Finally finished my telescope. After an initial failure with nested cardboard tubes,plan B is a collapsible, skeletonized stripped-down 10-inch reflecting scope using the mirror I ground in the 80's with John Dobson. I wanted it to be both a receiver and transmitter to allow two-way interaction with the universe, so it is a telescope, a planetarium (using an old world globe as the planet), a beacon when a flashlite shines light down into the mirror, a mildly distorting mirror for personal reflection. An observer can take the incoming images and transmit ideas. With the globe on top and the center stabilizer ring in place, it has an alien/robotic look. A plumb-bob helps with vertical adjustment, and has a Foucault pendulum property. Glow-in-dark paint inside the globe gives a version of earth-glow.
Outer case has forged sun/moon hinges on top, and forged zodiac symbols around the sides. Seeing light from space is looking back in time, so this is also a time machine. An arrow of time at the top opening has 14.6 billion years marked back to the big bang. I was inspired by the eclipse, so there is an eclipsable sun on the inner cover.
This was frustrating to build, and not a very highly functional instrument, but I still like the idea. Another addition to the puzzling objects my kids will have to deal with.