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Planetary Astronomy

Celestron Powerseeker 80EQ telescope (personal review)

All right, finally I have some time to share with you my experience with the telescope Celestron Powerseeker 80 EQ.

I will begin from the reality as it is now for me – I do not have this telescope anymore. For the last couple of months it was a little bit difficult for me to take it with me everywhere, because to be honest – it is a pretty big telescope. On the other hand, I was very satisfied with this telescope. So lets’ take a look on my experience, maybe you will find it useful when deciding which telescope to buy.

Here is my telescope in the kitchen of our flat where we used to live back in 2009. You can compare the size of the telescope to the furniture around.

I have purchased this telescope back in 2009. I wanted it for my astronomy observations during my free time, especially for watching the Moon. Actually the Moon was the first object which I had seen through this telescope and it was more than awesome. The view was like you were “flying” just right over the surface. Of course, everything depends on attached eyepiece.

For my first observation of the Moon with this telescope, I used the eyepieces included to this telescope. There was also one piece of Barlow lens, but I did not like this much. I prefer to use just the telescope with an eyepiece attached to it.

With this telescope I later observed Saturn, Mars, Jupiter with its moons, the Sun (do not forget to use the protective Solar filter!) and various deep sky objects. All objects were clearly visible with this telescope.

Most of my observations were focused on the surface of the Moon. I was looking for a way to record my observations, because previously I was just drawing them with a pencil on a piece of paper. This was quite nice and kind of “romantic” activity, but my art-skills are not pretty good. So I was looking for a way how to attach some small camera to this telescope and connect it with the computer.

After reading a lot of information how it is “not possible” with this telescope, I have found a very easy way how it is possible. Personally me, I think that “when there is a will then there is a way”, so I did not hesitate and I started to work on it.

I bought a small web cam with resolution just 2 MPx. I know, it isn’t very much, but it was enough for me that time. I had precisely attached the web camera directly to the eyepiece and connected it to the computer.

The software for recording I used the one delivered with the camera. There was an option to take a video, so I was taking a video instead of pictures. Why video? Because it is much easier to take video with the telescope that doesn’t have any time machine attached to the mount. The Earth is rotating, so with some longer exposure times your photos will be a little bit disaster.

When you will play the recording in some video editing software, you can save nice frames as a photos. Or you can make a small trick – just pause the playback and take a snapshot. I recommend you to clean up the photos in some image editor, for example Gimp.

Are you thinking about buying this telescope? I would recommend you to do it. If you do not plan to move very often, then this telescope would be a very good choice. It is perfectly stable, the quality of the materials used are very good (steel, aluminum, glass) and the default set of eyepieces are just enough for all interesting planetary astronomy observations. If you are not sure where to buy this telescope, I can recommend you this store, I have good experience with them.

The technical parameters:

Optical Design: Refractor
Aperture (mm): 80 mm (3.15 in)
Focal Length: 900 mm (35 in)
Focal Ratio: 11
Focal Length of Eyepiece 1 (mm): 20 mm (0.79 in)
Magnification of Eyepiece 1: 45 x
Focal Length of Eyepiece 2 (mm): 4 mm (0.16 in)
Magnification of Eyepiece 2: 225 x
Barlow Lens: 3 x
Finderscope: 5×24
Star Diagonal: 1.25″ Erect Image Diagonal
Mount Type: German Equatorial
Accessory Tray: No-Tool Tray with Eyepiece holder
Tripod: Aluminum
Highest Useful Magnification: 189 x
Lowest Useful Magnification: 11 x
Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 12
Resolution (Rayleigh): 1.74 arc seconds
Resolution (Dawes): 1.45 arc seconds
Light Gathering Power (Compared to human eye): 131 x
Apparent Field of View: 1.2 °
Linear Field of View (@1000 yds): 61 ft (19 m)
Optical Coatings: Multi-Coated
Optical Tube Length: 38 in (965 mm)
Total Telescope Kit Weight: 19 lbs (8.62 kg)

 

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