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Old 07-14-2011, 11:10 AM
 
2,186 posts, read 6,558,095 times

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This is a high quality telescope for beginning stargazers and terrestrial gazers alike. Images are right side up, due to the 'erect image optics.' It is a refractor telescope, which means that it is the type invented 400 years ago by Galileo, and has an eyepiece in back and a lens in front. (Newtonian telescopes use mirrors and are called reflectors.) The 70mm lens collects 100 times more light than the naked eye and gives a clear, detailed view of the Moon's craters and the planets, Jupiter's moons and Saturn's rings. It doesn't have the chromatic aberration known as blue fringing that larger refractors have - (unless they are made of expensive materials.) The optical tube is 36 inches long for brighter and sharper images. For viewing deep space objects, such as nebulae and galaxies, it would be necessary to move to a larger aperture and the superior light gathering ability of a Newtonian reflector.

45x or 90x magnification is achieved by switching out the plossl eyepieces. Be aware that there is no protective cap provided for the eyepieces when not in use. However, a removable tray snaps between the legs of the tripod to hold attachments. The alt-azimuth mount is rigid and has a built-in clutch and a large pan handle that allow for easy targeting.

This telescope is simple to set up and requires no tools. Compact and light, it's easy to transport into the countryside for stargazing away from the light pollution of city-scapes.

The tripod is sturdy, but it is too short for most adults. Fortunately, the telescope can easily be removed and attached to a camera tripod. All air-to-glass surfaces are coated to provide crisp, clear images.

There is a 'Star-Pointer Finderscope' mounted permanently next to the eyepiece. It contains a red LED light that is used to zero in on an object. It's simple to align the red dot over the planet or star you want to see. Although the lithium battery for the Star-Pointer has a long life, turning it off before putting the telescope away will extend its life and ensure that it hasn't died while in storage.

The telescope comes with a CD-ROM called "The Sky" which introduces the beginner to the constellations and has printable sky maps for field reference.

An optional yellow filter will allow you to improve the contrast for lunar gazing. The moon is best seen in its partial phases, rather than when it's full. Surfaces such as parking lots or rooftops may produce heat waves that interfere with optimal viewing.

Overall, this is a fantastic telescope for beginners and the $129.95 suggested retail price is not astronomical.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:09 PM
 
Location: The Valley of the Sun
97 posts, read 189,565 times
Reputation: 130
Default Review of Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope, Model 21061

I'll second that ! It is really a good refractor for the money, a keeper. Based on the performance of this 70mm Astromaster - I bought a 90mm Astromaster, and it also is very good. And the price is much less than the very popular 100mm class of refractors, and it's only 10mm less aperture.
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