Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Celebrate History And The Universe With FirstScope!

Today marks the anniversary of Galileo's telescope. 400 years ago today, on 25 August 1609, the Italian astronomer and philosopher Galilei Galileo showed Venetian merchants his new creation, a simple telescope. This simple scope marked the beginning, and many scopes followed. The creation of telescopes led to many remarkable discoveries. The telescope brought Galileo scientific immortality.
To honor Galileo and all the influential star-gazing men and women that came after, Celestron created FirstScope. These men and women and all their discoveries helped shape our view of the universe. FirstScope was named Official Product of International Year of Astronomy 2009 and it is a wonderful keepsake. FirstScope will be appreciated by both novice and long-time enthusiasts. The high quality Dobsonian style stand with a 76 mm reflector optical tube make FirstScope an ideal entry level astronomical telescope .
OPTICAL DESIGN: Dobsonian ReflectorAPERTURE: 76 mm (2.99 in)FOCAL LENGTH: 300 mm (11.81 in)FOCAL RATIO: 3.95EYEPIECE 1: 20 mm (0.79 in)MAGNIFICATION 1: 15 xEYEPIECE 2: 4 mm (0.16 in)MAGNIFICATION 2: 75 xWEIGHT: 69 oz (1956.12 g)
The accessory kit can be purchased separately. It includes:
* 12.5 mm Eyepiece – 1.25" – Increases the power to 24x which makes it easier to find and observe some objects that require more magnification. * 6 mm Eyepiece – 1.25" – This eyepiece increases the power to 50x which boosts the magnification up higher to see more detail of faint objects. * Moon Filter – 1.25" – A moon filter reduces the brightness of the moon and improves contrast so that greater detail can be observed on the lunar surface. The filter has threads on it which screw into the bottom of the eyepieces. * 5x24 Finderscope & bracket – This finderscope with bracket will make it easier to locate astronomical objects with the FirstScope telescope because of its much wider field of view and low magnification. Installation is simple with no tools necessary. * CD-ROM – "The SkyX" – Lets you explore and develop an understanding of basic astronomy. This full featured planetarium software is capable of printing star charts, displaying beautiful astronomical photos, helps you to identify planets and stars,learn the constellations, and much more. Operating Systems: Windows XP and Vista, as well as MAC 10.4.8 and later. * Nylon Carrying Bag for FirstScope Telescope – Pack your FirstScope telescope and accessories in this tote bag for easy and safe transportation.

Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope gave us a FirstScope and Accessory Kit in exchange for a review. Shipping was fast, and the box arrived without damage. After opening the box, I was relieved that no assembly was required, other that attaching a spotting scope and lens. I am usually not that great with assembly (I hate instruction manuals and they are a last resort) but I could almost put this together with my eyes closed. After setting it up, I admired the beautiful scope. The tube is smooth, and it features the names of astronomers that have made significant discoveries in their field. The scope sits on a stand and it turns with ease. To use FirstScope, simply turn the scope in the desired direction. We patiently awaited a clear night. I took the FirstScope out and set it up on a table. The scope is very lightweight! Searching the sky was fun, although we did not use the spotting scope. The table I was using was average height, and the spotting scope was not in the best position. Next time, I will use a higher table or elevate it somehow. For under $70 (for the scope and accessories) you can see Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, a wonderful view of the moon, and more. I was impressed with the clarity, considering the price. FirstScope is a wonderful value. Visit Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope! The staff is knowledgeable and will help you make sense of the technical details! Just tell them what you are looking for and let them guide you.

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