TDmonthly (TM) -Archives of ToyDirectory Toys and Games: Slooh Explore Space Live Telescope Card from BLUESTORM PRODUCTIONS INC.

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MSRP: $10.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category:Science & Nature

Have you ever wanted to look through a high-powered telescope to explore outer space? This new product provides kids (and adults) with the amazing opportunity to explore the heavens by accessing time on an observatory. Log in and start exploring (by the minute, by the card); card-carrying astronomers will be notified in advance about upcoming missions so not to miss anything that maybe of interest. Furthermore, they can take and store pictures, zoom in on objects, listen to expert storytellers, etc. (uses either Mac or PC). Each $10.00 card is good for 50 minutes of viewing.
— Patrick Paolucci of Bluestorm told TDmonthly what makes the Slooh Explore Space Live Telescope a great alternative to a real telescope: "Families have the opportunity to access the same high-powered telescopes that professionals in the field of astronomy use to explore space. For most families, purchasing a telescope to explore the heavens is not a practical option.” The Slooh Explore Space Live Telescope Card is a winner of the 2006 Parents' Choice Gold Award.

Featured in:Expect Experimental Kits to Sell (12/1/2006)
May Peeks (5/1/2006)

TDmonthly Review:

What Is It?
It is a “credit card” of astronomical fun: The Slooh card allows an “observer” using their home computer to log onto one of the two robotic observatories located in the Canary Islands (off the African Coast) and observe in real time deep sky objects, planets, the moon, asteroids, the whole shooting match, while helping to choose sights, as well as take pictures to their computer! It’s like being a real astronomer.

What We Thought
My 7-year-old son has been an astronomy buff since he’s been two (knows all the planets, knows about the Big Bang, etc.); we love the planetarium and going out with a little telescope and looking at the stars. The Slooh is perfect for us. We logged in on the computer, and because the Slooh observatories are in Africa, it’s early afternoon for us when the observing starts. First, you go to the Launch Pad screen, where you see what the weather’s like, get real time pictures of the observatories, see what the “missions” are going to be for that night (every five minutes each of the telescopes changes missions, from planets to nebulae, to galaxies), we helped vote on some of the missions and picked one ourselves. Then, we waited for the observing to begin. When it does, it’s very cool. Each observatory dome has two telescopes in it, one wide-field, the other higher powered, and when a new mission starts, you switch between the two as the CCD cameras capture more and more light and the image gets better and better. There’s a “DJ” that’s kinda mellow, playing music and talking about the different astronomical objects (kind of New Age meets Carl Sagen), there’s a chat room to talk to other observers, and you can snap your own digital photos. It’s addictive!

Why They’ll Want It
It’s real astronomy from your very own home. It’s exciting to watch each object “develop” on-screen. The views run from pretty good to spectacular. It’s great for birthdays, Christmas and any kid (or adult) who likes astronomy. It’s a must have if you like the night sky.

— TDmonthly Staff, 4/17/06

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6586      (added 1/17/2006)

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