Is it worth buying an astronomy telescope for under £150?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017  |  Admin

Celestron Inspire 70AZ Refractor telescope
You may have experienced the same as a child; receiving a cheap telescope for Christmas, being unable to contain your excitement for it, but when it comes to using it, the furthest that you could see was the nearest streetlamp. On the flip side, stargazing has taken television by storm in recent years, thanks in part to BBC programme Stargazing Live, but the majority of the images broadcasted are from national observatories, worth billions of pounds. It makes you wonder, whether it’s possible to see anything of worth without splashing out on your very own Hubble telescope.

I’ve chosen to look at the Celestron Inspire 70AZ Refractor telescope, an entry level telescope from a leading optical manufacturer Celestron.





TELESCOPE

The telescope’s barrel is the diameter of an ordinary mug, and is approximately 750 mm in length. The focussing mechanism was very smooth, with the controlling handles on both sides of the eyepiece. A good design. Two different eyepieces came with the scope, at 20mm and 10mm. The maximum magnification possible is an acceptable 165x, and its light gathering power is ‘100x the unaided’, which is up there for something within the price range. The light gathering power was so ‘up there’ that I had to wear sunglasses on one occasion, to focus in on the new moon, perhaps I'll need to invest in a Moon Filter.

Celestron Inspire Telescope


TRIPOD

Bundled with the Celestron Inspire 70AZ Refractor Telescope is a sturdy steel tripod. Mounted on top of the fully-extended tripod, the telescope was around 1.2m off the floor. It was quick to stand up, after extending the legs, fastening the tray-table and forcing the tripod’s pointed, plastic feet into the ground. Then it was simple to mount the telescope on top; sliding it into a frame and bolting it into place. The tripod’s hinge was too sturdy. I had to hold on to the tripod so that I wasn’t tipping it over every time I rotated it into a new position. It kept things nice and steady though.





EXTRA FEATURES
Celestron have brought telescopes into the modern age by making it possible to bind your smartphone to the eyepiece. Yes, that’s right, now your Instagram feed can contain pretty pictures of the night sky alongside your selfies and the photos of your salad. It was a little tricky to set up but I managed to find a position comfortable with my phone and get some shots. Sticking out of the side of the telescope sits what Celestron dubs the "Starpointer Pro", which is the Hollywood name for an illuminated reflex sight, that can be used to quickly centre on objects that can already be seen with the naked eye. A nice addition; it made me feel like I was aiming a bazooka.


VERDICT
An entry level telescope for the prospective astronomer packed with fun extra features, worthy optics and unparalleled ease-of-use, making a Celestron telescope for under £150 definitey worthwhile.




 
Recent Posts
Friday, 7 January 2022  |  Admin
Is the Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A the best Mid-Range Spotting Scope for birdwatching?

I found that the Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Spotting Scope came out with superb reviews on many websites and only had one real competitor in the mid-range categories, which was a brand that I had not heard of. So, I opted for the Vanguard scope and have not been disappointed with it at all.

Friday, 22 October 2021  |  Admin
Review of the Celestron NexStar 127SLT Computerised GoTo Telescope

I'm writing this review on my new Celestron 127mm Maksutov Cassegrain Nexstar SLT. This telescope is my second purchase for astronomy, more so planetary observation. Overall I'm very impressed with this Celestron Nexstar telescope

Thursday, 23 September 2021  |  Admin
Ideal Telescope for first time users - Celestron PowerSeeker 80AZS Telescope

As a total beginner, I wanted a telescope practically ready to use out of the box ... I wasn't disappointed, from opening the box to complete setup took less than ten minutes ... The price for what you get is ridiculously low, the Celestron Powerseeker telescope has a wide field of view and is easy to use.

Friday, 13 August 2021  |  Admin
How long does the battery charge in a Celestron PowerTank Lithium PRO last

A real world account of the Celestron PowerTank Lithium PRO (18768-CGL) .. I needed a longer lasting telescope power pack due to me doing solar day time and astronomy at night at a dark site where I can't charge anything as there is no mains supply .. It's a major upgrade on its little brother