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Hi everyone, about a month ago i got my first telescope. Wasn't sure what to get but i wanted something portable and easy to setup and use. After some internet "research" i decided to go for a refractor on a manual alt/az mount. The telescope was on a 50% sale so i decided to go for it , the Meade infinity 90. The package: The scope came in one big box, everything was inside. Included was the optical tube, the mount, 3 eyepieces (6.3mm, 9mm and 26mm), a 2x barlow lens, 90 degree diagonal, red dot finder, an eyepiece holder for the mount and a few manuals. The optical tube: The tube has a 90mm (3.5in) aperture and 600mm focal length. It looks and feels as a quality instrument, it has a small dew shield and the focuser is smooth when you move it back and forward. As expected the lens looks to be coated. It has a dovetail bar on it with 3 holes for screws. The mount: Light but stable, made of aluminium. It has 3 extendable legs, and 2 slow motion cables (alt/az). One screw to mount the tube on on top (adjustable back and forward). The eyepieces and barlow: All 3 are modified achromat eyepieces, the lenses are made of glass and are OK for the beginner, but i would suggest upgrading if you can. The barlow is bad i even think that the optics are plastic (not sure), it is usable if you don't have other options but this should be the first upgrade in my opinion. Observing: First light: The telescope arrived in the morning so the first thing i did after a quick setup was to adjust the red dot finder. I looked at some mountains about 20km away, the view was nice and very detailed using all eyepieces. Combining the 6.3mm with the barlow got me a bit blurry view, but the barlow in combination with the other eyepieces was ok. Night came and it was a moonless and clear night (only light pollution from the city i live in). I saw orion right infront of me, "marked" it with the red dot finder where i thought M42 should be and looked through the 26mm eyepiece. It was a bit blurry but after adjusting the focus i could see some nice pinpoint stars and also something fuzzy, i realized it was the orion nebula. After letting my eyes adjust to the view for a few minutes i started seeing 2 faint "wings" on both sides and in the center were 4 very tiny stars, i didn't expect to see that on my first night. I followed my target for about 15 minutes using the slow motion controls , it was easy to do. Also tried the 9mm eyepiece and with it the 4 stars were more easily seen but the faint clouds got fainter so i moved back to the 26mm. Next target was venus, i tried all eyepieces + with combination with the barlow. It looked like a very bright half moon without any details. When using the barlow the view was ok but purple glow was showing around the planet, without the barlow the purple wasn't noticeable. I also looked at the star Sirius which looked nice, bright and much bigger then any other star i could see that night. After Venus went down i decided it was enough for day one. Moon: I expected it to look good, but not this good. I was observing the moon for a couple of nights until it got full. I could see a lot of details at the terminator , with low and high magnification. When the moon was full it was very very bright and it looked best with the smallest magnification using the 26mm eyepiece. Jupiter and Saturn: I got 2 opportunities to look at these 2, the first time i think the "seeing" was bad. I could only see Jupiters 4 moons and the planet was a bright disc without any details at any magnification i tried. Saturn also wasn't very good, i could see the rings but they were blurry and "dancing" around. But the next time i had the chance to look at these planets the conditions were much better, first target was again Jupiter. With the 26mm eyepiece i could see a white disc with 4 moons.With the 9mm i could see the moons again but now the disc had very faint 2 bands without any color. The view was best with the 6.3mm eyepiece, the 2 bands were clearly visible and on the upper belt on the right side there was a small dark dot, i am not sure if it was anything . Next target was Saturn, event with the 26mm eyepiece i could see that it has rings, i switched to the 6.3mm right away and wow there it was, Saturn and its rings clearly visible, i even think i could spot the cassini devision, but it might have been my eyes playing tricks. I tried using the barlow on both targets but it was making the image blurry, but at this point i had purchased a higher quality barlow and the views were very nice with it , but the max magnification i could use that night was 133x, anything higher and the image was getting wobbly (probably that was due to the atmosphere that night). After that some clouds came in and it was time to get back to bed (got up just to see the planets in 4am). Conclusion: I think i got what i wanted, a small and very portable telescope for some basic amateur observing. I do recommend this telescope to anyone as a first telescope or even to an experienced astronomer who is looking for something light, portable and being able to set it up and start observing in 2 minutes. Also i would recommend you replace all of the eyepieces and the barlow. I got me a few plossl eyepieces and a nice barlow, it was worth it. Feel free to ask me anything regarding this telescope i will be more than happy to answer. Sorry for any spelling mistakes this review probably contains Also i am attaching a few images i took directly off the eyepiece using my smartphone (handheld). The Telescope The Moon: The Moon: Venus: Saturn: Jupiter:
Hi Stargazers, I realise you guys have probably answered a million of these questions by now but I'm a total noob and don't want to waste money on something that turns out to be a load of rubbish! Haha My budget is around £200 which I realise won't get anything super amazing but I've been looking around and wondered if you'd give an opinion on the following https://www.bresseruk.com/bresser-messier-ar-90-900-nano-az-telescope.html I would love to be able to view the moon in good detail and ideally see Saturn and Jupiter etc. I could upgrade eyepieces as and when funds allow but does this sound any good at all as a starter scope? Or do you have any other recommendations for around the 200 mark? Thanks in advance
Hey guys,im currently on a school trip and brought my celestron firstscope with, tonight we ll be trying some dsos and maybe saturn and jupiter,the telescope itself is not collimated and dirty (on the mirrors)So I wanted to ask.in the scope, there is no primary adjustment screws,only the ones to take it off .Does that mean that its set , allowing me to take it off wash it and back on without having to recollimate the primary? Thanks Kronos
I recently had to move from my residence and amongst the items in my store was the first telescope I had ever used. It as a Celestron FirstScope 114 that is no longer in production, a 4.5 inch f8 classic newtonian. Unlike the current model PowerSeeker 114, it has a EQ2 mount rather than an EQ1, and a red dot finder instead of the unusable 6X30 plastic unit on the PowerSeeker. So after probably a dozen years since last using it I decided it might be interesting to put it through its paces. I fondly recall seeing things like the polar ice cap on Mars at opposition, the GRS spot on Jupiter, the Cassini Division on Saturn and some deep sky objects like M7, the Double Cluster, the M81 M82 pair and a lot of more with this scope. After using a CPC 1100 almost exclusively since, I wanted to confirm to myself that I had really seen those object through the scope. The carton it was packed in was not completely sealed so it was covered with a great deal of dust. Looking down at the primary I could see some dark smudges - I didn't know if it was dirt or deterioration of the aluminum coating but luckily very little dust. I decided I would try the scope out before attempting to dismantle and do anything with the mirror. I cleaned it up the best I could and assembled it with more difficulty than I recalled having in the past. I used to keep it fully assembled with the latitude set at 9 degrees, the counterweight midway between two of the tripod legs and set it down with the polar axis roughly pointing North. I found that this way a could track an object with the RA slow motion control with only occasionally having to adjust the Declination. I tried to do the same this time but was constrained by having to set up on a narrow balcony rather than on the open ground. After having to wait a few day for the unseasonal clouds to clear (It looks like the bad weather issue also applies when you resurrect an old scope?) first target (Drum roll!!!) Albireo which was high up in the eavening sky. I had difficulty finding the target - I guess it was too much to hope that the battery in the red dot finder would still be alive after a dozen years. Using a 20mm eyepiece that came with a Celestron 102SLT I anxiously searched around and after a few minutes located the unmistakable colorful pair. Encouraged I switched to a 9mm eyepiece from the Celestron Eyepiece and Filter kit - and I must say I was pleased. At 100X the image was sharp and somewhat surprisingly, the collimation seemed very decent. The big difficulty was the stability of the mount. A touch of the slow motion controls would start it shaking, taking maybe 5 to 7 seconds to settle. Focusing was the real challenge. I would make a tiny adjustment to the focus wait for it to settle then try again till I felt I had achieved the best possible. That was all I had time for the first evening and packed up not too disappointed. A couple of days later I had the scope out again. I first tried Jupiter low down in the SW. The seeing was bad but I could clearly see the two equatorial bands and three moons. In the past I had used the 4mm eyepiece from the above mentioned kit for a magnification of 225X. There is a 2X barlow in the kit but I had wanted to use the minimum amount of glass possible. This time I used the barlow with the 9mm eyepiece from the same kit for a magnification of 200X but with a more comfortable eyepoint. When the seeing was more steady for brief moments I though I could see some structure in the belts. My next target was Epsilon Lyrae - the double double. After some difficulty finding the pair and battling with the focuser, I had a rewarding view with both pairs clearly separated at 200X - nice airy discs (almost points) with some hints of diffraction rings. And finally for the pièce de résistance, I turned my scope to Saturn about 50 degrees above the horizon. With the 32mm eyepiece the rings were obvious. I carefully changed to the 9mm barlow assembly and frankly was amazed! The Cassini Division was in your face visible - no challenge at all. I felt the coloring of the bands on the planet was move vivid that through the CPC 1100. I could clearly see the shadow of the planet on the rings. Titan was visible with direct vision. The view was crisp to the extent that I thought it could take more magnification. With the CPC 1100 I once had the magnification up to 400X and though I could see the Enke gap as a darkening in the outer ring - but the FirstScope does not break your budget or your back! In conclusion I remember reading a review of a 4.5 inch newtonian (I think in was the Orion XT4.5 Dobsonian) and the reviewer mentioning the apo like views given by the diffraction limited spherical f8 primary. Having never had the chance to look through an apo refractor I can't confirm either way but clearly these cheap reflectors are nothing to sneeze at. Were it not for the unsteady mount I would have loved to continue using this scope. I imagine this scope but on a good quality altazimuth mount would make a very good beginner instrument. Hopefully I can pass it on to a youth who is passionate enough about astronomy to tolerate its quirks as I did and put it to good use. Thanks for reading!
"Come take a look at what I brought for tonight's session." "What the hell is this pathetic little thing? It's just a funny little toy!" One hour later: "Stop fooling around with that Firstscope already and come take a look through the 12" dob." "Nah, I'm good." Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the mighty Celestron Firstscope 76; and I put thit to you, this funny little thing is probably the best astro purchase I have ever made. Ok, now, I'm fully aware that most of you will skip this review with derisive grin, but before you do, consider the following: Optically, It is a fully capable newtonian refelctor with a primary mirror diameter of 76mm, which, given its inherent lack of chormatic abberation, will outperform most of the cheap entry-level acrhomats. And it gets better. With just 300 mm focal length, it gives low magnification and amazing widefield views, which is especially handy with some large objects you will struggle to fit in your large telescope's field of view. For example, Adromeda Galaxy is way more enjoyable in the Firstscope than in my 12" dob (despite the fact that the dob allows me to see the dustbands clearly), and I really mean it. Same goes with Pleiades, or moon/planet(s) conjunctions or large star clusters. Supplied eyepieces are, as you would expect, fairly poor, but at least totally functional. But, if you are already into this astro business, chances are that you have some fairly decent eyepieces lying around unused, so why not use them with this little toy? I had a spare TS 17mm 70° ERFLE eyepiece myself, so I assigned it to this half-pint for good. Ok, the scope is 76/300, which means it is an F/3.9, which means, in case you are bad in math, that its a pretty "fast" scope. That means that you can't expect to see point-sharp stars across the entire field of view, even with a decent sort of EP, and distortions around the edges of the field of view are very noticible, but hey, don't be picky. It's a firstscope for Chist's sake, not some fancy hi-tech japanese triplet. Whatever eyepiece you stuff into this thing though, it will probably give something like 15-20x magnification, which means that all of the advantages describe above apply. And, since it has so low magnification, it means that you probably will do without a finderscope. But if you require one, there are some pre-prepared fixture bolts, intended for those terrible 30mm plasticky finderscopes you probably have buried deep down in your astro stuff drawer that is full of stuff you were too fond of to throw away, so problem solved. The primary mirror sits solidly in the back of the tube, which means its uncollimateable (is that even a word?). However, the primary mirror is somewhat adjustable, so if you are skilled enough, alligning the optical assembly properly will not be a major issue. I myself made a centre spot on the primary and alligned the optics as best as I could using laser collimator; it was fiddly, but doable. Build quality of this little dwarf is, considering its class, amazing. It is not some cheap department store telescope that breaks into little pieces in a light breeze. The tube itself is made from metal and the plastic focuser assembly feels solid enough to withstand for ages (if you treat it well). It all sits on a sturdy alt-az (dobsonian type) chipwood mount, which means that it is very stable, giving it advantage over a pair of big binos. Oh, and did I mention that it is a table top? What was I thinking - guys, it's a table top scope, allright? I bet most of us use table or a surface of some sort when observing, so no big deal. The scope then is small, robust and very light, so it is an ideal grab-and-go; I call it grab-and-throw actually, because I just take it as it stands and throw it into a boot of my car when I'm going observing. It's designed to take some battering (with children in mind), so it is unlikely that you will ever knock the optics out of allignment, or break anything. Practicality-wise, it is as straight forward as it seems. You just grab it, put in on a table, remove the dust covers, and without it cooling down (image distortion with such low magnifications is negligible) you are ready to use it. No finderscope needed, you just aim from the hip and fire. One thing that seems a bit odd is the positioning of the focuser on the OTA, which makes it a bit awkward when you try observing something near the horizon, but hey, drill some extra holes in it an rotate it anyway you want it - even a toddler can do that. Most significant I think is the Firstscope's didactic value - it scores high in quite a few areas. First, it is absolutely superb for when you want to explain to someone how a newtonian telescope works, because it is as simple and as clear as it can be. Then, it is utterly foolproof and totally intuitive to use; you must be a total idiot to not know how to use it. Learning-wise, it is not wrong to point out that the views from the scope are very basic, which gives you some idea as to what the pioneer astronomers saw with their modest equipment. It is wonderful to think that you see the Jupiter and its moons roughly as Galileo did. Moreover, the IYA edition was designed with astronomy outreach in mind, so you have the OTA covered with names of notable astronomers, so if you get even a little bit curious, you can google for hours, finding out why were they so significant to deserve a place on this telescope, which is absolutely magnificent in my book. Then, you have the fabulous IYA sticker on it, which, for me, was the main reason (I am not ashamed to admit it) why I bought this pigmy scope. The IYA project allowed me to access a wide range of educational resources on astronomy otherwise unavailable in my country, so I fell I owe it one. And I bet I'm not the only one. So why was this little nipper the best astro purchase I have ever made? Well, I bought it brand new (auction of a last piece in stock) for the equivalent of only £24!!! I bet you will have little problem finding one second hand) Allow me to point it out: BRAND NEW FOR ONLY £24 !!! The eyepice I use with it was almost twice that price! Your significant other, your child, your toddler, your grandpa, your grandpa, your dog, your friends, they all can use it with ease. The wide field of view, the simplicity, the quality, the practically and above all, the amazing didactic value, and only £24 ??? I rest my case!