If you’ve been astounded by the recent images from NASA’s New Horizons flyby of Pluto but can’t wait for the next super-sharp image to wing its way to NASA, there’s some good news for you.
Using a 3D printer, you can now build your own powerful telescope at home. It may not be able to snap the famous dwarf planet, but you should be capable of collecting a pretty impressive montage of closer objects.
Developed at the London-based Open Space Agency (OSA), the Ultrascope is a telescope with an open source design that can be downloaded and constructed inexpensively at home.
“The idea is that you use one screw and an Allen key and then you can literally just get the parts and then construct it,” said designer James Parr, speaking to Science Magazine. “The whole thing can be built for about £200 so the idea is really to make the cost as low as possible.”
The telescope can be operated using an accompanying app on a smartphone, and images can be taken through the telescope using a smartphone camera.
The OSA will unveil a prototype model at the San Diego Maker Faire in California this October. A larger, more powerful model will later be released and available for download, which will be able to view near-Earth objects.
[H/T: Science Magazine]