The Horrorwitz "Star-Track" Backyard Telescope is a good way of increasing a Sim's Logic skill. However, a Sim who spends a long time looking through it (two or three points without taking a break), may be abducted by aliens. A blue sphere will appear, and the Sim will vanish for a few hours. When the Sim returns, their personality will have been reversed, and they will think about aliens for quite a while afterward.
The Sims 2
In The Sims 2, there are two telescopes, the Astrowonder (§550) and the Farstar e3 (§2100). The price isn't the biggest difference - Sims using the Astrowonder won't ever be abducted (unless cheats or hacks are used to force an abduction), but with the Farstar it's possible. If an adult male Sim who is more than 5 days away from becoming an elder gets abducted, he will come back pregnant.
In The Sims 2, a telescope can be used indoors, so long as it is pointed out a window. The window can be single-tile or multi-tile, but the left side of the telescope has to be facing a window for it to be usable. This can be seen in the Tinker family's house in Bluewater Village, which has a Farstar e3 pointed out a second-floor window.
In The Sims 2: FreeTime, using the telescope builds enthusiasm for the Science hobby. All of the telescope actions have a chance of alien abduction, but the Aspiration Benefit for Knowledge, Summon Aliens, allows a Sim to create a spotlight with a flashlight and the telescope, giving them a huge chance of abduction. This can be used with either telescope, but will not be available if the telescope is indoors. It is also unavailable on the telescope at Aspirational Laboratories. It also appears to be different from other telescope actions, as it does not appear to build the Logic skill. In FreeTime, Sims can also earn money by discovering new celestial and astral bodies.
There is apparently a bug that prevents other sims from getting the memory of the sim being abducted if 'search for constellations/planets/ufos' or 'summon aliens' is used for the abduction.
Using either telescope during daylight and accidentally (or "accidentally", with mods) looking at a Sim through the telescope will make those neighbors mad at the Sim using the telescope. Even so, Sims may do it autonomously.
Being abducted is easier with boolprop testingcheatsenabled true - with this cheat active, shift-click on the telescope of your choice and add the command "Get Abducted" to the queue, in order to have the Sim taken by aliens. However, this method isn't perfect as nearby Sims will not get the memory of the abduction without using hacks. This method is not working anymore after The Sims 2: FreeTime installed.
According to theory, the first Sim created in a neighborhood is always going to shove anyone spying on them. But whenever anyone in the family/household of the first created Sim, the first of the secondary family will shove the Sim instead. The following table will show all neighborhoods, and the Sims that will shove any spying neighbor:
|Neighborhood||Shoving Sim||Secondary Shoving Sim|
|Pleasantview||Mortimer Goth||Daniel Pleasant, or John Burb if moved to Pleasantview  and possibly Nina Caliente|
|Strangetown||Vidcund Curious||Olive Specter|
|Veronaville||Consort Capp||Patrizio Monty|
|Riverblossom Hills||Leod McGreggor||Jason Greenman|
|Desiderata Valley||Luis Aspir||Sophia Jocque|
|Belladonna Cove||Gabriel Green||Jason Cleveland |
|Felicity Island||Fangaloka Manave|
The Sims 3
The Sims 3 base game returns to having a single type of telescope, found under the Study->Hobbies section. The Outdoor Living stuff pack adds another type.
In addition to increasing fun and logic, a telescope also allows a Sim to "Search The Galaxy", in which case they may find and name a new celestial body, such as Stars, Moons, Planets, Comets, and Satellites.
The Sim may also see a meteorite fall to the ground. This will place a map marker where the Sim can go to retrieve it. This map marker eventually disappears, so the player will have to be quick.
However, Sims do not seem to use telescopes to spy on their neighbors. Also, they will not be abducted while using telescopes, as alien abduction is not included in The Sims 3.
List of telescopes
|Astral Playground Telescope||§600||(base)|
|Morrigan's Star Gazer||§820||Outdoor Living Stuff|
Astral Playground Telescope
Morrigan's Star Gazer
At the turn of the first millennium, Morrigan Hemlock fought for the inclusion of astrology into the scientific realm, but could never convince the authorities of its scientific legitimacy. After nearly a 45 year battle, Morrigan turned to astronomy as a scientific endeavor. This telescope, first coined as a "star gazer" is what Morrigan used to wow the crowd of scientific experts, and thus forever lost her love of astrology.