Tonight was the second night that I was able to take out my "Galileoscope" and take a look at the moon. I have a shameful confession to make- not only is this my first telescope, it is also my first time outside of an undergrad intro to astronomy class that I've spent some quality time looking at the night sky. Pretty bad for a space scientist...
Anyhow, the 'scope is everything for which I had hoped. At 25x and 50x, the moon was amazing. Many of the smaller craters are easily visible, as well as the rays coming off of the larger ones. The detail is stunning and inspiring. The challenges with the smaller scope are focusing (performed by pushing/pulling/twisting the inner tube in and out of the larger one) and keeping the scope steady on a cheap camera tripod.
Tonight, feeling a bit more confident with my ability to find objects in the sky, I turned toward some of the brighter stars. Although I couldn't line them up, I was amazed at the number of stars that I could see through the 'scope in areas that appeared empty with the naked eye. I was taken aback by the thought that in each empty space I could see with the telescope, there were an infinite number of objects waiting to be seen. Of course this should be obvious, but until you finally look yourself, it is hard to fathom.
This is the best fifteen bucks I've spent in a long, long time.