Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy with the Galileoscope!

I've been looking to get into some astronomy of late and this post may be of interest to anyone in that same mood. Or, for those who are looking for a good gift for a budding astronomer.

Today I received two Galileoscopes in the mail. They are low cost telescopes that seem perfect for amateur astronomers. Here is the product description from their site.

The Galileoscope™ is a high-quality, low-cost telescope kit developed for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 by a team of leading astronomers, optical engineers, and science educators. No matter where you live, with this easy-to-assemble, 50-mm (2-inch) diameter, 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor, you can see the celestial wonders that Galileo Galilei first glimpsed 400 years ago and that still delight stargazers today. These include lunar craters and mountains, four moons circling Jupiter, the phases of Venus, Saturn's rings, and countless stars invisible to the unaided eye. As of August 10, 2009, the kit is priced at U.S. $20 each plus shipping for 1 to 99 units, or U.S. $15 each plus shipping for 100 units or more (see below).

My wife and I had been shopping for either good binoculars or a cheap telescope to help us get started in sky gazing. For a novice, it was very confusing and we weren't sure what we needed. I proposed some binoculars and attend a star party or two. Actually, a few websites recommended that to me, which I then passed along to the wife. But then I stumbled upon the Bad Astronomers blog post regarding these.

Phil Plait also gave a favorable review here. He summarizes thusly:

All in all the Galileoscope is a good piece of equipment. It’s not hard to assemble, and if you have a tripod and some measure of patience it will allow you view large bright objects. You won’t go galaxy hopping with it, and the inverted view makes bird-spotting hard too. But it serves the purpose it was designed to do: get astronomy in the hands of people everywhere for a very low price.

Well, that sold me and so I bought two. Unfortunately, the only thing in the sky tonight worth looking at was Jupiter, and without a tripod it was difficult to find and then keep the planet within view. I'm ordering a cheap tripod off of Amazon.com that is only $15 and somebody gave it a review based on their use of it with their, you guessed it, Galileoscope.

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I'm pretty excited and I wanted to share this with you all at Think Atheist that maybe were thinking of dabbling into some astronomy. If you do order, however, be aware that shipping times can be long. I ordered mine in late September and just received it, so that wasn't too bad. However, I read where others who had ordered earlier waited much longer, mostly due to production not being able to keep up with demand. Also, the instructions that come with it for assembly are woefully lacking. You can go to their site, however, and find a more comprehensive guide.

And in case this came across too much like a sales pitch, I assure you, I will see no residuals or commissions....unfortunately.

Views: 9

Comment by Dave G on October 19, 2009 at 10:42pm
I picked up two of these at the Star Party at DragonCon, and as a bonus was able to get them signed by Phil Plait and Pamela Gay. :)
Comment by Reggie on October 19, 2009 at 11:18pm
This is why you are my evil twin.
Comment by Shine on October 19, 2009 at 11:48pm
Nice find! I have been looking for something like this; astronomy is fascinating, but telescope shopping is a daunting task. Now I just need to move to a part of town where I can safely be outside in the dark, lol...
Comment by Dave G on October 20, 2009 at 11:45am
@Shine Not to mention a place that is dark enough to see anything. :)
Comment by Shine on October 20, 2009 at 5:03pm
Good point, Dave. I swear I live in an area that has just enough civilization to be removed from nature, yet not enough civilization to be removed from overbearing religion.
Comment by Dave G on October 20, 2009 at 5:58pm
That describes most of the cities in the south. :)
Comment by Reggie on October 20, 2009 at 7:36pm
I don't imagine I'll see much more than the brightest and biggest objects in the night sky where I am. Too much light pollution.

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