A while ago, I bought a Galileoscope. This is an incredibly inexpensive telescope, capable of magnifying an image 25 or 50 times (depending on how you assemble the eyepiece). It cost me about £10 including shipping.
I’ve not had all that much time to play with it so far, but it’s an amazing piece of kit. I’ve been using Stellarium, a great piece of free software to find out what’s best to view and when it’s in the sky. So far, I’ve seen the moons of Jupiter and I swear I made out some bands of cloud on the surface of Jupiter itself, along with a denser area where the red spot might have been. To my delight, I zoomed in on Jupiter in stellarium, and it turned out my observation was correct, not just imagination! I’d like the see the rings of Saturn, but you have to get up at 3 in the morning for that at the moment!
The Earth’s moon looks stunning, taking up the entire view through the scope at 50x magnification, so when I saw a clear moon this evening, I set up the scope during a break from work, and decided to see if I could use my camera with it. I was amazed that it worked! The setup was all held together by hand, and wobbly as hell (is hell really wobbly?) but with some perseverance I got the telescope to act as a telephoto lens, and took a few relatively crisp shots of the moon… in amongst scores of blurry over-exposed ones. This is the best one I managed!
I also produced a rather pretty accident by accidentally letting the flash off: