In this post we describe six more astronomy telescopes for home use that don’t quite fit in to one category or another and yet are worthy of mention.
Starlight 80 Refractor Telescope
For the hobbyist astronomer, it is of critical importance that you choose a telescope that satisfies your curiosity about the stars while fitting into your personal budget. Navigating the complex world of telescopes that can illuminate the heavens is a challenging task. To make this process simpler for you, we will take a closer look at the Starlight 80 Refractor Telescope.
The Starlight 80 is a great refractor telescope for a hobbyist or amateur astronomer, primarily because it gives some of the performance features of the higher priced models at a price that makes sense for someone who doesn’t have a lot of money to invest. With fully multicoated, 80mm achromatic optics, aluminum tube housing, and an aluminum dewshield, you are getting quality that could satisfy a scientist without spending Research and Development level cash.
The equatorial mount is 100% metal. It has geared, slow-motion controls on an adjustable tripod made of chrome-coated steel. For higher magnifications, this sturdy platform is necessary. You don’t want shaky footing when using magnifications of the extreme levels available with this model; even minor trembles can make the difference between seeing what you want and missing it by untold distances.
The Starlight 80 Refractor Telescope can display great planetary detail on such interesting cosmic phenomena as the cloud belts of Jupiter, the Saturn ring system, or mountain-level details on Mars. This is no toy-store model. You will be seeing deep into space from your own backyard.
Ultimately, if you are interested in getting a high-quality telescope that can resolve objects in space at a great distance, but do not have a huge budget, this is a great model to choose. It delivers the performance you need without breaking the bank on an amateur budget.
William Optics ZS66 SD APO Refractor
The William Optics ZS66 SD APO Refractor ZS66 is the ideal get up and go scope. Compact and extremely portable, the ZS66 is a necessity in any amateur astronomer’s arsenal. Its size and ability make it a versatile scope, whether used for viewing, imaging, or as a companion scope for larger scopes and image setup. First, the aluminum case is sturdy and reliable for safe and effective transport, preserving the precision of the multi-coated lenses encased in a machined lens cell. Even the finish lends itself to portability and handling, as the paint is durable and fingerprint resistant.
The quality of William Optics is apparent in every aspect of the construction, from the light-reducing baffling that eliminates reflection and stray rays to the colour-free image. The Crayford focuser features two-speed rotatable construction and answers the needs of any image. The focuser allows for precise control for both imaging and observation. Perhaps the best aspect of this scope is its quick set up and ease of use.
The dewshield is compact and retractable, helping portability and set up. Its versatile adapter features SCT threads for use with 1.25″ eyepieces, and with an optional 2″ SCT adapter, the ZS66 accepts a wide array of peripherals. The quality machined threads are protected with a compression ring for the best fit and safety of parts. No matter the eyepiece, the colour and clarity of the image are amazing. This scope maintains high contrast and bright field for both viewing and imaging.
Imaging might be where the ZS66 stands out. The f/5 focal ratio in conjunction with the aperture makes it a must-have tool for the beginning and expert astro-photographer alike. In addition, the customization of the scope is what makes it a necessity in your collection. With compatible reducers and guiderings for DSLR cameras, the ZS66 really is whatever you need and want it to be.
The size and versatility of the William Optics 2008 New Design ZS66 SD APO Refractor make it essential for the amateur astronomer. It is capable as a scope for observation and imaging alike and is at home mounted on both an astronomical mount for sky watching or a tripod for photographs. When considering its size and portability, the value for the quality of the image is simply unbeatable
Bushnell 4.5″ Reflector Altazimuth Short Tube Telescope
The night skies are awaiting you with the Bushnell 4.5” Reflector Altazimuth Short Tube Telescope. The universe and its myriad sights are well within your capability. The Model 78-8846 Bushnell Northstar reflector telescope allows an easy find of your specific celestial targets.
Using a built-in database containing 20,000 celestial objects, an automatic finder locates the objects quickly and moves the telescope to view the precise location. Reflector telescopes allow a broader picture of the sky than other types of telescopes and with the red dot finder and the automated tracking mechanism as standard issue, you can enjoy rapid identification, location and exploration of objects in the night sky.
The telescope has a computer driven locator that responds to a hand-held control. The device is adapted for night use with red back lighting and red LCD controls to protect you night vision. Once you have chosen your object the computer directs the scope to the correct location and identifies the object, eliminating guesswork and adding confidence for the amateur observer.
The short tube reflector magnifies the value of your observation with the patented RVO program. This audio program provides an interesting, fully interactive narration of your viewing as you pan the sky or track your object. The mobility of the kinetic mount scope allows for automatic tracking of your target for easy and extended observation.
The Bushnell reflector is equipped with two eyepieces for a better range of views as well as a Barlow lens adapted for increased magnification. You can see an object up to 675 times the naked eye magnification with the Bushnell Northstar reflector due to its 900mm focal length and range of eyepieces.
Two eyepieces along with the Barlow lens can provide four distinct magnifications that give you differing perspectives and detail of each celestial object. You can even get a 1X view with a red dot finder for a panoramic view of the night sky. A red dot finder can facilitate identification in the non-computerized mode.
The telescope comes equipped with an accessory tray and a quick release tripod to enhance night use and portability. For those who want to record their viewing, the telescope is fully camera adaptable.
The Bushnell Northstar 4.5” Altazimuth Short Tube Telescope sells for less than £250 and is available for purchase online at www.bushnell.com. Combining accuracy, facility, and fun, this is an excellent telescope for the amateur astronomer.
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Konus Konusky 200 Newtonian Reflector Telescope with Dual Axis Motor
One of the first things you might notice about the Konus Konusky 200 straight out of the box is the telescope’s 8″ diameter. For many beginning or intermediate hobbyists, this may be a step up and its ability to collect light when compared to smaller scopes will be apparent immediately. This additional size will make deep space observation much easier. The Konus Konusky 200 also offers a sturdy full-sized tripod and a dual axis motor which make centering on celestial objects that much easier, but more on that later.
The package includes detailed instructions on assembly of the telescope. Overall, a person with experience in astronomy could have this out of the box and fully assembled in thirty minutes or less. The tools needed for the assembly are included which is a pleasant surprise. One thing that is not included though is any sort of guide for what to do with the telescope once you have it put together. S
o, if you’re a novice and don’t have experience with equipment of this nature, you might want to get some literature to help you with everything past the initial assembly of this item. Another thing that might be an issue for someone new to astronomy is that the scope does not support Autostar and other such programs.
Once the device is set up, finding your desired object is quick and easy. With the dual axis motors, you’ll find that keeping things centered is incredibly easy as well. To most observers, you will notice that even after 15 minutes or more the subject will be well centered in the eyepiece. This makes observation at high powers much more enjoyable as you will get to spend your time looking at the subject and not toying about with your telescope. For example, M13 can be observed at a high enough power to see the defining features without looking like a grey “smear” and still stay well centered.
In short, this telescope is a good solid investment for anyone looking to upgrade from that 5″ telescope that they have had for a few years. While it might not be the best choice for a beginner, users with experience in astronomy will find that the construction, the features, and the price make for a great addition to your own personal observatory
Galileo FS120DX 1000 x 120mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope
The Galileo FS120DX 1000 x 120mm is a fun and easy-to-use Newtonian reflecting telescope. The FS120DX is not only packed with features that translate easily for the beginner’s use, but its range and viewing potential will more than satisfy the more sophisticated user. In addition to the telescope itself, super glide mount, two eyepieces, tripod, 3 X 3 element Barlow lens, and adjustable tube clamp, the FS120DX also comes with an accessory tray, CD-Rom with instructions and a limited one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Galileo FS120DX’s user-friendly super glide mount and slow-motion controls make it accessible even for the novice. With its preassembled tripod, it is simple and quick to set up. The telescope comes already attached to the mount, so all you have to do is fasten it to the tripod. This ease of use makes this system very portable. The FS120DX comes with two zoom eyepieces that change power levels, so you do not always have to change eyepieces to get a different look.
However, what makes the FS120DX so amazing is its unique balance of light and power with its 1000 mm focal length and 120 mm primary mirror. With this perfect combination, you can really see the night sky with incredible clarity. There are no blurry images here—everything is crisp and clear. This feature really makes for some marvelous viewing.
The FS120DX also comes with another handy feature: its red dot finderscope. For the beginner, it takes a little patience to figure out how to use it, but with technical support both from the CD-Rom and Galileo’s website, you will be able to track objects in the night sky to locate and pinpoint whatever planets and stars you are interested in viewing. This puts an end to so much of the frustration that can occur when you are trying to reconcile what is on a star map with what you are actually looking at.
Coming out of the box, this sleek and sophisticated telescope may seem like more than you can handle, but you will be surprised at how easy it is to set up and use. And once you are out there using it, you will be astounded by what you see.
Meade 4.5″ Telstar Newtonian Reflector Telescope with AutoStar goto Computer
Meade’s Telstar Newtonian Reflector is an ideal telescope for the amateur. One of the major difficulties in the practise of astronomical observation is locating an object in the sky before using the scope to get a good look at it (the magnification isolates such a small piece of the sky that “eyeballing it” is not effective). Fortunately, the Autostar GoTo computer eliminates the need to read star charts; this device has a database of approximately 1500 celestial objects, any of which it can locate and track by controlling the alignment of the telescope. Stargazing has never been easier.
As for the scope itself, the resolving power is just as ideal for an amateur. With a practical magnification of 325x, one can easily view planets in detail, even getting a chance to check out the moons of the larger, more distant planets, as well as the rings of Saturn. The large (114mm) aperture, which gathers 3.6 times more light than 60mm telescopes, makes this high-level detail possible. Furthermore, as a Newtonian reflector, this telescope suffers from no chromatic aberration, which the typical refracting telescopes are prone to. Consequently, colors in images will not blur.
The beginner may have some minor difficulties with this model. Reflectors use two internal mirrors that must be in a very precise alignment to reliably produce an image. Re-aligning them may be difficult (although experts insist it is an easy skill to pick up), but nevertheless this problem only arises when the telescope is being transported around too much.
The major problem with this model is it has been discontinued by Meade and replaced by a version in the new DS-2000 series. Availability is limited to used purchases, so the physical condition of the telescope may be questionable. On the other hand, buying it used will cost a fraction of the price of its analogue in the DS-2000 series, so if one manages to find this telescope available somewhere it would be wise to snatch it up while it’s still around.
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Orion Sirius 80ED EQ-G GoTo Refractor Telescope
The main feature that sets the Orion Sirius 80 EQ Go To Refractor telescope apart from the others is that it is ideally designed for suburb astro-photography. When taking photographs of the nighttime sky, it is vital to have a high-quality reliable telescope to use.
The lens used on the Orion Sirius refractor telescope has a f/7.5. An advantage to the 80 mm objective lens. One of the lenses used is specially made to reduce the color infringing that occurs from chromatic aberration, causing the lines and blurring of color in the images that are taken. These have been a bane of astro-photographers for an exceptionally long time.
This telescope comes with the Sirius EQ-G Go-To mount to achieve stability while taking pictures. Both stability and control are needed when taking photographs with the Orion Sirius 80 EQ refracting telescope since it is such a powerful scope. This stability is provided by using the Crayford style focuser for both two inch and one and a quarter inch accessory while mounting your camera and imaging eyepiece.
The database has nearly forty-three thousand images of the celestial objects for astronomical photographers to refer to when using the hand controller. This is used to zero in on the precise astronomical features desired. The mount has internal motors to stabilize the two different axes. One great feature is the periodic error correction to correct movement of the planets and stars as our earth rotates and moves through space; this stabilizing results in the wonderful photographs that are taken with this scope.
The price of the Orion Sirius 80ED refractor telescope is $1, 499.95; also payable is a shipping charge. This telescope is not intended for children to use unattended; it is intended for adult use.
The Go To hand controller requires a Windows 95 platform or later, a computer interface cable that is supplied, an RS-232 communications port on the personal computer being used, and a DC power supply that is at least 7.5V to 15V @ 100mA or greater output. It needs to have a 2.1 mm tip with a positive plug for minimal performance. It is important to make sure that the communication port on the personal computer can meet the high transfer rate. If it is not, the information can be uploaded at a lower rate, but the time needed will also be increased.
The tripod for the Orion Sirius 80 ED has 1.75 diameter legs made of stainless steel with a stabilizing tray that allows the telescope to be mounted easily and efficiently while in use. It requires a twelve-volt DC battery, or it can be adapted to use 110-volt power by using an adapter that switches from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). It has a one-year limited warranty.
For the price, the Orion in question is an excellent scope, geared toward the more serious amateur sky watcher.
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Last update on 2022-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API