Posted by: Jason | September 16, 2009

Stargazing for $20 dollars or less

I’m sure many of You readers have heard about the Galileoscope by now,  and I thought I would give a short review.

First of all, it is a good telescope.  It assembles easily and is very durable, a needed feature when dealing with kids.  It produces very clean images.  We have been having fun looking at Jupiter and its satellites every night for over a week!

Some things to be aware of:

  1. You have to put in a little practice sighting objects in the sky and then focusing on them.  It took me about an hour to get really good at it.
  2. You really should consider a good camera or telescope tripod.  Even if You get good and hand sighting and focusing, your kids will likely get frustrated before they get to see anything cool!  The key is steady legs and as little shaking as possible.
  3. The telescope produces an upside down image.  Not a big deal, but something You have to get used to.
  4. The Galileoscope website also has an observing guide that is very helpful and easy enough for kids to read.

If you or your kids are new to astronomy, this is really a great point of entry!  The scopes cost $20, and they are even less if you are gifting a scope to someone else.  With optics good enough to observe our moon and every planet in the solar system, its a steal!

There is a little practice needed, so when You get your scope, take some time with it and familiarize yourself with the sky. You will be glad You did, and Your kids will love it!

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Responses

  1. Seconded, Jason.

    We got our G’Scopes (one for each kid) right before we were leaving for Dragon*Con. It was kind of frustrating to have to wait to put them together, but they’re great. I haven’t dug out the tripod yet, but I totally agree. It’s hard enough to find things as an adult who is somewhat used to using a scope. My kids can’t find a thing.

    I’m really looking forward to the moon being up in the evenings again, starting in another week or so. I saw it the first night I had the G’Scope together, but it was like 1:00 AM, so I didn’t wake the kids. 😉

  2. Yeah, I can tell You I’m getting much more use I’m getting now that I hooked it up to a sturdy tripod. And there’s nothing wrong with mainly observing the moon! There’s a lot to see, there are maps of the moon… the online guide is a great resource!

  3. How serendipitous! I had done a blog post about viewing Jupiter recently and a commenter asked about telescopes (and whether the good ones are expensive), and you just happened to post on FB about your FL Citizens for Science article the same evening, which, then, led me here, and I was able to just tell her to come here and read your post so I didn’t have to answer. LOL!


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