MoonScope | Scientific Toys For Stargazing Fun
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Scope out the nighttime sky!
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Scope out the nighttime sky!

Item #5351  | Ages 8+
$49.99
Qty:
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The Big Idea

Grab your MoonScope and take a tour of the nighttime sky complete with visits to the stars, Saturn, Jupiter, and even the mountain ranges and craters on the moon! The Star Gazer’s Journal is packed with fun activities, like learning about the lunar phases, writing a moon myth, drawing your own man in the moon, and more!

Shh…They’re Learning!
  • Real-life journaling activities provide hands-on astronomy lessons
  • Encourages independent, parent-free learning
  • Perfect for budding astronomers
  • Supports STEM learning
Cut to the Chase
  • A telescope that gives a clear view of the nighttime sky
  • Includes moon filter, two eyepieces (to provide 18x and 90x magnification) and a built-in, pre-aligned finder scope with glow-in-the-dark ring to make it easy to use
  • 22-Page Star Gazers Journal includes stories about the moon plus fun observation activities
  • Lightweight and easy to assemble
  • LED light preserves night vision, and requires AA batteries, not included
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Scope out the nighttime sky!
 
3.9

(based on 22 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

81%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Educational (19)
  • Engaging (16)
  • Interactive (14)
  • Lots of fun (14)
  • Durable (11)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Entertainment (10)
    • Young children (10)
    • Older children (8)
    • Travel (4)
    • Outdoors (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Parent of two or more children (9), Education oriented (8), Stay at home parent (8)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (12), Yes (9)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    LOVE this! And it is very well made

    We took this on a camping trip and the kids had a great time with it. Well made the the booklet just added to it being such a great find.

    We took this on a camping trip and the kids had a great time with it. Well made the the booklet just added to it being such a great find.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Not Recommended - Parents should do some

    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. You'll be...Read complete review

    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. 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 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. Frankly, most if not 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 make compromises of some sort to be affordable, but all should meet some basic requirements and of course some will be better at that than others.

    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 have better fundamentals and will perform better.

    The Moonscope has a clear aperture of 45mm (the diameter of its lens. Both of the Celestron units are larger in aperture. They will resolve details more clearly and capture more light. Both should be easier to use and 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 is 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 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 and an adequate finder should be considered a necessity if a child is to use the telescope.

    3. A TELESCOPE SHOULD HAVE GOOD OPTICS. 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 sharper. When compared to the image produced by a slightly larger, but more expensive telescope with more expensive eyepieces, the difference is clearly obvious.

    The 4mm eyepiece indicated as giving a magnification of 90 is a bit of a disaster. First the power is at the limit recommended for a scope of this size, even with perfect optics and great seeing conditions. The views that one would normally get at this power, even with expensive equipment, will be disappointing – a bit dark and "mushy". But the 4mm eyepiece is far from being optically perfect. Move the object you're viewing to the periphery of the field of view and it turns into a "blob". After using the 4mm a few times, I put it permanently in my pocket.

    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 fit them) can be added.

    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.

    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.

    Reviewed by 22 customers

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    4.0

    Excellent toy

    By LAE

    from Gilbert AZ

    About Me Education Oriented, Parent Of Two Or More Children, Stay At Home Parent

    Pros

    • Educational
    • Engaging
    • Lots of Fun

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Entertainment
      • Older Children
      • Travel
      • Young Children

      Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

      My 7 year old son loves science and living in Arizona we are lucky enough to have many clear nights to look at the moon and stars.
      He was so excited to get this moonscope. He goes out on our patio in the evenings and looks at the moon and stars. He just loves it. Then he draws pictures and writes about what he sees in the journal that comes with it.

      It's so neat to see his mind engaging and all the learning he is doing. Plus the joy it brings him. His teacher has already made comment that he is telling stories in school about what he saw.

      I would absolutely recommend this toy

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      Easy to use

      By angie k

      from st louis mo

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Educational
      • Engaging
      • Interactive
      • Lots of Fun

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

          This moonscope was super easy to put together and get started within minutes of opening the box. My 11 year old took control of this and he is really interested in the moon and looking for the planets. We found it a little difficult to use if we could not find the moon or see any stars. This is best for younger children that would like to have fun with it. It did work nice but we are just a little bit beyond it.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          Makes learning fun!

          By Amberlee Cave

          from Colfax, CA

          About Me Education Oriented, Parent Of Two Or More Children, Stay At Home Parent

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Educational
          • Engaging
          • Interactive
          • Lots of Fun

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Entertainment
            • Older Children
            • Special Needs
            • Travel
            • Young Children

            Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

            I received the Nancy B's Science Club Moonscope from Educational Insights to review and my two little girls love it! They are both obsessed with the moon and stars and love to sit outside just to stare at them. I love that this Moonscope is not only functional for kids but it also has a really cool design and it is offered at a great price. When I was younger I wanted a telescope, but I could never get one because of how expensive they were! Not only were they expensive, but they didn't come in any cool colors either. Living in the country I can always see lots of stars and I was obsessed with them at a young age as well. With this Moonscope I can share this obsession with my girls and not break the bank trying to do so.

            The Moonscope is fairly simple to use and even comes with an activity journal so you can find something cool and know what you are looking at. It makes it easy for kids to learn more about stars and have fun while doing it. It is a very colorful book too which makes it even more engaging.

            My youngest gets super excited when we pull out the Moonscope because she has stars on just about everything! I am very happy with our Moonscope and if anything happens to it I will definitely purchase a new one!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            Awesome!

            By Julie M

            from West Seneca NY

            About Me First Time Parent, Stay At Home Parent

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Educational
            • Engaging
            • Interactive
            • Lots of Fun

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Entertainment
              • Indoor
              • Outdoor

              Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

              Awesome! We are working on teaching my son about space and the solar system and we found this. He just loves it. He is constantly counting stars and can spend hours looking at them. This is an excellent telescope for your kids. It is very simple for my son to use, yet it has really great clarity so this will work for him as he grows up as well.

              The Star Gazer's activity Journal is great for keeping track of activities and it has so much great information in it.

              It was packaged very nicely and very secure. It was so easy to put together.The directions were fantastic. It seems very strong and durable and I think this will last my son a a very long time. It also folds up nice for when he is not using it to.

              If I could suggest just one thing different is the color. My son would like a different shade. he says it looks a little girly.(but that doesn't stop him from using it.)

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              Fun Nighttime Exploration for Kids

              By Spit Up is the New Black

              from Ohio

              About Me Parent Of Two Or More Children

              Pros

              • Educational
              • Lots of Fun

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Entertainment
                • Outdoor

                Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

                We received this moonscope as a gift from the manufacturer. This telescope has been so much fun for our family. My daughter is enamored with the moon and loves to point it out in the sky, so when Nancy B's Science Club Moonscope arrived, we couldn't wait to set it up and see the moon up close!

                It arrives fully assembled, which is great for busy parents. If you've ever used a microscope in science class back in high school, you'll be able to figure out how to use this moonscope pretty easily. We didn't even need to reference the instruction manual before use.

                It's nice that it comes with two different eye pieces to change the magnification and it sits nicely atop a table for star-gazing. It's also a clever added touch that the finder scope has a glow-in-the-dark edge so kids can see it in the dark.

                We really like this moonscope and for the price, it's a great learning tool for kids, especially in this tech-aged world.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                Comment on this review

                 
                5.0

                Great Learning Material

                By ajcain1980

                from Georgia

                About Me Education Oriented, Parent Of Two Or More Children, Stay At Home Parent

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Educational
                • Engaging
                • Interactive
                • Lots of Fun

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Entertainment
                  • Older Children

                  Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

                  Great product. Very educational. Really like how this teaches my kids about everything in the sky. Would highly recommend this product. I received this promotion in exchange for unbiased review.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Great starter telescope for kids!

                  By NashvilleMommy1

                  from Nashville,TN

                  About Me Parent Of Two Or More Children, Stay At Home Parent

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Educational
                  • Engaging
                  • Interactive
                  • Lots of Fun

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Entertainment
                    • Older Children
                    • Young Children

                    Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

                    I received the Moonscope and Sky Gazers Activity Journal for free in order to give a honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.
                    My daughter wanted a telescope very badly. She is crazy about the moon and stars! When I came across this Moonscope I knew my daughter had to have it but I was a little nervous since the age recommendation is 8-11 years and my daughter is only 3, but when it arrived it was extremely simple for me to put together and surprisingly very easy for my daughter to use. She loves how girly and pretty it is and she was very pleased with how easily she could move it around on her own and view the moon and stars. The only thing I had to help her with was the focusing, other then that I think this is great for younger kids also! I think the thing she is a little to young for at this very moment is the Activity Journal. The Activity Journal is great as well because it lists interesting facts and your child can track, write and draw in it as well as do some activities. The Moonscope also has a convenient little LED light attached to it so your child can see to write in their Activity Journal. I will be saving this for her because I know we will have this great educational telescope for a very long time. It is made very, very well. It is sturdy and very easy to fold up and put away when not in use. I love this adorable telescope as much as my kid does. I think it is a great toy for children and very affordable!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

                    Comment on this review

                     
                    4.0

                    we love it!

                    By wrappedupnu

                    from mcrae, ga

                    About Me Stay At Home Parent

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Durable
                    • Educational
                    • Engaging
                    • Interactive
                    • Lots of Fun

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Entertainment
                      • Older Children
                      • Young Children

                      Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

                      My 11 year old daughter is in love with this! First she loves the colors! Girlie without being to girlie! It was easy to put together and use for us. The instructions were clean easy and to the point. The Star Gazer's Journal has allowed her to write down and keep up with all that she finds and sees. Sarah and her brothers enjoy trying to find spaceships with this-it's so fun to watch them playing with this and not be tied down to a video game. This is a product that is very kids friendly and fun for them. Makes a great kids learning toy and us adults had fun with it too!
                      Came very well packaged in an eye catching box and was a lot bigger than i thought it would be!

                      Comment on this review

                       
                      1.0

                      Looks fab, doesen't work, don't buy

                      By NZ mother

                      from New Zealand

                      About Me Parent Of Two Or More Children

                      Pros

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

                            This was a gift for my daughter's 8th birthday and she was soooo excited. We can't get it to work despite having the biggest moon in 20 years this week in New Zealand. The packaging is great, it looks amazing, but unfortuantely does not live up to expectations. I would not recomend it to anyone - my daughter is disillusioned and I'm cross I got it shipped from the USA at great cost.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • Yes

                            Comment on this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Great Kid's First Moon Scope

                            By NIAAS

                            from Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)

                            About Me Amateur Astronomer, Parent Of Two Or More Children, Working Parent

                            Pros

                            • Durable
                            • Educational
                            • Engaging
                            • Interactive
                            • Lots of Fun

                            Cons

                            • 4mm Eyepiece

                            Best Uses

                            • Moon
                            • Young Children

                            Comments about Scope out the nighttime sky!:

                            This product comes in a well-presented outer box. The product consists of a small telescope, with a tripod and two eyepieces. A moon filter is also provided as a nice extra touch.

                            It is obvious that a lot of thought has been put into the whole package. There are good instructions supplied, and the activity journal is very good, with lots of interesting activities and information. The telescope has several features which one would not expect on a product of this size.

                            The telescope is very well made, and nicely decorated. A dust cover for the main lens is attached to the telescope by a piece of string so that it does not get lost. The telescope lens appears to be made of glass, usually the lens on a telescope of this size would be plastic. The focuser is very smooth and the diagonal, into which the eyepieces fit, is very clear, and again, appears to be made of glass. The finder scope was just about ok to use to find the Moon, but was not very successful on the planet Jupiter.

                            The table-top tripod, although quite light, is firm enough to hold the telescope without too much vibration. Attaching the telescope to the mount was very easy, and movement, both up and down, and side to side, was very smooth. I was a bit disappointed that there was no battery supplied for the little LED light. A little tray which could be attached to the tripod would make it a little firmer, and would also be useful for storing eyepieces when not in use.

                            The eyepieces supplied with the telescope were a little disappointing. The 20mm was ok, providing roughly 18 times magnification. It took the Moon approximately 6 minutes to cross the field of view, so this allowed a good period of time to look at the Moon without having to move the telescope. But the 4mm eyepiece was very poor, difficult to focus for an adult, never mind a child. I think an eyepiece of around 8mm, giving 45 times magnification, would be much better. The Moon filter worked quite well in the 20mm eyepiece.

                            The telescope was used to observe a 6 day old Moon. Using the 20mm eyepiece, the shadows within the major craters were well-defined and sharp. The mountainous areas were also well –defined, and very clearly seen. Some larger rilles were also seen. Unfortunately, this definition and clarity was lost with the 4mm eyepiece. Focus was difficult to achieve, and the moon was quite dark. The filter, used with the 20mm eyepiece, gave a nice soft hue to the lunar surface, and it would be of value when the Moon is further into its cycle, and therefore brighter.
                            I also observed the planet Jupiter. In the 20mm eyepiece, the moons were just visible, and faint markings could be seen on the planet. Again, the 4mm eyepiece showed no improvement. To be fair, the planet was quite low, and just above a neighbour's house, but I would have expected to see the moons a lot better, even in the 20mm.

                            In summary, this is a fairly good product when compared to others of a similar price and size. It was well-presented, and easy to use. An 8mm eyepiece, instead of the 4mm, would be an improvement, and perhaps the finder scope could use a little more thought.

                            Stevie Beasant (NIAAS Chairman)14th April 2014
                            Northern Ireland Amateur Astronomy Society

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                            • Yes

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