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Category >>   Telescopes, Binoculars & Accessories
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Budget Telescopes for Young Astronomers

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  Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Dobsonian
Optics Type: Reflector
Aperture: 114 mm (4.5-inch)
Focal Length: 910 mm, f/7.9
Finder: 6x26
Eyepieces: 25 mm (36x), 10 mm (91x)
Weight: 17.4 lb
RRP: $240
Amazon.com Rating:
Sky & Telescope Rating:

Amazon Customer Review: I purchased this telescope almost a year ago as my first scope and love it. It is easy to use and easily portable. At <20 lbs it is easily carried in one hand using the handle. It gives good views of the moon and planets, particularly if you add a barlow lense to double the power of the provided eyepieces, but is also big enough (at 4.5-in) to begin to show the beauty of the deep-sky objects (galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, etc). I have viewed most of the Messier deep-sky list already. Because it is not on a tripod, it is also easy for kids to view through the eyepiece because they do not need to get on a step ladder. Now that I am sure that I will really be into astronomy as a hobby, I am ready to move on to a larger telescope, but I will keep this one and give it to my kids so they can start to enjoy the night sky. more...

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  Orion StarBlast 4.5 Altazimuth
Optics Type: Reflector
Aperture: 113 mm (4.5-inch)
Focal Length: 450 mm, f/4.0
Finder: Red dot
Eyepieces: 17 mm (26x), 6 mm (75x)
Weight: 13.0 lb
RRP: $199
Amazon.com Rating:
Sky & Telescope Rating:

Amazon Customer Review: I've had an Orion StarBlast for over a year now, and even though I have larger, more sophisticated telescopes, it is the one I use most. The setup is instantaneous though, like other reflectors, it takes some time to cool down on cold nights. It's easily portable, and works well as a grab `n go. The short focal length makes it excellent for low power, wide field views of deep sky objects and the moon. Through the StarBlast, I have observed (to name a few) the Ring Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy (along with its two neighboring galaxies), Galaxies M81 and M82, countless open clusters, the Lagoon and Trifid nebulas, The Eagle Nebula, the nebula in Orion, Comets NEAT and LINEAR. Jupiter's belts and moons are apparent at higher power, as are Saturn's rings and the phases of Venus and Mercury. During the last opposition, I could see Martian polar ice caps. During the last lunar eclipse, I had no trouble taking digital photographs through this instrument. more...

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  Orion Observer 70mm Altazimuth
Optics Type: Refractor
Aperture: 70 mm (2.8-inch)
Focal Length: 700 mm, f/10.0
Finder: Red dot
Eyepieces: 25 mm (28x), 10 mm (70x)
Weight: 7.7 lb
RRP: $129
Amazon.com Rating:
Sky & Telescope Rating:

Product Description: The Observer 70 is the perfect telescope for that budding astronomer in your family. This scope excels in both quality and performance. Its 70mm multi-coated achromatic objective lens gathers 36% more light than a 60mm. And it's made of glass, not plastic, as you'd find in many department store models. more...

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Best Guide for Selecting a Telescope
  Star Ware
The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Using Telescopes and Accessories

by Philip S. Harrington
432 pages, 4th Edition, April 2007
Level: All Levels

Highly Recommended

Thinking of buying a telescope? Don't be fooled by marketing hype. This book is the ultimate source of unbiased information about buying a telescope and other astronomical equipment.

This is the fourth edition of Phil Harrington's popular and comprehensive guide to astronomical equipment. Written for both new astronomers as well as experienced amateurs it includes numerous tips and tricks from other experienced astronomers.

Book Synopsis: Just as our knowledge of the cosmos has changed, so has astronomy technology. So how does the amateur astronomer make informed choices about buying telescopes. In this latest edition of Star Ware, award-winning astronomy writer Philip Harrington helps eliminate the guesswork and guides us through the process with fully updated and expanded chapters on telescopes and accessories.

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Skymaps.com/store -- Recommended Books & Products for Skywatchers
New BooksStar AtlasesGetting StartedObserving GuidesPlanispheresTelescope BooksKids BooksSky Lore
DVDsSoftwareAstroPhotographyStar Map PostersTelescopes & BinocularsAstro Calendars 2017Digital Prints


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