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Compact Design Weighing merely 69 ounce, the Celestron FirstScope features a portable table-top design, making it a perfect travel companion, whether you are camping in the woods, or relaxing under the stars in your own backyard. Set-up is a breeze thanks to its minimalist design. What worth a mention is that the Celestron FirstScope pays tribute to Galileo Galilei and many of history’s most notable astronomers and scientists by displaying their names around the optical tube.
Powerful Performance The Celestron FirstScope incorporates a quality Dobsonian reflector with 76 mm aperture and 300 mm focal length. The impressive magnification capability brings objects up to 75 times closer than your naked eyes can see. Combined with the sturdy table-top stand, the Celestron FirstScope is excellent for terrestrial, lunar and planetarium observation.
This review is from: CELESTRON FirstScope Binoculars
Pros: Better than cheap refracting telescopes you often see for around the same price sold in department stores. Has a reasonably sturdy base. You can switch between the two included eyepieces without losing your place.
You can see great detail on the moon, and the moons of Jupiter. The Orion nebula shows a bit of detail. The double-cluster shows more stars than can be seen with the naked eye.
Sets realistic expectations - amateur telescopes don't show Hubble-quality images.
3" is a small aperture for a telescope that uses mirrors. The included eyepieces are low quality. No reliable way to calibrate the mirrors, or even to reliably know what you are pointing it at.
Jupiter itself is just a white ball, and Saturn doesn't really show it's rings (with the included eyepieces). A few of the brighter deep sky objects can be glimpsed, if you manage to get the scope aimed correctly, but rarely can detail be seen.
Other Thoughts: To me, the true value of this thing is to allow you to safely know how much of an astronomer you are. Astronomy is a pretty expensive hobby, and if you jump in on a whim and decide later it's not for you, it's better to have spent little on a scope like this rather than $400 on a huge light-bucket you'll never use.
I got the Firstscope near the end of summer '09. It was exciting at first, but after a night or two spent looking at the same craters on the moon and the tiny points of light that represent Jupiter's moons, I bought a relatively cheap set of eyepieces because I wanted to see more. It worked... a bit. I could zoom in closer to the moon, but Jupiter was still just a white ball no matter how high I magnified it.
I used the scope sparingly until Saturn was rising in the night sky. The included eyepieces showed nothing, but using the ones I bought showed hints of being able to see *something* if it had less atmospheric distortion (objects near the horizon are harder to see). Finally, one night, just before a bank of clouds rolled in, at 150x mag., I was able to see the rings of Saturn.
As before, I became tired of barely being able to see it. As soon as I could, I ended up buying a $400 light-bucket and haven't regretted it once. It's one thing to know textbook figures about the universe and to see Hubble images on your computer, but seeing it yourself, knowing that space is more than words on a page or pixels on a screen is what keeps me stargazing.
So if you're a little bit interested in seeing space up close, get one of these. Whether you end up being fascinated by what you can see or simply being bored by sitting around the yard at night, the Firstscope has done it's job by letting you know.
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