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Please Note

Orion has made the difficult decision to close our warehouse facility in the Netherlands. With the continuing supply chain/logistics challenges and slowness in the economy we have found that it is not economically feasible to maintain operations in the UK and Europe.

We have therefore stopped taking orders on this website. We apologize for any inconvenience.

We will continue to have Orion dealers in Europe to meet the needs of Orion consumers. We will also continue to honor the 30-Day product return period as well as honoring the Orion warranty for purchases made in the UK and Europe.

Our US-based Customer Service Representatives are here to help. Contact them via email at support@telescope.com or in the United Kingdom, via phone at 0-800-041-8146 (Monday-Friday between the hours of 1300 and 2400 GMT).

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My Family's First Star Party
My Family's First Star Party

For my birthday, my family gave me an Orion 90 mm tabletop telescope. During the winter, I worked my way up the learning curve, and now I was ready to share the fun with my kids and their buddies.


With Saturn and a crescent moon, this week would have been perfect - except for ever-present cloudy skies. Last night, finally, a clear night was forecasted. In the afternoon, we called my kids' buddies and invited them over for our first-ever Backyard Star Party. My kids - who have long since given up naps - both took afternoon naps so that they could stay up late for the festivities.

We met in my kitchen at 10 pm for an overview of how to use a telescope. The group included my two children, John and Katy (both age 6), and their friends, Lars (6), Margaret (9), Jake (6), and Tyler (8).


After explaining the basics of the telescope and how to best see through it ("one hand covers one eye, the other hand blocks your side vision, find the prick of light and move to it slowly") and checking out Starry Night's view of the sky on my computer, it was time to quit talking and head out to the backyard to see what we could see.


I set the telescope at "kids' height" and got comfortable on my knees. : We started by viewing Saturn with a low power lens (50x), then moved to a high power (125x). As each kid had their turn, the "oohs," "aahs," and "I can see it!" confirmed that they were indeed seeing the rings of Saturn with their own eyes! Margaret summed it up perfectly, "Awesome!"


After everyone had the chance to view Saturn a number of times, we shifted to the easily found, always fantastic, moon. "Will we see the man on the moon?" asked Lars, with a smile. "You just never know what you'll see, buddy," I replied. And see they did. And the comments followed: "Wow, look at those craters!" "That is really bright." "Cool, Daddy!"


We finished the evening by star gazing on blankets. Since my kids and I had visited the Adler Planetarium that morning, John and Katy were proud to point out the Big Dipper and explain how it was a "circumpolar constellation" and could always be seen. My daughter added, "Hey, I can see the Big Bear!" Hmm, I'm not so sure about that, honey...


We finished up with a bunch of super sleepy, happy little kiddos. My daughter, Katy, took my head in both hands, planted a big kiss on my face, and said, "You're awesome, Daddy! Thanks!!" And as we headed upstairs for bed, my son, John, added sleepily, "Daddy, I'm probably sure that was the best viewing of Saturn... EVER!"


"Yes," I thought, as I lay in bed, replaying the evening in my head, "I'm probably sure that was the best viewing of Saturn... EVER!"


Attached pictures drawn by each child the next morning


Show and TELescope Contest Runner-Up Photo 1 Katy's drawing of our family star gazing on a blanket.


Show and TELescope Contest Runner-Up Photo 1 Tyler's drawing of the kids "enjoying the looks of the stars."


Show and TELescope Contest Runner-Up Photo 1 John's drawing of the kids lining up to look at Saturn through the telescope.


Show and TELescope Contest Runner-Up Photo 1 Margaret's drawing of what she saw through the Orion telescope.


Show and TELescope Contest Runner-Up Photo 1 Jake's drawing of his brother, Tyler, and him at our Backyard Star Party.


Show and TELescope Contest Runner-Up Photo 1 Lars, drawing of what he saw: Saturn, its rings, and its moons.

Date Taken: 07/12/2011
Author: Mike B.
Category: Show & TELescope Contest (2011)

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