8 1 min 9 yrs

In late November of last year, I consulted the Oracles, scanned T’Internet and of course spoke to she of all knowledge, namely my son’s wife, regarding the suitability of a present which I was thinking of deputising Santa to deposit near the fireplace carpet usually occupied by my 2nd Grandson. As he is now approaching five years old, I was wondering if a decent telescope would be suitable for his hands and mind, and after due discussion, the arrangements were made.

I received an updated situation report when I asked my grandson this afternoon if he had managed to look at the moon through his new telescope.

I was left in no doubt as to the suitability of my small gift when this small boy’s eyes seemd to widen like saucers, as his reply came back; “Grandad, it was Gigantic!”


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8 thoughts on “Yet another viewpoint.

  1. WOW! What a great present, Mike. I went to Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center earlier this month and the whole time I wished I was with a young child just to experience and share the excitement and fascination with them. Wonderful gift!

  2. An astronomical telescope is a rather daring present for a boy not yet five. Besides inverting the image, it will, if it is any good, need to be aligned with some kind of sighting aid regularly. The area of the sky you see is about the equivalent of what you’d see looking trough a drinking straw, and it will be impossible to find anything without a sight finder.

    Any telescope that will let you see even, say, a planet as a fixed surface, and not just a speck of light, or the moons of Jupiter – and if you can’t even see these it’s practically useless – will also be very shaky; a lot of people forget that a telescope doesn’t only magnify what you are looking for but also the vast areas of blackness around it, much worse, every vibration or knock on the scope itself – the result is generally just a mad dance of lights in front of your eyes.

    It’s a great present for any curious young person, and by the sound of his reaction it’s been well received. But a bit of preparation and investment is not amiss if you want him to avoid frustration and go on to better things later.

    For any young person (pre-teen), I’d recommend good binoculars. They can also be used for looking at land and the sea, they are much easier to hold steady, they don’t invert the image and still let you see Jupiter’s moons, the ring of Saturn and hundreds of other great things etc.

    BTW, always impress on a child again and again: never look at the sun through a telescope even for a second; the result is instant and permmanent blindness.

  3. Well done Mike, maybe a future scientist will be the result.

    Noel, yes, binoculars are an excellent start, but it depends on how dark your sky is. Outside towns and cities you can see the Milky Way, but never inside them.

  4. There are many choices nowadays…my daughter’s telescope and binoculars from her early years still sit in the by-day sun room and by-night moon-room that looks out over the harbor…both work well depending on the user’s desire. For a very young person, binoculars might hold their interest longer but it depends on the child.

  5. many telescopes do not give you an inverted image, it all depends on the style of the scope.

    Any gift of this sort is an excellent choice. No matter the style.

  6. I forgot to mention, by the way, that I think this is a very appropriate post for a night when everyone was watching the Stars.

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