Thursday, December 4, 2014


We got a telescope through a charter school program last year, but we still had it in the box, so during this unit after we talked about lenses seemed like the perfect time to finally get it out and put it together. It's this telescope, and we haven't used it much for stars yet, but we did have fun learning how it worked and experimenting with looking at signs and trees and things.
Poor Daisy got tired of waiting for her turn. Seems like she always has to wait for the older children!
(Our cousin Michael was visiting, too)
The innovations that have been made in telescopes and lenses in the last several years are just amazing. We read lots of books about some of the new space telescopes, and we always love looking at pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope!

We learned about liquid mirror telescopes made of mercury, which I had never heard of. Apparently these liquid mirrors are a lot cheaper to make than the huge, flawless mirrors they need to grind for other telescopes (and which can take years to get smooth enough). But the liquid mirrors have a few problems too (e.g. they can't be tilted).

This video of a spinning parabolic mercury mirror demonstrates how it works on a small scale.

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