El Camino College       Astronomy 13       Telescope Making  Course Outline         Spring 2013

Section 1086 meets Tuesdays at 6:00-9:10 PM in Physics 102. 

Instructor:  Perry Hacking; Office Planetarium; (310) 660-3593 (x3245); Office Hours: Mondays - Wednesdays 11:15 - 12:30; Tuesdays  12:00-1:00, Saturdays 1:30 - 2:30 (in Physics 102).  Email: phacking@elcamino.edu

Text: How to Make a Telescope, by Jean Texereau

Tutor:  Tutor Information

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites, but you should be able to take a simple algebraic function and make a graph of it.

Course Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes: In general, the objective of the course is for you to make your own telescope and use it to look at the Universe!  The official course objectives and SLO can be found at: Astronomy 13 Course Objectives

Description:  This the greatest class ever!  In this class you will actually make the optics (and assemble the rest of the telescope) with your own hands!  Did you know that you can make a better telescope than you can buy?  Here is the official course description:  In this course, the student will be introduced to principles of astronomical optics. The student will apply those principles to the design, fabrication, and use of a telescope, which will be tested under the night sky. Primary mirrors will be ground, smoothed, polished, and figured by hand. Extensive testing will be done in the optical shop. Optics and optical testing theories will be presented. Students will design and build a custom optical tube assembly and telescope mount.
Note: Minimum cost for a completed telescope is $350.

I will give about 12 lectures during the semester, each will last about 90 minutes.  The rest of the time you will use to make your own telescope mirror.  The optics shop will also be open on most Saturdays for you to work on your mirror and telescope.  I will describe all of this the first night of class.

There are 100 points possible in the class.  There will be two homework assignments given, each is worth 10 points.  The progress that you make with your telescope mirror constitutes the remaining 80 points as follows:

50 points for grinding and smoothing your mirror.

10 points for making your pitch lap

20 points for progress made figuring your mirror.

These terms will be made clear in the course. 

The grading scale is as folows: > 90 points is an A, > 80 is a B, > 65 is a C, > 50 is a D.

Disabilities:  If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me as soon as possible..

Warning: this class can be addicting.  Many of my students are return students that are working on bigger and better telescopes...

Here is a typical first telescope made in our class.  Lyman did a great job with the finish.

Here is a much bigger telescope (this monster scope was Joe Haberman's third.  He decided to quit his job and now makes telescopes for a living).