo to work for the local mayor/warlord and today's scientist working  directly or indirectly for  the Military designing  high powered telescopes?

The monies were and are certainly not allocated to make new discoveries in the heavens just for the fun of doing it.  Galileo and today's scientist   struggle  to make  money to support their research. Galileo and many of today's scientist  make money  designing and making  measuring instrument for sale to further the needs for weapons of war. Just like many scientist do today directly and indirectly building up data about instrument of war heading their way. In Galileo's day it was for tracking Pirate ships   incoming ships and today the military for tracking incoming ballistic missiles . A high powered telescope  fit nicely into this category. In the problems of  developing  high powered telescopes  Galileo faced the theory of lens design which was primitive at best so  he made a few bad lenses. But so did the Hubble team "remember". An often asked  question that amateur  historian ask  is whether Galileo  designed his telescope   at all or  at best  by trial and error methods. Historians today ask question such as whether he did it in one day as some  claimed  he did?   How did  he do it? Instead of asking why he did it just as some of us today ask why are many basic research scientists doing weapons today? Could this be the question asked by the churches of 400 years ago and those of today why they are concerned about research?

How did Galileo design the optics of his telescope What were the instruments he used to understand and forecast the optical design.

One of the things one learns when studying Galileo  and which we certainly  learned while replicating a number of his instrument was that  he  was an astute observer and  very good experimental physicist. His math skills may not have been in the class with Kepler's  but his experimental skills were right up there with the best. There is very little in the Galileo's writings where he discusses how he designed his optics Perhaps the reason he left it unclear how he did the design work was  once he had the magic formula  it was proprietary business information and he would  not have likely  share it with others before he made some money on it. Thus he seems to  leave us in the dark in his writings, yet he gives us a hint in the rest of the instruments he designed like his compass and Micrometer, how he would have done it.

The hint was  a useful little instrument he used to track the movements of the moons of Jupiter  for several days he measured  with precision the distance of each satellite from the planet. To do this  Galileo  used a device he was supposed to have  invented known as a micrometer for the job. He was also knowledgeable in the development of  non linear scale and graphing as shown by his compass....Sector in modern terms.    The authors, experimental scientist themselves, suggest that Galileo had already  invented this device  or something close to it  before he started to design his telescopes. He used it to determine the laws of  optics for developing the  relationship of  the eyepiece and objective focal lengths to the magnification of his telescope. We have done it in our labs and demonstrated that  it would  have taken less the a few hours when  the lenses were available. 


Brief description of the use of the micrometer concepts in measuring the power of a telescope-

One of a number of  examples of  how Galilee would most likely have done it  is to  set up an optical bench  and using a variation of his micrometer and the knowledge of creating non linear scales he would have measured and studied  the magnification of mockup  telescopes using a  series of lens sets that would have been available at an optician eye glass shop. He could have used  a white scale  fixed up at a  distance and a sliding mark placed on it.  The telescope would be  focused on the scale and the latter is observed with one eye through the telescope and with the other eye direct.  The two images superimpose.  The mark is then moved along the scale until the image of the part cut off by it, as seen through the telescope, is equal in length to the whole scale as seen direct.  The magnification is then obtained by dividing the length of the whole scale by the length of the part cut off. He would have investigated the variation magnification using a variety focal length   for the objectives using  a fixed eyepiece giving him the linear relationship between focal length and magnification.  Then he would have fixed the objective at a given focal and studied the affect of the magnification of the telescope  versus the eyepiece focal length which was the reciprocal. He  most likely would have  plotted the results of the combination of a reasonable number of lens to get a get a curve or set of curves that could be extrapolated to give one the direction of how to build a high powered telescope. You can do it your self by holding pairs of lenses up and looking  thru them you can see the object and the image superimposed and pretty well judge the magnification as you change the  focal  length of the lenses.

An example of  the business of science versus business of engineering.

 Below we debate the question of Galileo's choice  of a negative eyepiece  rather than positive one. It is important  to look at the design from a product development point  view. Here Galileo was acting as an entrepreneur  rather than as a  scientist. For one thing as a scientist he needed to make money. Scientist didn't  make much money then and they don't make much  now.  The engineer/product designer has  to take different things in to account than a scientist. He has to note  the nature of the customer his level of sophistication and  how he is going to use the product, the  cost of the product and how easy it is to use the product. All this compromises the design of the product. The telescope in this case. for those who find fault in Galileo design  one example namely using a negative eyepiece with its narrow field of view versus and  up right image versus using a  positive eyepiece with it much wider field of view and upside down image. we recommend they  review their opinion from this new perspective. Its important to know the difference and not confuse their different roles in our life which happens allot today.

One thing of interest in his design was his choice of a negative lens as an eyepiece. it has a smaller  field of view instead of a positive lens . Some  biographers have suggested that Galileo never bothered to look at a positive lens as an eyepiece. We suggest otherwise. When he did his experimenting there were a lot more short focal length positive lenses around than negative ones. They would have been used as hand magnifiers,  on a desk tops, or in ones pocket. They would be a lot cheaper than a pair of eyeglasses with matched lenses.

Although the positive lens for the same magnification had a wider field of view the image was upside down. As an entrepreneur as well  as a physicist he was really designing these telescope for none technical customers  who were going to use them  for terrestrial use only. They also had to be simple to build.  Erecting eyepieces require a minimum of  two lenses  and were  much more complex to design and build .There was  also a practical need for short telescopes which the  negative lens did for them.  Galileo had to go out of his way the use the negative lens only and we have to believe that he chose the lens type that gave an upright image and sacrificed the better field of view.  Galileo ground and polished the necessary lenses tested his results and had his high powered telescope in comparatively short period of time.

Galileo was acting as a scientist when he turned it up to the sky and stumbled onto  discoveries of a life time for at least a few weeks he was  gathering data as fast as he could and he would have been in a wild race  to gather this data  before some one else did (he new that he wasn't going to be the only the only scientist looking up there). Probably he wasn't thinking much about a new telescope design. He was also interested in getting a new job.


Which method do you prefer  measurements or common sense?

Things that contributed to the delay, besides the overuse of common sense.

Additional answers to the question why did it take so long to invent the higher powered telescope. for hundreds of years opticians were making eyeglasses. Surely some them held up the right combination to give optical power "the telescope/ microscope" 

Here are at least three more reasons.


  • 1 ST, there literally were no lenses made with long focal lengths, one meter or longer "a requirement for making a high powered telescope," This shortage was simply because there was so little magnification that they were not needed as eyeglasses, the principle market for lenses.

  • 2 nd. there was not much of a call for a device that would bring thing far away closer. Galileo became interested because of the military need. He was already working on a calculating device for gunnery calculations. Galileo appreciated the need of the mayor of Venice to detect pirate ships coming to attack before they got there, or the businessmen getting early information on the arrival of an inbound cargo ship. This was one of the finer point Marconi used in selling his radio

  •  It was only the beginning of the rapid growth of the scientific method, a method that made it possible to get realistic answers to questions about how sophisticated things work. A method that has raised the quality of life where ever it is used.
    and perhaps the most important observation  of the magic of lenses: Looking through the telescope from the objective end through the eyepiece,
    everything looks smaller rather than bigger. That certainly not something anyone using common sense would have guessed. Could it be that Galileo's critics were and still are  looking through the wrong end of the telescope and therefore couldn't and can't see what Galileo was seeing. Could it be that the critics of science today are looking through their telescopes from the wrong end? Of courses some critics would remind us that if one replaces the negative eyepiece lens with a powerful positive eyepiece it turns out that Galileo's telescope is turned into a microscope. Galileo did that also. Galileo's Microscope.

    Today, unfortunately, its taken to much for granted.

  • This contemporary line of common sense reasoning versus using the scientific method was. and still is, so strongly imbedded in some people on an international scale that it could be labeled as a syndrome.  The  authors are moved to call it the "Galilean Syndrome". Fortunately there is a cure on the horizon, namely, Education: education of our leaders, its citizens, and most importantly, ourselves.

    "Special side note- Some leaders felt so strongly about the value of common sense in Galileo's day that they thoughtfully decided that people of note, who disagreed with the results of common sense were misleading the rest of the world and they should be disposed of by Burning them alive at the stake. This  would solve two problems at the same time; one, eliminate the messenger, two, send a strong warning to any predisposed follower of the same path.


    A short review; What motivated Galileo to use his skills as an experimental physicist to design a high powered telescope and how did he use really use the telescopes for official purposes?

    The thing that motivated Galileo was not just to discover, new truths, but to make a living which he did in part by designing and building weapons of war such as calculating devices for aiming artillery pieces at the enemy and for commercial use by being first to see a freighter coming into port. When he heard of low power telescopes he reasoned that if he could design and build  powerful telescopes  he would  be able sell them  as  spyglasses to those who needed to could keep track of their enemies movements from a safe distance. Galileo did just that and traded his rights to his invention for an increase in salary and a tenured position at the school he was teaching. To be sure there were other telescope designers who were using common sense for their designs and occasionally stumbled into an improvement. As a testimonial to Galileo's skills as an experimental physicist he decide to look beyond the common sense approach and turned to systematic measurements of the parameters such as the curve and focal length of the lenses on the power of the telescope. He of course found that the lens selection did not always make common sense, But he did find a model with its set of dimensional rules that allowed him to make the most powerful telescope of the day which he needed for his raise.






    The bottom line, The image, Click to Take a look

    Very few people today have ever seen the image as Galileo would have seen it looking through his telescope. Here is your

    opportunity click on the thumbnail below to see some of the magic of the optics for your self. It is vastly different than the cropped images processed and prepared for the web or popular magazine on astronomy.

    .By the way modern

    measurements of the lens Galileo made and used, are reported in the modern literature to be of good quality.




    The "how" of building them

    Building a Museum Grade Replica

    Faithful replication has its challenges especially if one attempts to reproduce these telescopes as they would have looked in their original form. some 400 years ago Not surprisingly one can not use the originals as the only reference source. They have had a moving legacy of strains and stresses ranging from normal aging, neglect, untold restorations, and mistakes in its inventorial process. Creditable museum grade replication requires much time consuming research in sorting this out. In the end, just as basic research in science goes, it will never be completely sorted out it is always a work in progress. Still the bottom line is that it is worth the effort because these telescopes says so much about how science really works and since There Are Really No Words Powerful Enough To Express The Importance Of Basic Scientific Research To Our Past, Present, And Future they can show it by example. The internationally famous Galilean telescopes are important symbols , of an epic of the trials and tribulations of basic scientific research in 1600 and today, These telescopes help us by example to get a connection to our future by looking into their past.

    Our goal has been to reproduce every part of Galileo's leather telescope inside and out  to within a few percent of the original, which to our knowledge had not been done to date. We reviewed, critiqued  and  cross checked  data we found in the literature finding  a number of errors in the quoted physical parameters of the original and museum replicas. We augmented these data with our measurements .  For the few cases where not enough data was available or where our choices differed with the literature, our replica allows for easy reversibility for these parameters when/if more data becomes available.

    As might be expected one finds that even the very best reference material including the item being replicated carry errors some of which can be reborn (if there is not sufficient research) every time a new paper or replica is issued. We grew to really understand this first hand in our attempt and we still have a few unanswered question, which may never be answered for example the eyepiece (ocular).

    The authors have spent hundreds of hours of research in both the literature and the laboratory to sort this out and to make the most accurate replicas possible.

    If each of us could study Galileo dramatic story with one of these telescopes at hand we could reflect and appreciate more fully the value and needs of basic scientific research. Unfortunately few of us will ever get to visit the originals in Florence Italy let alone touch them. The next best is to substitute a precise replica of the telescope. The more precise it and Galileo's story is the greater our connection to the epic.

     Therefore our primary motivation has been to have the visitor to the replica of the telescope feel confident that what he or she is looking at, or is lucky enough to use , is an exact as possible copy of the original instrument , that it works the same, looks the same, feels the same, is the same, inside and out, as if Galileo had produce a twin. 

    References and a caution about Galileo's story; It is very hard to get a clear picture of the history of anything even a scientific subject such as Galileo and his telescopes. We strongly recommend getting the information as close to the source as possible such as (Galileo's writings) and to be careful of papers analyzing history for you . Choose a source loaded with lots of reliable references. From our experience the following sites are reliable professional sources of information, and While not totally free of errors these sites for the most part are manned by professional historians. We have also listed a few that were relevant to our needs. see our appendix .





    A longer review of the topics above A debate to give it or not to give it an old look that is the question Words from the play HAMLET? When Prince Hamlet considers suicide 

    Below is much of the detail for constructing these replicas sprinkled with the philosophy of our efforts to make them as close to the original as possible.
    1,Click here to see a video of one of Galileo's original telescopes in its cabinet

    2,Click hear to see a short video of the results of our efforts.

    1.  Replicas and accurate replicas
    2. Visit the IMSS Home of the Galileo's Telescopes with a short video
    3. Galileo's telescope construction
    4. Art work and making the tools
    5. Hot stamping the Gold Deco's
    6. Len grinding, polishing & testing the length of the telescope and the important question should the extra eyepiece holder be eliminated.
    7. Done Finished Telescopes
    8. Appendix random thoughts and references
    9. Galileo's IMSS #2427 telescope for Adler Planetarium in Chicago
    10. Visit our site Antiques of Science and Technology

       Click on the pictures with the colored boarders to get larger views.

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    One of the authors on his knees not worshiping but
    taking pictures and measurements of Galileo
    to make better replicas for us to enjoy.
    To help motivate us to learn more about the
    historical trials and tribulations, then and now,
    and doing basic research.






    A Pictorial Summary with part of the Galileo telescope team at various stages of replication

    The seeds of Galileo's presentation telescope, wood staves. They are used in all the tubular construction.

    Lens grinding and polishing The machinery is modern but the motions of tool and the lens is 1600

    The overall view of the bare body and sliding lens holders showing the novel construction.

    Leather had been added but not been aged to darken it and the Gold deco embossing was next.
    We were making two telescopes one as a backup.

    Rhoda with the plate of hot stamps decorations, 21 of them. At this point each deco had to be precisely cut from the Magnesium plate and mounted on handles. We  made three versions of these dies to get them right.

    Some of the hot stamps needed for the gold embossed decorations--- The objective end of the telescope, note
    resin composite construction.-- Galileo supervising the work. from the cover of a fine book on Galileo and his telescopes "The Sidereal Messenger by A professional Historian Albert Van Helden"

    Hot stamping (gilding) the body of the telescope using a self centering "T" square jig we put together to help guide the location of the die. The stamping is still hand done maintaining irregularity seen on the original. There more details of this jig shown below.


    The stamping operation

    To start video press start arrow twice wait a few seconds to play

    A 2 minute unedited video of the stamping operation. Rhoda is using an enlarged photograph, one of dozens of the original telescope we took along with measurements at the IMSS in Florence Italy, to help guide this work. To left is a hot plate to heat the die. To its right is a water soaked pad to aid in setting its temperature. One can see the placement of the gold foil under the "T" square. and the embossing process. The telescope is indexed by hand to next location and the process is repeated There are over 400 impressions.
    We have been asked why not speed up this operation by any one of a dozen ways saving time and money. We considered most of them but in the end the most visible thing about the telescope, these decoration, in our view, would have been seriously compromised for museum use .








    A visit to the home of one of the Original "Galileo" Telescopes and a brief outline of some of the issues of making an accurate replica for museum display.
    See More Detail of the trip to the IMSS Museum, Florence & Venice

    Dr. Strano IMSS who was a rich source of technical information & Jim in front of the case displaying two Galilean telescopes that were built within the year of his great discoveries, the moons of Jupiter and the craters and mountains of our Moon.

    The objective end of the famous Number 2 telescope with its beautiful art work.


    Photo by Jim & Rhoda Morris taken at the set of The TV special Brilliant Minds

    Garnering the measurements



    A trip to IMSS Florence Italy to take pictures, get pictures, and measurements of the original. There is very good data in the literature on the optical performance the Galileo telescopes at the IMSS in Florence Italy. However there was ambiguity in the literature available to us on the mechanical and decorative aspects of the telescope. This made it necessary and worth a visit to the original instruments to measure and photograph it. The trip was very valuable. It helped clear up the uncertainties making it possible to produce a replica worthy of exhibit in the new Griffith Observatory Museum.

    We were concerned about the

  • dimensions of the various components

  • specific construction details

  • materials used, and

  • exact nature of the gilded decorations

    2.General results of the trip
    Rhoda and I cannot thank the staff of the IMSS and Griffith enough in helping to make the visit both productive and a pleasant experience. This wonderful museum displays important instruments of science which are also beautiful works of art. It is a must see on a trip to Italy.
    We visited the telescope on three days. The staff were very helpful, professional, and kind. We had fruitful technical discussions, made critical measurements, and took photographs which enables us to make a significantly more accurate reproduction of this famous telescope .

    The excellent photographs taken before and after a recent restoration of the scope are a kin to a break through letting one see the essential details of the rarely viewed insides of the telescope thus giving us the intricacies of the construction techniques used. These data are indispensable for making a replica, which we are doing, that is worthy of the Griffith Observatory. They are also useful to study the building skills and practices available to Galileo, his associates and assistances in their engineering and scientific work. The construction is unique and far ahead of its time. It probably has a lot to do with the telescope surviving to this century in as good a mechanical condition that it has. It uses a technique that show the advanced understanding of composite construction lending itself to mass production that has a strength to weight ratio the envy of builders to day. Last but not least it has good mechanical stability resisting the normal warping of the wooden parts. Reference 1

    Below are the IMSS staff that were so helpful to Jim & Rhoda on the visit to the Galileo Telescopes and his Finger.

    Franca Principe IMSS who took the excellent photographs before and after the recent restoration.

    Karen Tomashavsky IMSS who helped in so many ways coordinating our visit and giving a wonderful tour of the exhibits.

    Sabina Bernacchini IMSS who helped make available and processed the many request for the photography.


    Replica of Galileo's Telescope for Griffith Observatory
    Picture taken from Friends of the Observatory brochure Tel 818 846 3686



    Galileo's Telescope Gathering the size, method of construction, and the decoration data.

    3.The tools and methods we took with and used for taking our measurements and photos during our visit.

    We built up a portable measurement stand using a modified short focus telescope with cross hairs and a 4 foot scale to measure the dimensions of the telescope from outside of the case. This device had a reading precision of 1/5 mm. but due to the distortion of the roundness of Galileo scope the diameter measurements had less accuracy. We confirmed the outside measurements of the lens holders but found a meaningful difference, in the telescope overall length as reported in the Catalogue of Early Telescopes by A. Van Helden . The significance of this difference is discussed in the "Optics" section below.

    Substituting a camera for the telescope, we took close up photos along the telescope body, but for the most part we took free hand shots. We used two 35 mm film cameras with macro lenses and a digital camera capable of a spatial resolution of 2592 X 1944 pixels to record the gold and decorative art and make relative size measurements. We focused at two distances and several exposure levels. . We did not have visible access to the back or bottom of the scope.

    The cross section measurements of IMSS 2428
    no correction for barrel distortion


    Above is one of a number of examples of a unique technique  to enhance by  photographic means the relative measurements of the dimensions of the telescope. The bottom photo is from IMSS of just the barrel. We enhanced the cross sectional shape of this photo by magnifying the diameter ten times the length. giving the fat photo shown above. We also contrasted the image to bring out  the surface irregularities.  It is more than interesting how much more  information of the telescope shape is demonstrated  through this process. Further, by normalizing the photo and making  rather small corrections for our   camera to our measurements we get detailed quantitative  specifications for the dimensions of the telescopes.  Throughout the life of the telescope it has been flattened in several places along its length probably combining these data with information from  photos of  the top and side   gives a good approximation of is out of roundness.

    Combining the data we get a shape of two cones.. One starting from the eyepiece at 36mm  dia. growing linearly to 37 mm 150 mm from the objective end. A second stronger cone starting at 37mm and growing to 47 mm. We have encouraged the IMSS  at their next opportunity to measure the perimeter along the length of the telescope rather than the radius. Thus getting  of the out of roundness difficulty. as will be discussed further on in this site we measure n over length  of 935mm rather than the 980 mm reported on IMSS's  web site. This has also been reported to IMSS.



    The video. below shows the original telescopes in their case at IMSS  along with one of our setups for taking the overall dimensions and views we had of the telescope while we were taking our measurements and photos.

    Click twice on the play button below to see the streaming video.




    Studying Galileo's Telescope in detail disclosed a unique resin composite construction. It is not made of cardboard and paper as is often reported in the literature This discovery gave us the opportunity to study the methods and philosophy of construction available to and generated by Galileo, his associates, and assistants in their scientific and engineering work. This work has raised some interesting academic and replica questions. 1.Was it designed for "mass production" by non skilled labors? 2, was the eyepiece lens the only part replace or was the lens holder also changed? Studying the original in some detail has helped us in our mission to construct a much more faithful reproduction inside and out of this famous Galileo telescope for the Griffith Observatory.

    4.Construction Details of Galileo's Telescope Tube and Lens Holders. New data, choice of cutting strips, and importance of keeping them in order. Tests of hide glue gives good filling characteristics and has adequate strength.
    s mentioned earlier we were very fortunate in addition to our measurements and photographs of this beautiful Galilean telescope to also have access to excellent pictures taken before and after a recent restoration. These pictures showed that the internal construction of the telescope is not of cardboard and paper but of wood and in a most novel way. This opened to us a very rare opportunity of making a very fine replica in the most complete and accurate detail even to the interior. This accuracy of course helps to show the inventiveness and creativity of how scientist worked in 1600. It shows along with its history the on going issues and struggle of the basic research scientist trying to get support for their research and acceptance of its results. This telescope and its history shows ----Not only the technical aspects of science ---- but the politics of funding for basic research work, of the struggles in convincing others to see the world more clearly from a scientific measurement point of view. This telescope served as a political tool as well as a discovery tool. It was designed to impress people not of science but of power and wealth by the richness of its decorative appearance. it was also preformed well, 20 power, to show them his discoveries.

    The data we collected were vital in making a truly faithful replication of both inside and the outside of this remarkable telescope. Many if not all replicas of this telescope in the past have not had this opportunity or not felt it worth while to go beyond the use of cardboard, plastic or metal tubes and turned solid wood lens holders none of which were used in the original instrument. Some have had to replicate the telescopes without accurate data thus included in some cases serious errors in their replication. We believe that this is unfortunate and scales down the broadness and richness of what is to be learned from this telescope. We feel, perhaps unfairly, that the lack of detail and authenticity only increases the myopic view for some of what science is all about.

    Below we show you the detail of the very elegant mode of construction and the amount of detailed work that was required to make it.*

  • Figure 1 One end of the tube of the telescope Photo courtesy IMSS

    Figure 2 One of the lens holder Before Restoration Photo courtesy IMSS


    Comments about the construction.
    From a casual point of view the construction technique is novel to say the least, to some it looks like a poor design. See figure 3.Barrel like tube construction requires the edges of the staves to be chamfered butting up to each other if it is to have radial strength . Without careful attention to these gaps it weakens the radial strength of the tube and will collapse on its self See in figure 4.

    All these issues disappear when one notes that the builder used a resin glue, which had to be liberally applied layer by layer soaking into all the cracks and filling all the gaps. This is a method that we today call
    a resin composite construction. It consists of bonding all of the materials and parts of the telescope together with a resin. The resulting structure has physical characteristics superior to the components by themselves. Ref. 1

    Sticking the sticks together.

    Figure 3 shows how the tubes were built It was a construction that was used on both the telescope tube and the lens holders, the latter having upwards 2 to 5 layers until the tube were the right size and strength.
    We built a small section using this construction technique to demonstrate how it might be made and to test its strengths and weakness. for the replica.
    It's a strake-style construction comprised of a number of strips of wood fixed on a thin flexible backing and rolled into a tube. It's easy to build but note the gaps on the outside. The tube strength depends markedly on the treatment of these gaps. Without a filler between them the junctions would collapse on themselves with very little pressure . We show this in figure 4. 

    Figure 4

    The telescopes strength--
    In preparing the first layer for the second, resin glue is put on the outer surface of the 1st. thus fills its gaps. Preparing the second surface for the third fills the second layer gaps, and so on to the final step. At this point one has saturated the whole tube layer by layer generating a resin composite construction which is light and strong using a minimum of simple tools. A process that lends its self to mass production.


    Figure 4A, Simple construction steps which do not require a lathe. Note the tube can be squished as in 4C, a" feature" making the joint gluing easier. It only requires a simple square not cylindrical mandrel.

    • Strips of wood are cut from a single sheet. These cuts don't have to made with precision and in fact are rarely straight when done by hand. But when the pieces are kept in sequence the gaps between them maintain a uniform width. See inset photo in A.
    • A, Strips of wood glued to backing
    • B, Strips bent in to tube form
    • C, Tube is clamped while glue is setting
    • D, Tube ready for next layer

    Figure 5 Second layer
     A test section showing the novel construction used in the number 2 Galilean Telescope. Today we call this a resin composite construction. Its light, strong and cheap. It resist a 100 lbs crushing force.

    Visit to Adler Planetarium The trip to study the Italian Cipriani Replica at the Adler planetarium Chicago was a very valuable visit and the Adler staff was very helpful. We gathered new data, 50 digital images and 33 35 mm color negative along with numerous measurements of the telescope. We also got very important data on the telescoping lens holders.

    Below are the Adler Planetarium staff that were so helpful to Jim on the visit to the Cipriani replica of Galileo's # 1 & #2 telescopes in Chicago Ill . Their professional help and patience helped significantly to our making the replication of the orginal Galileo telescopes more precise than has been done before. _Thank you again Jim & Rhoda Morris


    Michelle Nichols,
     Master Educator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum

    The beautiful Cipriani replica of Galileo's # 1 telescope being treated with the care and attention it deserves.

    Devon L. Pyle-Vowles
    Collections Manager Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum


    Important issues comparing the original Galileo with the Adler Cipriani replica telescope
    Deciding on sliding tubes for the lens  Both the Cipriani replica  telescopes have sliding tubes carrying both the eyepiece and objective that slip into the main telescope body.
    The question is did the original have them too? This was not completely resolved with our visit to IMSS. From the literature we found  extra decorated space between the objective housing and the end of the barrel. This  appears in figure 9 below, suggests that at least there was a sliding lens holder for the objective which could have been used  for extending it out for longer  focal length objectives.  Using this objective adjustable feature for focusing would have been troublesome it is too far to reach. Therefore an adjustment also at the eyepiece end would also have been sensible. essentially The photos of the original telescope during restoration suggests that the protruding staves were part of the sliding mechanism at both ends and not simple cardboard tubes as has been suggested. It appears that the tubular stave construction was used throughout .  Also the 1704 inventory listed the telescope as coming in two pieces for lengthening it. We still wonder about the little Marble paper covered eyepiece holder which would make three length changing elements even though it has very little adjustment, perhaps 8 or so millimeters hardly the 7 cm. needed to focus on objects 30 meters away. We believe that there is enough circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Florence telescope has these telescoping lens sections as well, but they are stuck inside the telescope IMSS photos show the staves sticking out from ends of the main tube.  We therefore include telescoping tubes  in our  replica.

    IMSS photos of the staves sticking out of the body of original telescope gave us a good measurement for the outer diameter of the sliding tubes but not their length

    The length of the objective tube we were able to establish to an accuracy of about 1 centimeter. To get this length we used our measurements of the expanded portion of the main telescope tube at the objective end  which is expanded  down the main  barrel to accommodate  the sliding tube.

     For the eyepiece tube we chose to use  the length of 27 cm  as was  used in Cipriani replica at the Adler Planetarium . If  Information surfaces to the contrary  it can be cut back to 12 cm where the decorations on this tube start.

    We also  looked into the information to be gained for an estimate of sliding tube dimensions  from the Cipriani replicas. We looked into two of his replicas one at the Science Museum south Kensington London reported by  Baxandall in our  ref 1.   The second from our  measurements of a Cipriani replica at Alders Planetarium

    Baxandall  in his drawings do not agree with each other to within 10%  nor do they replicate the outer dimensions of the original where the diameters are different as much as 10%  which is a factor of 10 greater than our goal for accuracy.

    Also strangely the Cipriani telescope does not have a red marble paper covered eyepiece which would have been altogether out of stile with the rest of the original instrument but has a decorated disk framing the eyepiece down in the container similar to the objective. A detailed examination of his replicas shows a number of strong differences between them and the orginal ranging from dimensional differences to art work differences It almost like Cipriani tried to incorporate improvements and changes to make it easier to build.

    We also took detailed photos of the decorations covering the telescoping sections of the Adler instrument. They are a combinations of the deco's on the out side but patterned and scaled differently. We did not incorporate any of Cipriani inconsistencies in dimensions and  We chose not to make them out of cardboard as Baxandall reports that Cipriani did for the replica for the science museum London but stayed with  the stave construction which is consistent with the rest of the original telescope.

    The visit Adler to get detailed pictures and measurement of the art deco on their number 2 replica was also very valuable. Although there are some issues in scaling and details in shape of the Cipriani instrument that are not true to the original telescope we were able to use then to get a better prospective of the finer detail always referring back to the original to make the final decision for this project.

    Figure 9 Image from The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy pg 123


    The Telescope Optics  This section presents the  details and a discussion of the optics that are presently in the Galileo IMSS 2428 telescope and  the optics we used in replicating this telescope.

    Below  is a schematic, not to scale, for a visual aid to help our understanding of what the eyepiece and objective physically look like and an optical ray diagram of a Galilean type telescope The path of the rays of light through the lens was reproduced from a 1860 text on Natural Philosophy.

    Click Here Technical uncertainties in the optics of Galileo's telescopes

    Photo by Jim & Rhoda Morris taken for The TV special Brilliant Minds

    Note that both lenses are double convex or double concave in this 1860 drawing. We have found this to be  true for drawings from at least 1800 up to today. See Galileo-Telescope-Anomalies-optics This is not at all what Galileo had a mix  in his telescope.  He had both plano concave and plano convex lenses. Is this important? Absolutely.  This is a good example of a technical error in reporting on Galileo's choice of the lenses which are the telescope. Further it is an  error in descriptions  on one of the most  historically famous, international  telescopes. An error that has stayed with us for hundreds of years replicating its self over and over again..

    Neglected errors of this sort is not good science or reporting of science. It distort our view of what Galileo and the early lens makers knew about optics in the1600's and the issues of  who invented what and when. From the professional literature if true Galileo did not invent the telescope but  did invent one with higher power using lenses with one of the surfaces of each lens with such little curve in it that one can say that it was flat. He also used a negative lens as the eyepiece.  The use of double curved lenses and more than two lenses are other inventions and most likely other inventers. 

    Galileo's  telescopes are  extremely important symbols of what basic research is really about.
     No Words are  Powerful Enough To Express The Importance Of Basic Scientific Research so we start off this section of optics with an example of the importance of accuracy in our choice of lenses. When we look at  Galileo and through his telescope and use him and his telescopes as symbols of what science is all about here is example of distortions of science that misleads us about science.

    There is no room for sloppiness in science or reporting about science.   The most essential tool of scientific research is "accuracy" in the treatment and presentation of data, data from which we development conclusions. When the scientific world present (publishes) their data publicly or in private communications  More important than the data itself is  the qualification of the data. How accurate is it and how was it taken etc.? Using this tool is one of the reason science has been so successful.  Each piece of data lays the  ground work for next collection of data  etc. etc....

    Our choice of lenses; One of the many departures often made in building replicas of Galileo telescope is to compromise in the focal lengths of the lenses. Galileo's objective of the #IMSS 2428 telescope has been reported to be 98  cm .or 95.6 cm. requiring nonstandard lengths therefore costing hundreds of dollars compared with the much cheaper standard focal length of one diopter or 100 cm. If one uses the cheaper lens this unfortunately  leads to a domino affect of compromise. It changes the over all length of the telescope by almost an inch which in turn alters the location of the gilt decorations on the body of the telescope and it also changes the optical power. Where does it stop? If we use the powerful story of the Galileo telescopes to teach people about how science works. how can our audience trust us if we don't even use the first basic rule of science, accurate repeatable testable measurements of time length and mass in building this symbolic Telescope?

    Our finial choice for the lenses and why. Conflict in the modern measurements of the exiting lenses at IMSS

    The objective: see our references
    For the moment we have chosen to  use the 1992 Greco etal.  ref-----980mm. f.l. measurements rather than the 1923 Ronchi's etal.  956mm focal length for the objective. There are 3 rational for this decision.

    1st The over all length of the body of the telescope is too long  to focus the telescope at infinity with an eyepiece of 5 cm focal length. The eyepiece would have to have a considerably shorter focal length resulting in powers greater than 20.(look further on in our web site at how to determine the over all length)

    2nd   If one takes The Refractive index of Ronchi's calculation and his measured radius of curvature one  calculates the focal length to be 980mm..rather than 956mm. An inconsistency within the data is suggested?

    3 Greco etal. must have known of the difference of his and  Ronchi's measurements because he references Ronchi therefore we feel that it can be safely  assume he would have checked and  rechecked his data to be sure his measurements were correct.

    4.On the other hand if Ronchi's 956 is correct the optical length would be 908 with a - 48 eyepiece. If we leave the extra eyepiece off and transfer the lens into the holder subtract the over hangs the telescope length would be 891mm.  This raise  the question  if Ronchi 's 956 mm f.l. is right this means that the extra holder which does even have the same artistic style could be abandoned. We believe that there should be another independent measurement of the f.l. of the objective should be made. In any case our telescopes can work with either.

    The Eyepiece.
    This lens is not the original so we have to make an independent decision. based on measurement and experience. and our effort to reproduce it as it was originally. There is a fair agreement that the original eyepiece has been misplaced. so    We   have chosen to use a plano concave eyepiece  instead of  the biconcave lens as is  presently used in the current telescope but use the same focal length based on our arguments of telescope length and our measurements of it described earlier..

    We use three rational for this decision.

    1st The other longer telescope IMSS 2427 uses a plano convex lens.

    2nd  there a fair consensus that Galileo made  a number of his own lenses so it  was simpler and faster for Galileo to make a  plano-concave lens.  For the most part he only had to grind and finish one rather two surfaces.  Grinding is faster than polishing and he would have only one surface to polish..

    3rd  There are significantly fewer errors going this way, Errors like getting the two radii lined up etc.  which In our opinion Galileo would have certainly known about from his experiments. never the less  if our choice has been wrong its simple to change the lenses.



    Overall length of the telescope is determined by the optics There is an Inconsistency in the length of the IMSS #2428 telescope. It is reported that the length of the telescope is the same as the focal length of the objective. This does not leave room for the eyepiece when focused on distant objects.

    Total length of a telescope focused for infinity = Focal length objective + Focal length eyepiece + lens holder over hang .

    NOTE the overall length will vary depending how far the lens have been extended for focusing. It appears that both the object and the eyepiece can be used to extend or reduce the optical length for focusing. (see figure 9) this maybe about 10 cm plus 20 cm for both.
    The present telescope at IMSS is reported to have an objective that is plano convex with a focal length of 980 mm and a diameter of 37mm. The eyepiece is a biconcave with a focal length of -47.5mm and a diameter of 22mm.

    The optical length of the telescope for an object at infinity would be the sum of the focal lengths, namely 

    (980 -47.5) = 932.5 mm. add 21 mm for the over hang in the holders. This gives calculated figure for the over all length of the IMSS telescope closed of 953.5 mm.  Using Ronchi' focal length for the objective (956mm) for the objective 47.5 for the eyepiece plus a 21 mm over hang gives a total length of 929.5mm We have measured the scope at IMSS, using three methods. One of the methods using with the apparatus described above,  plus a video showing the operation to be 935 mm + or - 2mm which depends on the position of the eyepiece and objective tube. It looked to be closed when we measured it. From 6 measurements with two types of apparatus we  measure the body of the telescope to be 836 mm- or + 2 mm.

     Our best guess at presents' that it can open 20 cm more giving a length of 1165mm. for focusing on nearby objects.

    The catalog of early telescopes by Alert Van Helden, page 30 lists the telescope's overall length as 980 mm., which is off by about 35 mm. or nearly 1 3/8 of an inch different. according to our measurements. We have spoken to Van Helden 2007 about this discrepancy and he believes that the over all length is not 980mm.

    The objective has a focal length of 980 mm lens which is not a standard production item and therefore an expensive piece to purchase from out side sources. In stead we purchased four 1000mm fl. lenses and shortened them to the to 980mm fl . .
    We tested the process with plane glass blanks and found that we can make changes in the shape at a rate acceptable to changing the focal length of our 1000 mm. lenses to 980 mm. See photos below

    General details of the equipment assembled to shorten the 1000 mm focal length lens to 980 mm.
    We have tested the process with plane glass blanks and found that we can make changes in the shape at a rate acceptable to changing the focal length of our 1000 mm. lenses to 980 mm. See photos below

    Here is a web site that explains how the lens testing method that we are using works

    Optical diagram of lens testing apparatus

    Close up of the lens holder and optical flat

    We tested the polishing machine using a 2 inch diameter 1/8" thick plane glass blank. with 4 minutes of polishing we took off about 46.4 millionths of an inch and converted it to a convex surface. The photo above shows the interferogram of our glass blank with the interference lines use to get this measurement. It's going in the right direction with reasonable speed. All we have to do is get good spherical surface and not overshoot the focal length of 980 mm.

    close up of the light source and the knife edge

    Lens Grinding/Polishing Machine

    Lens polishing /grinding machine that we've put together for this project.
     We are going to use it in an attempt to polish down the focal length of the 1000mm lenses to 980 mm.

    5. The all important art work
    This telescope was not destined to go to a  colleague  but to a customer of high rank and station and is an important part of the Galileo story, It is a symbol of his marketing and entrepreneurship. While there is no strong evidence that Galileo would have done the gold leather stamping himself his the choice of the artisan was no less critical to him then the rest of the detail of producing this telescope, beauty and flattery had to be part of his skill set. So as it is  today. One stopping to visit and admire  this telescope deserves no less than to be  treated as one of high rank and station if we are to gain their support  of basic scientific research.

    Developing the art work from photos contains many complex issues. It has been a slow and exacting process extracting the shape and detail of each of the deco elements from our high resolution photos which show each dent, scratch, warp and hand made irregularity. Rhoda and I have spent hundreds of pleasant hours deciphering and unfolded the detail to get as close a match to the orginal hot stamp as possible. the outcome of this work are more than 20 hot die.

    Below is a fairly detailed discussion of the methods we have used to select build up, and clean up, the photo images for the art work we have been using to make the black on white figures to engrave the hot stamps that are used to make the gold foil impression on the leather of the telescope. Details like the black and white drawings also have to take into account the impression process leaves a figure that is somewhat different than the engraving on the stamp. p.s. (Even the description of how it is done is long and tedious. But the results have been satisfying). To make a faithful replication of the gold art work on the telescope one needs a lot of high resolution photos of the telescope showing this detail.( our visits to Florence and Chicago produced them and, the wonderful here-to unnoticed structural features of the telescope). Even so it takes some time to get a feeling for what the original figure looks like because each component although made with the same stamp experiences a different history of application and ware and tear.

    More General Background Information About the Art Work Decorations are applied with a "heated" stamp pressed on a piece of treated gold foil laid on the surface of the leather. Up to 20 or so pounds of pressure is applied to the leather embossing the figure and gluing a gold film to the inside of the impression . The stamps we are having made are out of Magnesium plate by printed circuit board type of technology using a photo resist coating on the magnesium. We supply the black on white pattern for the figure to be etched on the medal to the vender who makes a photo negative See figures 6A and 6 B. these are used is to exposed the image on the plate. The unwanted portions are etched away leaving a stamp which is cut away from the plate and then mounted on a handle.


    6A & 7A Below are photos of the original telescope at IMSS and a replica displayed in the Adler planetarium Chicago Ill. Florence, Italy c 1930. We have modified the photos of the replica substantially to make the decorations stand out more clearly. This has altered the colors from their true appearance. One can see substantial differences between the two scopes in the deco details as well as the eyepiece which does not show the small sliding focus lens holder.

    Figure 6, Above the objective end of the original telescope

    Figure 6A replica at the Adler planetarium. We have altered the colors to show more contrast in the decorations.

    Objective end; Low resolution photos. There may be as many as 20 separate art components in the repeating pattern shown in the above design each requiring a separate embossing stamp. The Adler planetarium replica has clearer impressions of many of the figures but there are difference between the original in many of the details

    figure 7,Above the eyepiece end of the original Telescope

    Figure 7A, replica at the Adler planetarium. We have altered the colors to show more contrast in the decorations.

     Eyepiece end; low resolution photos. Most of the art elements are remarkably different than the objective end. The literature reports that the original eyepiece lens was lost. Was the holder lost as well or restored using different tooling. The sliding part of the eyepiece is covered with a red and green marbled paper.
    The Adler replica doesn't have a separate sliding eyepiece holder and there are strong difference in the gold decorations.


    6.An example of generating the data to make a stamp for Gold embossing the Decorations.

    Alder Replica
    First Guess at Shape of Die. Not good enough. By the way this is reported to be a dolphin.

    Original Telescope
    Even the beautiful photo below shows loss of data in the flowers on the top and one of the feet below. In this case we have had to take a parts of one image and add it to another to get the lost detail.
    there has been a loss of symmetry in the two branches because of the way that the craftsman applied the hot stamp.
    So all of the individual deco's are a composite of several photos

    With our discovery of the c 1930 Guilio Cipriani, replica at the Adler planetarium presumably made from the original number 2 in Italy we found substantial difference between the original and the Adler. But the Adler was important because of its finer detail than what is left of the original. Thus we were fortunate to obtain more detailed photos and provenance. before we committed to an order for the stamps. This has turned out to be very important to the project

    To reiterate, there are a number of reasons for the differences of the components of the decorations.

  • 1, damage to the figure, scratches or digs
  • 2, different application pressure
  • 3, different orientation by the artist applying the figure.
  • 4, previous restoration, stretching of the leather, etc.
  • 5, the selection of the particular design component

    The above black and white figure so far is a composite of the best images of the original telescope. The Adler Guilio Cipriani, replica has given us some added detail for a better replica.


    One of the tricky things about supplying the art work is that the impressions on the leather from the hot stamp are not exactly the same as the black and white art work supplied! The gold embossed images are broader and less sharp than the stamp. The deeper the stamp impression the broader the outline of the image. Obviously the impression has walls which are coated with the gold leaf. The walls are not truly vertical but slant, the slant making the image broader to the observer. The slope depends on the physical characteristics of the leather and the depth of the impression. The softer the interior and the harder the surface of the leather the shallower the slope of the walls and the broader the art work.


    The comparison above of the variations of a single component in the art work of Galileo's telescope versus  a number of die's and  a 1920's  replica by Cipriani shows how different the outcome can be. We made several sets of stamps until we were satisfied  by the tests described below. Extracting data  from the figures on the orginal to obtain a suitable reproduction is a challenge.

    Below we take you through several steps in. the process including the creation of a guide jig  for applying the stamp that would allow the natural operator randomness of placing the stamp on the leather.

    Art work on monitor is from Cipriani replica The art work on the telescope has at least 20 distinct components a few can be combined to perhaps 15 individual stamps. To save money on the project we have put about 20 figures on a single sheet of art work thus making a one step operation, producing one large plate of Magnesium full of dies which reduces the cost of put out sourcing in this step to one tenth. The photos shown below is a single piece test of the operation less the trimming of the die around the working face .

    Again Art work on monitor is from Cipriani
    The deco components are of course on a cylindrical surface and the camera records them on a flat surface distorting in a cylindrical sense the figure you are trying to replicate. The technique we developed to unfold this image distortion incorporated both mathematical and non-mathematical methods. We printed out the best estimate of the components of decos bands and fixed them to a solid wood mockup of the scope. Then took photos of our work and superimposed them, using Adobe Photoshop, on to our photos of the original. This technique gave us a very clear view of the over all comparison of the replication. It gave us at a single glance a highlighted view of the differences especially the ones that needed correction. It also clearly showed the precision of the orginal artist making the gold imposed stampings. The authors also made cylinders of each ring to use in a hot stamping jig discussed below. Last but not least the mockup can be handled roughly giving the craftsman a real time three dimensional over view a guide of the location, sequence, and arrangement that the stamps that have to be applied to the leather. This method helps us make a truly unique and precise replica.

    The plate of hot stamp dies


    • The steps to make the die are
    •  cut the die from the plate
    •  hand trim it
    •  mount it with a stub handle to attach to a the working handle.

    Figure 7A the hot stamp in the rough cut from a larger plate.

    Applying The Gold Embossing
    The next to the final step is hot stamping the gold embossed decorations. The hot stamping  was quite a challenge. There is a 60 sec video of it happening. The telescope has a number cylindrical diameters, conical sections including telescoping sections. For all of its simplicity its a complicated little beast nothing really square to use as a reference point .

    Our universal hot stamping jig. After a number of practice sessions by us and professional craftsmen it was clear that one could not get sufficient precision locating all of the deco components by hand with out the aid of a series of positioning  jigs to help locate the die . Rather than making  individual jigs we decided to design and  make a universal jig which is shown in the photos. Our hot stamping jig is designed to help the craftsman navigate through the collage of better than a four hundred impressions. This jig is essentially a self registering "T" square that indicates to the operator what part of the decoration is being worked on. The telescope lies in a "V" trough at the base of the jig. In this photo we have placed a test piece in its place and are running through a trial stamping to check the procedure. Our universal hot stamping jig is a series of  locating translational, rotational and centering devices fitted together on to a single base. It helps free up the operators hands to concentrate on the stamping process. For example the wheel C in figure 4 in the photo below carries a sample of figures to be stamped on a given band. This is used to coordinate the application of the individual impressions. It is connected to the telescope through a threaded rod .We have added self centering judicial line for the rotational orientation. It hangs on the bottom of the vertical metal 18 inch tall strip that can be seen on the right of  figure 1 .  Close up shots of most of these items are shown in the

    figure 1

    figure 2

    The telescopes is covered with leather and is in the jig to go through the gold embossing steps. The operator uses this self orienting "T" square to locate the hot s stamp.

    As out lined above there a sizeable number of discreet patterns most of them interlock with their neighbors.

    figure 3

    Its important to note that the principal role of this universal jig is to locate a starting point for one corner of each die. It is important not to acquire a machine made like appearance to the embossing. It is vital to retain all the uncertain hand variables that a skilled craftsman has and that is so clearly visible on the orginal telescope. So except for the first contact point the rest the impression has been left up to the operator which includes rotation, and variable hand pressure. 

    The cylinder is a layout guide attached to the telescope thru a threaded rod and rotates in synchronization with the scope. It carries a full scale picture of the details of each decoration band. The fiducial line aids the operator in applying the hot stamp die to the leather in the appropriate location.

    figure 4

     Finally a skilled craftsman applying the hot stamped decorations with the aid of our self orienting "T" square. The telescope is nearing completion. The final step is a slight darkening step to the leather to reach the correct color scheme of the original when it was new as described by Van Helden .

     figure 5

    Copied from WokipediA The Free Encyclopedia  
    With the loss of many of his defenders in Rome because of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. The sentence of the Inquisition was in three essential parts:
    • Galileo was required to recant his heliocentric ideas, which were condemned as "formally heretical";.
    • He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.
    • His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.

    After a period with the friendly Ascanio Piccolomini (the Archbishop of Siena), Galileo was allowed to return to his villa at Arcetri near Florence, where he spent the remainder of his life under house arrest. It was while Galileo was under house arrest when he dedicated his time to one of his finest works, Two New Sciences. This book has received high praise from both Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. As a result of this work, Galileo is often called, the "father of modern physics"

    It sure took some time to come around to Galileo's discoveries
    Galileo was reburied on sacred ground at Santa Croce in 1737. He was formally rehabilitated in 1741, when Pope Benedict XIV authorized the publication of Galileo's complete scientific works (a censored edition had been published in 1718), and in 1758 the general prohibition against heliocentrism was removed from the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. On 31 October 1992, Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled, as the result of a study conducted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

    A 2 minute unedited video of the stamping operation. Rhoda is using an enlarged photograph, one of dozens of the original telescope we took along with measurements at the IMSS in Florence Italy, to help guide this work. To left is a hot plate to heat the die. To its right is a water soaked pad to aid in setting its temperature. One can see the placement of the gold foil under the "T" square. and the embossing process. The telescope is indexed by hand to next location and the process is repeated There are over 400 impressions.
    We have been asked why not speed up this operation by any one of a dozen ways saving time and money. We considered most of them but in the end the most visible thing about the telescope, these decoration, in our view, would have been seriously compromised for museum use .




    Galileo's Telescopes and Pieces of Telescopes. We are told ref 1a, 2a that Galileo built a number, maybe as many as 60 telescopes and lens sets, in the process of doing and reporting his famous research work, Some believe that only the objective lens of "the data scopes" is left and that's broken into several pieces.

    Not all of the telescopes he built or had built were used for research data purposes. But there are two telescopes left from this era which are very important to us today, especially a beautiful leather covered scope and a companion for comparison demonstrates what a basic research scientist has to go through to get funding for his work. A very serious problem that still exist today. There are two telescopes that are assigned to Galileo that have survived, one the development telescope  IMSS 2427 roughly built paper covered working telescope, It emphasizes most of  the technical details of probably one of the most historically significant, from a technical view point, telescope in the world. and the other IMSS 2428. the most famous for its beauty, the leather covered presentation telescope, both are on display at the IMSS in Florence Italy. The original leather telescope that we have replicated could become as important, in later years, as the pure research telescopes. There are at least two compelling reasons that come to mind for this.

     The first reason is because this telescope, exists because it was beautifully built. It used an ingenious wood stave design that allowed the various diameters of the scope to be easily fabricated from the same flexible construction material It was beautifully covered with leather of different colors and embossed with myriad patterns of elegant gold tooling. Since it was a piece of art it undoubtedly was treated with greater consideration which accounts for its long lifetime. So in a sense when you visits the little leather telescope or its replica be assured that Galileo intended it as a work of beautiful art for your deserving eyes and that he is personally offering it to you for your inspection.

    The second reason for its importance is that this piece of art served as a presentation instrument for Galileo when he was announcing his extraordinary findings to those of wealth and power that controlled the financing of his scientific work. He used it as a communicating tool, a grand gift to his sponsor. It still servers in this role today.
    It is a living demonstration that scientists even with their current track record still have to communicate across many borders, perhaps even gild the Lilly as Galileo did, to obtain support for their basic research work. Scientists still have to struggle for endorsements of their studies from the government and public on technically matters of great concern, such as environmental research, stem cell research, etc. It reminds us that science and religion can still be confrontational and that the military is still one of the strongest supporters of science.

     But its greatest value is that it has drawn people together to marvel at the sites to be seen in the sky through two little pieces of glass. There is a macro world out there that is still to be discovered and understood. So this famous little leather telescope, and hopefully also its replica, is still being pressed into the same service today as it was originally by Galileo in 1600. It helps people gain more enjoyment and a better understanding of the universe we share with others.


    Here is a url for a few more details of the trip:
    photos of the telescope, more of the IMSS staff,
    the museum and the country side.

    * Why is it important to make a museum grade replica in its most complete form inside and out? Why spend hundreds of hours of research and building such a replica?

    1st, One can appreciate the telescope more because it is not an almost replica, only skin deep, made out of plastic or cardboard, with an almost correct optics and dimensions. It serves as a more honest display for the public to visit and study.

    2nd, Its a tactile time capsule. It is a more complete record than a digital or paper one It is what the original telescope is today. with all of its modification over the past 400 years. Further, if for some catastrophic reason the original is lost there is at least a precise replica to help keep the record straight as to what it was like in 2006.

    3rd, Its has a greater research and teaching value. The rather unique method in construction of this telescope helps one to judge and understand the mechanical aptitudes of Galileo and his associates.

    4th, It helps one get a clearer picture of the early experimenting in the kinds of materials, tools, and techniques that had been tried for constructing telescopes as a commercial opportunity. It demonstrates another first for Galileo. A type of telescope tube construction that was the forerunner of some of the large polygon wood telescopes. and the use of resin composite construction to make telescope tubes and lens holders more rugged and resistant to the vagaries of moisture and rough handling.

    5 fifth, Then there is the poetry part of life. If one should be the lucky enough to handle and use a faithfully produced replica one would get the full experience that Galileo had when he was using the telescope, the same visual and tactual sensations that Galileo had four hundred years ago. You would find all the good and not so good design and construction issues, the cranky limited field of view, the color and other optical aberration in the image, its firm light weight constructions. Your experience would be an accurate replication of Galileo's experience giving one a more emotional appreciation for Galileo's skill and intuitive nature.

    , From a practical point of view it has higher monetary value if the instrument has been faithfully reproduced.

    There is a second question in replication often brought up for debate.

    After spending all the effort required to produce a museum quality clone inside and out (optics, supporting structure and decorations) does it make sense to destroy all this careful work with sand paper, steel wool, dyes, acids, and alkali solutions in the name of "antiquing" it?

    There are many ways of looking at this question. I've chosen four.

    1 , How would Galileo feel about this? Just put yourself in Galileo's place . You come back to your laboratory after having a tasty lunch and you find that one of your technicians has taken your most beautiful brand new presentation telescope and worked it over to make it look like it's 400 years old. Would you be upset or happy because it no longer shows the quality of materials and craftsmanship you expended?

     Would you want to show this brand new beautiful instrument as a representation of your work or antique it with sand paper, steel wool, dyes, acids, and alkali solutions? At any rate it would not be as disappointing as being put into jail for the rest of your life for interpreting the data from the telescope in a non-Church supported theory.

    2, What would you feel about Galileo's treatment of you? If Galileo were alive today and came to give you, or show you one of his telescopes for the purpose of telling you his story or to convince you to support your local scientist, would you take him more or less seriously if he presented you a with sand papered, steel-woolen, dyed, acid and alkali treated scope or a brand new carefully crafted instrument?

    3,Wouldn't visitors lose a truer connection between themselves and Galileo? Is it not better and more impressive to you or your visitors that when the telescope is presented for your inspection, that you really experience the feeling of what it must have been like to be there when the telescope was first introduced: shiny, new, and grandest in its glory rather than being presented with one that contained all the wear and tear of a four hundred year old instrument?

     4, What about giving respect and honor to those who have given us something of value in the past? Isn't the best way of honoring one of the finest, most famous, though poorly treated early experimental scientists by displaying a beautiful replication of his instrument when it was splendidly new and young just like Galileo, at the top of his world?

    inside an outside. This gives the proud owner a one upsmanship in something very famous and extraordinarily rare.



    Ref 1 The American Heritage Dictionary

    1a. Catalogue of Early Telescopes by Albert Van Helden 1999 Istituto e Museo di Storia Scienza dell Scienza, Firenzze

    2a. Sidereus or The Sidereal Messenger Galileo Galilei Translated with introduction, conclusion, and notes by Albert Van Helden The university of Chicago Press Chicago and London1989


    We thank Paul Valleli of Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston for discussions on adjustments of the focal length of the objective, recommending several source of information and generally paving a path to many resources including contacting Peter Abrahams of the Antique Telescope Society who very kindly supplied the references below. Also the is a well rounded collection of references and relevant information  pictures plus  interesting critiques maintained by Jim Mosher. Tom Pope both experience scientist.

    1, Baxandall, David. Replicas of Two Galileo Telescopes.
    Transactions of the
    Optical Society 25:3, (January 1924) 141-144. (measurements
    Galilean optics)

    2 Pettit, Edison. A Telescope of Galileo. Publications of the
    Society of the Pacific 51 (June 1939) 147-150. (#301) (replica
    by Cipriani)

    3(Galileo) Barr, E. Scott. Men & Milestones in Optics, III: Galileo
    Applied Optics 3:12 (1964) 1321-1328.

    4(Galileo) Drake, Stillman. Galileo Gleanings VI: Galileo's First
    Telescopes at
    Padua and Venice. Isis 50:3 (Sept. 1959) 245-254.

    5(Galileo) Drake, Stillman. Galileo's First Telescopes at Padua
    and Venice. Isis
    50 (1959) 245-54.

    6(Galileo) Greco, Vincenzo, G. Molesini, & F. Quercioli. Optical
    tests of
    Galileo's lenses. Nature 358 (July 9, 1992) 101. <& .pdf>

    6a V. Ronchi "Sopra i cannocchiali di Galileo," L 'Universo 4,791-804(1923)

    7(Galileo) Greco, Vincenzo et. al. Telescopes of Galileo. Applied
    Optics 32 #31
    (Nov. 1993) 6219.

    8(Galileo) Miniati, Mara. Examination of an Antique Telescope.
    Nuncius 9:2
    (1994) 677-682.

    9 (Galileo) Ringwood, Stephen. A Galilean telescope. Quarterly
    Journal of the
    Royal Astronomical Society 35 (1994) 43-50.

    10 (Galileo) Sonnefeld, August. Optical data of Galileo Galilei's
    telescope. Jena Review #6 (1962) 207-212. <.jpg>

    11 (Galileo)Westfall, Richard. Science and Patronage: Galileo and
    the Telescope.
    Isis 76 (1985) 11-30. <& .pdf,.tif>

    12 (Galileo) Zik, Yaakov. Galileo and the Telescope. Nuncius 14:1
    (1999) 31-67.
    13 (Galileo) Dupré, Sven. Galileo, the Telescope, and the Science
    of Optics in the
    Sixteenth Century: A Case Study of Instrumental Practice in Art
    and Science.
    PhD Dissertation, Universiteit Gent, Belgium, 2002. 366pp.
    14 (Galileo) Miniati, Mara, et al. Examination of a terrestrial
    telescope with the
    signature of Galileo. Optik 101:3 (Jan. 1996) 140-142.

    15 (Galileo) Greco, Vincenzo et. al. Modern Optical Testing on the
    Lenses of
    Galileo. pp110-121, Paolo Mazzoldi, ed.; From Galileo's
    Occhialino to
    16 Optoelectronics, conference Padova June 1992; Singapore:
    World Scientific, 1993.

    17 Sidereus Nuncius Galileo Galilei Translated by Albert Van Helden1989 Univ of Chicago. p91

    ref replica Hale had made

    1. Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

      Title: A Telescope of Galileo
      Authors: Pettit, E.
      Journal: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 51, No. 301, p.147
      Bibliographic Code: 1939PASP ..51 .147P ..51 .147P

      When you have time  about 45 minutes Click here for a video of a talk we gave at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CFA) about building Galileo's telescopes With some of the secret we discovered and how Galileo story  fits so well  in today's scientific climate.
      It requires real RealPlayer-----The authors thank Richard Amirault
      very much for taking, editing, and posting  this video for all who  have a passion for science and very beautiful high tech kites.


    The four dimensions of science Time, length, mass, and trust  without  them darkness prevails.

    On the bottom of the tetrahedral is the word trust which is the foundation that  holds  it all together.



    Thoughts about gaining a better reputation for the scientific community

    The scientific method is often called upon by those in the trade, especially teachers, to explain how science works.  "Wikipedia", to some not the best source in the world but one that is often used by the public, says that the definition of this topic has been the subject of intense and recurring debate throughout the history of science. Maybe this why  Google   returns  over 12 million hits on these two words. Many of them   emphasizing more words  phenomena, hypothesis, rationalism, formulating, and peer review. How often do these words appear in the day to day conversation of the Grand majority . Shouldn't we use  a common language to communicate to the grand majority more understanding about what scientist do in their every day work?

    How can some of the best mind in the world that have chosen to work in science developed a cure to this untrue disparaging reputation Why haven't they developed  a practical solution to fixing this simple but damaging issue. Even if the survey is off by a factor of two, how are the scientist to get better funding and public support for their discoveries and their research with a questionable reputation for honesty?

    The authors believe that there is a solution one that fits most people, both students and adults, the smart and the not so smart, those that are not interested and never will be interested in any scientific  principle or instrument, and those who resent the intrusion that science and their proponents makes in their lives.

    This solution includes not just the instrument used in experimental scientific work. They are an important component  but only half of the solution. The other half addresses the  overuse or misuse of common sense in judging how science works. We need afresh look at the built in human condition for not lying in their work and how this is amplified may fold in science.

    • Can you think of the first tool of science,  the most neglected, the most valuable, the most challenged,   tool that scientist have developed ?

    • It is being right !

    • For those that  think not please  Click here

    •  A scientist's  worth (being right) was rapidly  changing in  Galileo's time

    •  from using logic based on words and common sense 

    • to  logic based on  measurements.  of time, length, and mass! 

    • Galileo true worth was his repeated demonstrations  using  measurements from his  instruments and  calculators. to prove his discoveries.
    • This part of Galileo's Story = a very (very)   important but often neglected tool
    • in teaching about trust in science  to children and adults about how scientist have gained and maintain  trust in each other work.


    Notes &Scraps of information putting this website together

    **Galileo; All of his instruments, his measuring skills can  be a valuable rotatable subjects for a permanent  display with many   topics rotated during the month for teaching each student about science and especially trust  in science,  We need such teaching aids  to demonstrate to each  generation, the  true and dramatic story about how scientists do their jobs; The discipline "Thou shall not lie", The dedication , The competition, The  disappointment, The frustration of making your instruments work well and long enough to gather your data. The excitement, The tedium, The drama and The joy of discovery, The importance of responsibility to our discoveries in our partnership with nature, The tragedy of failure in achieving acceptance of ones discoveries.

    It is all there
    represented by his  instruments, "all of them". "If they only could talk"  We must take the opportunity of speaking for them by having and using them to share  their story about  "basic research"  and how it is done.  To some of us The total Galileo Experience, is not taught to its full potential when we teach about  science.  A critical topic trust is Glossed over most of the time by the  excitement of talking about the discoveries.  Is it not time that  we Join  Galileo Galilie in his continuing Battle of teaching
      a  greater Trust  and support  for science   There is a lot of room for imaginative and creative teachers to generate and improve  Galilean demonstrations and displays getting them to talk about their experiences. You will hear us plead over and over again through out  these pages about the trust and accuracy issues. It is that important to all of us. Didn't some one once say " Let there be light".  At the moment it's not shining brightly enough when it comes to the issue of trust. An investment in these very exact replica telescopes for interactive teaching is a wise investment for us and our children's future.

    copy right 10/10/2005 Jim & Rhoda Morris

    All photos and written material are by Jim & Rhoda Morris unless noted otherwise. Free personal and educational use and reproduction is encouraged; Acknowledgement would be appreciated but not necessary. All commercial rights are reserved

    ***The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the people or organization that have sponsored or helped in the project.

    Jim & Rhoda Morris


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