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Old 05-26-2011, 01:35 PM
 
2,186 posts, read 7,532,374 times

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Meade ETX-80AT-TC Astro Telescope with AutoStar
My husband is a devoted star follower and never had a telescope until two Christmas's ago when bought this model for him as a present. Most of what it does is over my head by my husband was thrilled with it. The manufacturer's retail price is currently $400 dollars but I purchased it for $288 dollars. Many times during the holiday season, one can obtain good sales on these high end items.
This telescope automatically locates hundreds of objects and it is a wonder to view the stars through this telescope. This feature is called Auto Star and will locate about 1300 different objects, such as moons, stars and planets. The telescope comes with Auto Star software and a DVD to instruct the user on how this feature operates. The Auto Star feature will also bring up on the LCD screen the information about what the user is viewing, whether it is a star or planet, etc. In addition, if you don't know what to look for, push the best tour button and the telescope will automatically guide you to what is easily located on that particular night. In addition, this software will help the novice user learn how to read star charts and to learn what is out there in our night sky. Optional software will also enable you to hook up your computer so that you and other family members will be able to see the images in a larger format.
This model is very lightweight and portable. It has been taken to the beach, to camp grounds and over to the grandchildren's home to locate various celestial beings. There are additional pieces of equipment that will enable the user to take pictures of what he or she is looking at through the telescope, but they are sold separately. The user can also purchase what is called an erecting prism that can assist one to see the images during the day light hours. This optional piece of equipment might interest others, but did not interest my husband.
The purchase price includes a tri-pod which you really need to have to be able to use the telescope. However, if you have a patio table outside you can sit the unit on the table and use it that way also. This is such a nice telescope that we purchased one for our grandson for his birthday this past June. He is only five but has learned how to operate the telescope. It is child friendly.
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