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Weekly Photo Challenge: Curiosity

My daughter was recently introduced to astronomy.  She had taken an interest in the subject at school.  For her tenth birthday she decided that she would like to visit our local observatory.  She had a wonderful time, and I was able to capture the moment she first viewed the cosmos with something more than the naked eye on a camping trip.  Like her father, she now has the “bug” to discover things in the night sky.

She won’t have to wait for her next trip to the observatory to quench that thirst to learn something new from the stars.  We decided to help her nurture that love of discovery by getting her very own telescope for her to begin this journey.

It has been too cold to give it a trial run yet, but she is definitely itching for the warmth of spring to try it out. The truth is, Dad is a bit anxious to try it out too.  This just might be something that Father and Daughter can enjoy for years to come.

I know I am looking forward to those warm summer nights too.  Hmm…now if I can just figure out how to attach the camera to this thing, now that will make for some interesting pictures.

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About Mike Lemons
I'm a guy in his 40's who has been bumming around the net for years. I am married to a wonderful woman, and have 3 gorgeous kids.

11 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Curiosity

  1. Marge says:

    What a great gift for your daughter and an excellent photo for the Curiosity theme!
    What fun you’ll have watching the sky together. ~Marge~

    • Mike Lemons says:

      Thanks for the kind words Marge…my kids are a constant photo opportunity for me, and I love sharing so don’t be surprised if hey appear there frequently 🙂

  2. Is that telescope as big as it looks? I can see it says Celestron, but what is the model, and how heavy is it to transport? Does it take up a lot of space? I am an eternal child who has really gotten into astronomy these past few years, and I would like to get this as a gift to myself (I’m way too self-centered and childlike to ever have children, but I think I could manage taking care of a telescope). Please share the details about it, including where you bought it.

    • Mike Lemons says:

      Laurel, that telescope is a Celestron Powerseeker series. Here are the vitals on it…

      Powerseeker 70AZ Telescope
      * Quick and easy no-tool setup
      * Slow motion controls for smooth tracking
      * Erect image optics – Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use
      * Fully coated glass optical components with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity
      * 3x Barlow lens triples the magnifying power of each eyepiece
      * Accessory tray for convenient storage of accessories
      * “The SkyX” Planetarium Software with 10,000 object database and enhanced images

      We got it through the Walmart website just before Christmas for about $50, but it normally retails for about $90. We decided to go with this one based on good reviews for a nice starter scope for her to get her feet wet with.

    • Mike Lemons says:

      Oh yeah and it is not terribly big…It is very easy to store and takes up a footprint no larger than about 36″ in diameter and about 36″ high…when stored

  3. Did the telescope come with a mount, and if not, where did you get the mount and what type of mount is it? Also, what type of camera did you buy to attach to it? You can see I’m not a techie. I have to buy the camera too and have no idea how to attach it to the telescope either. I wouldn’t have thought Walmart would sell decent telescopes, but I know Celestron is a good brand for astronomy.

    Thanks for all the info!

    • Mike Lemons says:

      A mount? You mean a tripod for the scope itself? If yes then that answer is also yes.

      As for a camera mount…the answer to that depends on whether you have a fancy dslr camera (you know the big ones with the interchangeable lenses and the like) OR a simple point and shoot (like I have). You can get mounts for both, but they approach photos very differently.

      I would suggest just doing some research online, and you will find something that suits you very nicely.

  4. Becky says:

    I bought my husband a telescope for his birthday a few years back. I splurged on it – it’s an 8-inch I believe – and he has since splurged on lenses, filters, laser locaters and more. We don’t use it as much as we should; Though we live in town we are surrounded by trees, so that limits our view from the roof (we have a flat part over the living room that used to be the garage). We get up there when we can, but what we really liked to do (before we had our kid) was drive up into the hills where they have a bunch of wind turbines (about 30 minutes away) and set up there with hot chocolate and soup. We brought some friends and had a devotional thought one time, too. Looking at the stars sure makes one feel small…

  5. Thanks for all the information. I’m going to look into this. Do you live in a dark sky site? I’m in central NJ, an area that is pretty light polluted. I just want to make sure a telescope like this would be useful in an area like mine.

    • Mike Lemons says:

      I live in a city that has quite a bit of light pollution (capitol of Nebraska)…additionally my house overlooks our airport a few miles away so I would say there is plenty of light pollution to go around. We selected the telescope because it is reasonably easy to transport around…

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