Amateur astronomer Douglas Smith took a course on DIY telescopes and ended up creating a 10-foot monster with great optics and portability. Click through the gallery to see his creation, which makes it possible to see the rings of Saturn or Jupiter's moons.
The base of Smith's FirstLight telescope consists of a mirror box (top) that contains the primary 16.5-inch mirror, along with an integrated cooling fan. The swiveling rocker box (below) has altitude and azimuth degree indicators on etched Plexiglass that are illuminated with red LEDs.
In travel mode, the upper tube assembly nests in the mirror box (middle), which sits in the rocker box. The wheels and poles allow maker Douglas Smith to haul it in and out of a pickup truck with a ramp.