Will's thoughts - These first two telescopes are a nice place to start. The 90mm objective will give you good beginners light gathering ability without costing much. They are both good telescopes, good quallity and a good entry level place if you haven't done much astronomy or want to get into it without spending a lot.
Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
Now you can have the virtues of refractor-sharp images without having to break into your piggy bank. Our remarkable AstroView 90 gives big returns for a small investment! This is a powerful refractor featuring a multi-coated 90mm objective lens of 910mm focal length (f/10) housed in an enameled aluminum tube. You won't have any trouble gathering enough light for bright, crisp views of deep-sky objects, the Moon, and planets. Even better, we've upgraded the AstroView 90 package with two Sirius Plossl eyepieces (25mm and 10mm)! The AstroView 90 comes equipped with a 6x30 finder, 90Â° star diagonal, adjustable aluminum tripod with accessory tray, and an EQ-2 equatorial mount with slow motion controls for manual tracking. One-year limited warranty.
Celestron 21064 AstroMaster 90 EQ Refractor Telescope
If you're looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the AstroMaster Series is for you. Each AstroMaster model is capable of giving correct views of land and sky. The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments. For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflectors.
Will's thoughts - This one is a bit of a step up without costing too much more than the first two scopes. This one is what to get if you are an ambitious beginner but are still cost conscious.
Celestron 31051 AstroMaster 130EQ MD Telescope
- Motor Drive for the automatic tracking.
- Quick and easy no-tool setup.
- Permanently mounted StarPointer.
- Erect image optics - Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use.
- Quick release dovetail attachment - no tool setup.
130mm (5") diameter Newtonian reflector, 650mm focal length (f/5), German equatorial mount (CG-3) with RA and DEC slow-motion controls and setting circles, built-on Star Pointer finderscope, 20mm erect image eyepiece (33x), 10mm eyepiece (65x) 1.25", adjustable height 1.25" steel leg tripod withaccessory tray, "The Sky Level 1" CD-ROM.
Will's thoughts - Very nice light bucket here. The 8 inch mirror will gather quite a bit more light than the previous telescopes. Notice that this one seems a little different sitting on it's mount. That is called a dobsonian mount. It works well but keeps the price down. This telescope is bigger than you think!
Orion 27194 XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope and Beginner Barlow Kit
The Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope combines powerful optics with the ultimate in mechanical simplicity and stability. It features a precision 8-inch (203mm) parabolic primary mirror, center-marked at the factory for precise collimation and mounted in a cast-aluminum support cell that provides maximum ventilation. The mirror pulls in 73% more light than a 6-inch, enough to tease out dust lanes in nebulas, resolve the cores of prominent globular clusters, and reveal subtle structure in elusive galaxies. You're in total control as you point the telescope effortlessly to your target object anywhere in the sky. The 46-inch-long enameled steel tube glides on its sturdy Dobsonian telescope base. A gentle push or pull on the navigation knob puts you right in the observing pocket. The SkyQuest XT8 Classic features a 2-inch Crayford style focuser that accepts both 1.25-inch and 2-inch accessories. Speaking of accessoires, the XT8 comes with a host of great ones. You get a Sirius Plossl 25mm telescope eyepiece (48x), an EZ Finder II reflex sight, an Orion quick-collimation cap, and a snap-on dust cover. For the intrepid beginner to the veteran skygazer, the SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope lives up to its billing by Astronomy magazine as a work of art.
Will's thoughts - This telescope is more serious. You can tell by the price. This is a real instrument. Once you get it setup it will actually move itself to objects in the sky on its own. I recommend this for people who have done some astronomy. Or for beginners with more discretionary income who want an enriching exprience.
Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope
- 6-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope; StarBright XLT high transmission coatings come standard
- StarPointer finderscope to help with alignment and accurately locating objects
- Quick-release fork arm mount, optical tube, and accessory tray for no-tool setup
- SkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment process
- Nearly 40,000 object database with 200 user-definable objects and expanded information on over 200 objects
Will's thoughts - Once we get into this size and type of scope we are looking at the kind of thing serious amateurs purchase and these are the kinds of scopes that your local college will have for their astronomy program. You can do a lot with these including serious astro photography.
Celestron NexStar 8 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, Special Edition - with Deluxe Accessory Kit (5 Celestron Plossl Eyepieces, 1.25" Barlow Lens, 1.25" Filter Set, Accessory Carry Case
Astronomy made simple...Let a NexStar SE help you find thousands of stars, planets galaxies and more at the touch of a button! In the tradition of Celestron's famous orange optical tubes, the new NexStar SE Family combines the classic heritage of the original orange tube telescopes with state-of-the-art features including a fully computerized operating system, flash upgradeable hand control, superior coatings, the revolutionary SkyAlign telescope alignment software and much more. With the NexStar SE, you are in the driver's seat. Simply choose an object from the menu and the telescope will find it for you. Using the patented NexStar technology, the SE scopes have the ability to locate nearly 40,000 objects. All you have to do is look through the eyepiece and enjoy the view! Don't know what object to choose? Let the intelligent NexStar SE give you a guided tour of the night sky! The Tour feature offers a customized list of the best objects in the sky to view for your exact time and location anywhere in the world! Not only can your NexStar SE find objects, it can teach you about them as well. Information on the most popular objects can be viewed in the LCD screen of your hand control. Whether you are a seasoned astronomer looking for a portable scope with advanced features, or just starting your astronomy adventure and looking for an easy way to enjoy the night sky, a NexStar SE will help you take a closer look.
Will's thoughts - This is a "wish I had" telescope. The kind of thing you get if you are seriously into astronomy and know what you are doing. I don't recommend it as a first telescope. This is something you work up to after spending a year or more with another telescope.
Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2800mm Telescope with Tripod and Tube
Internal GPS receiver automatically downloads the date, time and location from satellites SkyAlign system offers incredibly simple alignment; just point the scope at three bright objects and it does all the rest! Included NexRemote software package lets your scope be controlled by your personal computer Beefy dual-fork type mount with ultrawide gliding base Well suited to astrophotography thanks to a low-magnification secondary mirror & internal baffling which improves image's peripheral brightness Cords and cables will not become tangled upon the base 16-Channel GPS receiver guides with 9 slew speeds at its disposal Light gathering capacity 1593x greater than the human eye, with magnification range from 40-660x Limiting stellar magnitude of 14.7 with 12% secondary mirror obstruction
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