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121 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for little stargazers
I teach astronomy, and I have a pretty sophisticated Bushnell telescope I use myself. My 7-year-old gets a little frustrated with it because it's pretty sensitive. She was so excited to get her own telescope to check out the night sky with mom!! It's very easy for her to manipulate, and she is excited every time we find new things in the sky!! The Activity Journal is very...
Published 15 months ago by Stacey B

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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Recommended: Parents Please Do a Little Homework
Two Quick Points:

First, the best advice for first time telescope buyers is to attend a "star party" given by an astronomy club in your location and speak with some of the more experienced amateur astronomers there. You'll be invited to look through members' telescopes and you'll come away with a first-hand appreciation of what to expect in the areas of...
Published 6 months ago by JC


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121 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for little stargazers, June 18, 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
I teach astronomy, and I have a pretty sophisticated Bushnell telescope I use myself. My 7-year-old gets a little frustrated with it because it's pretty sensitive. She was so excited to get her own telescope to check out the night sky with mom!! It's very easy for her to manipulate, and she is excited every time we find new things in the sky!! The Activity Journal is very engaging, simply written, and has a lot of interesting facts & pictures to stimulate kids to explore more. I think every child should own one of these!!

To the negative reviewer...this is CLEARLY a telescope made for children and young adults. Nowhere does it claim to be a professional telescope. If you are looking for a high end telescope, you are certainly going to pay more than this list price!!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED by my children!, September 1, 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
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In the days of Ipad's and advanced computer games, very rarely do we encounter a "non-electronic" children's toy that simply captivates our child's attention. This "toy" did just that. However, unlike many other toy's, this toy brings a distinct educational value to the mix.

The MoonScope comes well packaged in such a manner that upon first presentation, my child was enthralled. Assembly was very easy with solid instructions and children can easily help in this regard. While I found the MoonScope well made, I do have a durability concern when used by 5-9 year olds, who can be rough on all products. The focusing knobs also do not operate that smoothly, but it does operate well enough and with a little well placed WD-40, the mechanism was much smoother. I would suggest teaching children to use this product with a little care. I did this by explaining it was really more of a scientific instrument rather than a traditional toy. They got it pretty quick. The LED light came in very handy to read the guide without ruining night vision (you will need two AAA batteries). The included journal and activity guide seem very useful and our daughter immediately took to them.

After some basic initial instruction, my 6 year old daughter was able to use the MoonScope independently. The two provided eyepieces provide varying magnificent and are surprisingly effective. The tripod is very lightweight, so it is important you instruct children to not touch the telescope once it is sighted in to the selected object. I actually attached a sandbag (used to stabilize my photography light stands) to the tripod to provide a little more stability. It seems to work. Perhaps the most important thing- the telescope actually works and works very well. Once sighted in to the moon with the higher magnifying piece, our daughter could not take her eyes off the moon. Afterwards, she went on the Internet to research the moon and look at high resolution images.

In summation, excellent product with a very high educational value.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The vote is in, "The eyes have it" ... you should too!, June 13, 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
I am a big fan of my 90X MoonScope Telescope with two glass eyepieces, a moon filter, tripod and red LED that allows you to journal while protecting your night vision. You need to know that if you are an MIT Fellow on loan to NASA, this is not the industrial strength instrument you are looking for. That is NOT a problem! I was not planning on paying hundred's, and the quality is more than required to give any budding astronomer a great experience. The MoonScope is well constructed, described and accompanied by instructions which explain its usefulness to the scientific method. Whether looking at craters and mountains on the lunar surface or checking out constellations, the richness of the set is tied to the use of the included Activity Journal. Having completed suggested exercises and experiments, you then use words and drawings to document your learnings. You will be startled by your first views of the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter - but be ready for some real merrymaking-with-the-moon. Identify specific named features like the Copernicus Crater, see where the lunar module landed back in 1969 near the Apennine Mountains, use your journal to record the phases and changes in the moon over the month. I'm planning on checking out phenomena highlighted on the internet and in other media. For example this June Mercury, Venus and Saturn are all visible for about an hour after sunset. I got this for my grandkids who are coming to town this July, so glad I have it early for this June's stellar fireworks!
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Recommended: Parents Please Do a Little Homework, March 17, 2014
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
Two Quick Points:

First, the best advice for first time telescope buyers is to attend a "star party" given by an astronomy club in your location and speak with some of the more experienced amateur astronomers there. You'll be invited to look through members' telescopes and you'll come away with a first-hand appreciation of what to expect in the areas of capability, price and availability. You'll also get an idea of what quality and durability looks like in a telescope. And you'll get an feel for what your child might be able to handle.

Second, even a bare-as-bone telescope designed for a beginner can be expensive. For example, what might be called the standard telescope for a moderately interested amateur astronomer, a six-inch Dobsonian reflector, will cost over $200. And for what some people might call high-end or professional telescopes the prices begin in the thousands.

This may be why the time-honored advice given by experienced amateur astronomers to the parental question what should I get for a child just taking an interest in the sky has been a pair of binoculars and a good star map or beginner's book, such as "Turn Left at Orion". Most binoculars have acceptable optical performance, are relatively inexpensive and will still be of some use if the astronomy interest doesn't pan out.

But practically all beginners want a bona fide telescope, an instrument that will "really show something". So there is a market for small telescopes aimed at beginners and children and these can vary in quality. Some are just a waste of money. Frankly, almost all of them will show lunar craters, Jupiter's four Galilean moons and Jupiter's two prominent cloud bands on a good night. While all of these telescopes - good and bad - make compromises to be affordable, they should also meet some basic requirements.

I can't recommend Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope because there are a number of beginner telescopes roughly in the same price range, for example Celestron's 70mm Travel Scope or their Cometron FirstScope that are better constructed and will perform better. Further, the Moonscope has a number of basic failings which make it unsuitable, especially for a child with little or no experience using a telescope.

The Moonscope has a clear aperture of 45mm (the diameter of its lens). Both of the Celestron units are larger in aperture which means they will resolve details more clearly and capture more light giving a brighter image. They are both sturdier and should be easier to use. Both will accept some standard accessories if a child's astronomy interest grows.

Here are some basic requirements that any telescope should meet:

1. A TELESCOPE SHOULD BE RIGIDLY MOUNTED. The legs of the Moonscope are plastic and will easily transfer vibrations should they or the surface on which the scope is set up be bumped. Also because the Moonscope and its tripod are extremely light a good breeze will give it the shakes. Few things are more aggravating than trying to observe something through a vibrating telescope. Having to "fight the telescope" could really deaden a child's interest. All beginners telescopes have this problem, but it's especially obvious with the Moonscope due to its light weight plastic construction.

2. A FINDER SCOPE SHOULD CLEARLY SHOW AND HELP PINPOINT A TARGET. Like the cross hairs on a rifle, a telescope finder helps you point the more powerful main scope at a target which would be difficult or impossible to center using the main scope alone. Usually, they are adjustable, but the finder on the Moonscope is not. It's a pre-aligned plastic tube that's partially closed at one end. Unfortunately, it's next to useless. It totally distorts the image of the Moon and using it to point the Moonscope at Jupiter, a really bright star-like object, was just about impossible. I gave up and pointed the telescope by sighting up the main tube - a skill picked up over the years. Most beginner scopes include a small telescopic finder. An adequate finder should be considered a necessity if a child is to use the telescope.

3. A TELESCOPE SHOULD HAVE GOOD OPTICS. The optics in the Moonscope are plastic. Telescope optics are almost universally ground glass. That, in itself, should be an indication that this is a full step below what is normal, even in some pretty bad telescopes. The Moonscope comes with two eyepieces, a 20mm and a 4mm. The view through the 20mm is acceptable, but the image produced by a binocular of comparable magnification is significantly brighter and sharper. And when compared to the image produced by a slightly larger, more expensive telescope with better eyepieces, the Moonscope image is clearly inferior.

The 4mm eyepiece indicated as giving a magnification of 90 is a bit of a disaster. First that power is at the upper limit for a scope of this small size. Even with an expensive telescope of this size with perfect optics and great seeing conditions, the views you'll normally get using this power will be disappointing - a bit dark and "mushy". But the Moonscope 4mm eyepiece is far from optically perfect. Move the object you're viewing to the edge of the field of view and it turns into a "blob". After using the 4mm a few times, I just stopped using it.

Also eyepieces for modern astronomical telescopes come in two standard diameters, 1.25 and 2 inches. The Moonscope eyepieces are smaller and non-standard. You have only the two eyepieces that come with the Moonscope. Starter scopes, such as those mentioned above, use standard eyepieces so other eyepieces with different magnifications or fields of view (and things like filters which go with them) can be added later.

A NITPICK. The Moonscope comes with a permanently attached star diagonal (the device that bends the light path 90 degrees and accepts the eyepieces). A diagonal presents a "mirror" image of what you're viewing. North is north, south is south, but east and west are reversed. This is mentioned in the activity journal that comes with the Moonscope. However, the lunar chart in the activity journal shows the Moon in its normal orientation. This could be confusing for a youngster trying to navigate the lunar surface and identify its features.

FINALLY. Sparking a child's interest in astronomy is a laudable goal. It can lead to a lifetime of interest, activity or in some cases, even a profession. Taking a bit of care with regard to the tools a child will use to explore the sky for the first time can make all the difference. You can easily do better than this.

By the way, this review - and I assume some others you can read here - was done after receiving a complimentary Moonscope for review.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great telescope for budding young astronomers, December 12, 2013
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
I'm an amateur astronomer with several telescopes of my own. Our astronomy group goes out to schools, public libraries, and busy street corners to let people see the wonders of the night sky. When I'm out and about with my telescope I'm often asked how much it costs. The price tag is around $400 for my telescope. As an alternative to that, I got one of Nancy B's MoonScopes to see how it performs so I could steer budding young astronomers towards something much more affordable.

When I got the MoonScope and opened the box I was impressed right away. The body is made of sturdy plastic, but the eyepieces and lenses are made of glass. That's important because it gives sharper views of your astronomical targets. It took me less than 5 minutes to put together. The instruction book that comes with it is very clear and easy to understand. But the big test of its quality would be to actually set it up and use it.

I followed the instructions in the accompanying activity book and tried it out during the day to familiarize myself with its functions before I took it out at night. I practiced aiming it at a tree top about 2 blocks from my home. It was quick and simple to do and I could see lots of sharp details. I brought it back out later that night to give it a true test drive.

I started out by using the 20mm eyepiece and looking at Jupiter. I easily saw the bright disk of the planet and the 4 Galilean moons. Switching to the 4mm eyepiece was a snap and I could see the two main cloud bands that cross Jupiter's surface. After that I pushed the envelope to try and view a deep sky object and pointed it at the Great Nebula of Orion. I was astonished! I couldn't believe that this small "kids" telescope was able to pick up the faint gas cloud in Orion's dagger, even in light polluted Los Angeles!

By that time the moon had popped up over the horizon. The 20mm eyepiece let me see the entire visible portion. The 4mm eyepiece let me focus on craters and mountain ranges in much more detail.

I took the scope out on one of our group library outings and set it up for visitors to use. My friend had her large telescope set up nearby and was showing really close views of the moon. I then invited them to try Nancy B's MoonScope. Compared to my friend's telescope, it was the difference between a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. People came over and were reluctant, but gave it a try anyway. While the parents were dubious, the kids were happy to take a look. The first boy who looked at the moon through the 20mm eyepiece said "Whoa!" His mom looked incredulous. I suggested she take a look. Her reaction was "WOW!" All the others who looked through it had similar responses.

I told the parents how I used it to look at Jupiter and the Orion Nebula. When they asked me how much it cost, it was the parents turn to say "Whoa!" Everyone who looked wanted to know where to get it.

The one drawback is that the body of the scope is lightweight. One bump and it makes the image of what you're looking at vibrate for several seconds. If used carefully though, it is something that can be overcome.

Everything about the MoonScope is well thought out; the design, the ease of use, the red LED light for reading charts at night, the glow-in-the-dark feature of the spotting scope. The accompanying activity book is packed with info, and it's fun and engaging. It will give your young astronomer things to do that will keep them interested in science and using the telescope. I've already recommended it to a friend who asked me about getting a telescope for her son for Christmas.

At the time I wrote this there were only 2 sellers listed - $149.99 and $929.99. I thought it was a typo and checked out their pages. It wasn't. To get the best price, buy it at Educational Insights.com. Use the search function on their website and look for "Moonscope" (without the quotes).
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for science minded girls 8+, June 5, 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
My 9 year old daughter loves this moonscope. Within minutes of receiving it she was already filling out the journal and planning what she wanted to look at that evening! She took it out the first night with her 7 year old brother and they were identifying different constellations and planets. They are already looking forward to using it hopefully tomorrow night when the weather clears up - they already have it lined up outside the back window ready to go for tomorrow and have borrowed a star gazing book from the library to help them.

Good things about this product:
- easy to use
- engaging materials/book comes along with it
- seems pretty high quality and accurate
- attractive price point
- specifically appeals to girls
- very easy to put together - she put it together all by herself

Great product and a great gift for any girl interested in astronomy or science.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice experience to introduce your kid to using a telescope., December 1, 2013
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
The scope's optical quality is quite good, I haven't seen any disturbing chromatic aberration.However, the indicated magnification rates does not seem so correct. With 4mm lens I could see something like 60x at most. Lens qualities are quite ok but the field of view of the oculars might be better if they were a little wider. With this telescope you can be able to see moon's crater, four moons of Jupiter (also its two equatorial bands), crescent shape of Venus or rings of Saturn very clearly but it may be a little difficult to adjust the telescope and get them in view (moon is exception).

The tripod seems so light, with a little shake the field of view immediately slides. You need to be extra careful no to touch the telescope and this may be a little difficult for children who are newbie in observing the nightsky. Therefore binoculars might be better for them. However, the red light located under the scope is really a good idea and it can be very useful under the dark skies in order to not disturb the night adaptation of the eyes.

It is a good idea to use a finderscope without magnification but it would be better if the tube was longer and the pointing cross might be thinner especially for the planets so that you can align the telescope acurately.

The Activity Journal is well written and I really appreciated its style and the pictures, illustrations, tables etc. inside. If you are a little isolated from astronomy even you can benefit from it too.

The name of the product is Moonscope so if your only purpose is to observe the moon this might be a nice choice for your kid. It can be a little challanging for the planets and other stuffs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, January 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
This was purchased for my 6-year old grandson. He loves it. It's a great starter telescope and has gotten him and his friends interested in the stars. This is just what he needed at his young age and if he continues to show interest we will purchase a more powerful telescope as he ages. For now, this is great.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Star, December 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
A Christmas gift for my five year old astrologer and a real hit with him and his cousins. Zero degrees out and they bundled into winter outdoor gear to experience the stars. Wonderful memories.
One of the turning gears was broken off but it did not interfere with the pleasure of the children.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the price, a good introduction to astronomy and telescopes., November 22, 2013
By 
Justin Fuller (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Educational Insights Nancy B'S Science Club Moonscope And Sky Gazers Activity Journal (Toy)
This may look like just a toy, but this scope has very good optics for this price range. Looking at the moon I noticed little false color, very comparable to $200 to $300 refractor telescopes I've looked through. This scope is a cut above most of the overpriced scopes you see at sporting goods stores that claim 600 times magnification. Most impressive is the 20mm eyepiece which has very good eye relief, allowing you to see the entire field of view even with glasses on. The 4mm eyepiece requires you to place your eye very close to eye lens, this means no eye glasses while looking through it. The extra magnification of the 4mm eyepiece opens up a whole new level of detail on the moon however, compared to the 20mm. The included Moon filter did very little to dim the brightness of the moon, and is probably not really necessary. The little red light is a nice bonus, especially since it's impossible to loose. The included material has just enough information to fascinate, but not overwhelm, a child of eight or so. Though the books are made for 8+ ages, I think this scope could be handled by a five or six year old. As the name implies this is a MOON scope, but with the 4mm eyepiece, things like the moons of Jupiter and some star clusters will be visible even through city light pollution. The best thing about this scope is that I think it is user friendly enough to leave a child interested and wanting more; parents, start saving up for a big telescope once they catch the astronomy bug!
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