on May 23, 2008
This is an excellent package for the beginning star gazer, and the toolkit is an appropriate companion to binoculars and first telescopes. The Moon page is highly detailed and educational in so far as locate the Moon's viewing treasures. The Discover the Stars book offers much foundation material including these needful sections written in easy-to-read language and big fonts:
Exploring the Night Sky Throughout the Year, January - December (fantastic section!)
Choosing and Using a Telescope
Exploring the Constellations, with Star Charts & Commentary
Exploring the Moon; Phases & Craters
Exploring the Planets
Learning More About Astronomy & Astro Resources
List of Constellations
The planisphere (star wheel) and the red light are cool bonus features as well. The red light teaches the concept about dark adaption for the eyes, and the star wheel allows one to compare the real night sky with a flexible, adjustable guide.
**NOTE: Children (Age 10 and up) will probably need adult guidance as they enter into star gazing activities.
on May 22, 2013
I ordered this kit to help get started finding things to look at in the sky. The Moon map is pretty self explanatory and is a nice addition. The planishphere is also a helpful addition, but I wish it was made of a more durable material like plastic. It appears to be plastic coated paper. Still, it works well and will be useful when you don't want to carry a whole book into the field.
The included book is the real "star" of this kit. It explains each of the constellations visible as the year goes on. It also has detailed star charts with more informative n in the later chapters. I learned quite a few constellations from the book, enough to recognize some from pictures even. The books only drawback is the monthly sky maps are big enough to fill one page and part of the opposite page. This means on every map the left edge is in the crease of the book, making it harder to read. Not a problem because cause most of the stars being described are in the middle of each map, but it would be better if the maps were on one page only.
The little led light is nice, but I wish it took AAA batteries. The button cells will be harder to find. The led is recessed in the end to help shield your eyes from accidental exposure to the light directly, which is a nice feature.