Current Affairs

Young Jamaican Astronomers to Benefit from a Donation of Galileoscopes

Photo courtesy of AAJ
Photo courtesy of AAJ

“Nothing piques a child’s interest in astronomy as 
effectively as looking through a telescope she/he built herself/himself.”

400 Galileoscopes have been donated to Jamaica in a joint project between the Astronomical Association of Jamaica (AAJ), the Ministry of Education and the UWI Physics Department.

For the International Year of Astronomy 2009 , the AAJ has embarked on a program of establishing Astronomy Clubs in schools around Jamaica, to be called “Astro Clubs”.  The first such club was established at Campion College last year and has been a great success resulting in one student winning an International Essay Competition.

Recently, a “Star Party” was held at Campion  put on by their Astro Club.  At the party, one of the students who had just looked through a telescope at the stars commented that “It’s like something was covering my vision”.  The AAJ would like to make this young astronomer’s eye-opening experience available to many more youngsters.  And so, the AAJ is donating  Galileoscopes to schools upon their registration of  Astro clubs.

According to “the Galileoscope can enable anyone to see the celestial wonders that Galileo first glimpsed 400 years ago and that still delight stargazers today, including lunar mountains and craters, Jupiter’s moons, the phases of Venus and Saturn’s rings. The Galileoscope incorporates features such as achromatic optics, stray-light rejection and a 1.25-inch focuser normally found only on more expensive telescopes. “

“As of May 2009, 60 000 Galileoscopes have been produced, 4000 of which will be donated to organisations and schools in developing countries, in collaboration with the Developing Astronomy Globally Cornerstone project. Sharing observations through the Galileoscope with as many people as possible, and encouraging parents, teachers, students, and others to think about their importance, supports one of the main goals of IYA2009: to promote widespread access to new knowledge and observing experiences.” (

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) named 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy marking the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observation through a telescope by Galileo.

According to “Astronomy is one of the oldest fundamental sciences. It continues to make a profound impact on our culture and is a powerful expression of the human intellect. Huge progress has been made in the last few decades. One hundred years ago we barely knew of the existence of our own Milky Way. Today we know that many billions of galaxies make up our Universe and that it originated approximately 13.7 billion years ago. One hundred years ago we had no means of knowing whether there were other solar systems in the Universe. Today we know of more than 200 planets around other stars in our galaxy and we are moving towards an understanding of how life might have first appeared. One hundred years ago we studied the sky using only optical telescopes and photographic plates. Today we observe the Universe from Earth and from space, from radio waves to gamma rays, using cutting edge technology.”

For more info see the Galileo Teacher Training Program: bringing astronomy into the classroom

See recent photos from the renovated Hubble and check out the the Caribbean Institute of Astronomy

For a Galileoscope assembly video see

For more info, pls. contact Errol Rickman –

Previous post

Kingston's Water Woes

Next post

L'Acadco's 26th Season Features Patsy Ricketts


  1. January 24, 2015 at 10:08 pm — Reply

    This is my first time visit at here and i am really pleassant to read everthing at alone

  2. August 30, 2014 at 9:03 am — Reply

    I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a lot of
    time writing, i know how to save you a lot of
    time, there is an online tool that creates unique, google
    friendly articles in seconds, just search in google – laranitas free content source

  3. July 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm — Reply

    I see a lot of interesting articles on your page. You have to spend a lot of time writing,
    i know how to save you a lot of work, there
    is a tool that creates unique, google friendly posts in couple
    of minutes, just type in google – laranita’s free content

  4. Norma Portoeous
    March 6, 2014 at 3:32 pm — Reply

    My daughter, Cedella Brown, who attends Westwood High School, has an interest in astrology. She would like to get a telescope and would also like to be a member of the ‘Astro Club’. Can you tell me where in Jamaica I can get her involved in this club and also a telescope?

  5. marguerite curtin
    May 17, 2013 at 8:08 am — Reply

    Shortly after Kingston was founded in 1692, a man built an observatory in the town. It had no windows but there was an opening in the roof.

    Later, it was turned into the town’s gaol. Have you any information on these early brginnings of the sturdy of astronoomy in Jamaica?

  6. Christopher Williams
    August 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm — Reply

    My son Roujel Williams, has a an interest in astrology and would to get a telescope.

    Can you tell me where in Jamaica i can get one? and what is the cost for one?


    Christopher Williams

  7. dale miller
    January 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm — Reply

    how can i become a member of the jamaica astronomical organization

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *