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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

Orion’s Observer 70 EQ combines the solid optical performance of a classic achromatic refractor with a German style equatorial mount. The Observer 70 features very good optics and 36 percent more light gathering power than 60mm beginner scopes. The complete accessory package includes high and low power eyepieces, a 90 degree star diagonal, a red-dot finder, illustrated instructions, and Orion‘s Starry Night Special Edition astronomy software.

The Observer 70 EQ features very good optical performance.
The Observer 70 EQ also features an aluminum tripod and an EQ-1 equatorial mount. The equatorial mount is a little more complicated to balance and align than the Observer 70 AZ , but the reward is better slow motion control and tracking at magnifications over 100X. Simply point the equatorial axis at Polaris, the North Star, and the telescope tracks celestial objects by turning one slow motion knob. This makes it much easier to use a high power eyepiece while viewing the Moon and Planets. The “EZ Finder II” works by shining a red LED on a small window; just look through the window and line up the red spot with your target. This works OK for bright objects like the Moon and planets but not so well for finding galaxies and deep space objects.
Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
Achromatic refractors have a two piece objective lens, the second lens element compensates for “chromatic aberration”, the false color or blue fringes seen in low cost telescopes. In daylight tests I see very little blue fringing with the standard equipment 10mm eyepiece (70X magnification), and none at all with the 25mm eyepiece (28X). Stars and planets show up very nicely with the Observer 70. The quadruple star in the Orion Nebula known as the Trapezium is cleanly split into four components with the 10mm eyepiece (70X magnification). When I combine the 10mm eyepiece with a 2X Barlow lens for 140X magnification, I’m treated to lovely views of Saturn’s rings and the little orange disk of Mars. My view of the Moon is delightfully crisp and clear; the 25mm eyepiece nicely frames the Lunar disk, and using the 10mm eyepiece I can easily see mountain peaks and terraced walls inside the crater Copernicus.
Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor TelescopeOrion’s Observer 70 EQ is simply a very good entry level telescope for a student or family. The good quality 70mm optics produce an image that is significantly sharper and brighter than 60mm beginner scopes, and the package includes a solid mount, two good eyepieces, and fully illustrated instructions. --Jeff Phillips


Pros:
  • Reliable refractor design
  • Good views of the Moon and planets
  • Complete accessory package
  • Starry Night software included
Cons:
  • Finder only works for bright objects
  • Product Description
  • This tried-and-true refractor goes the extra distance in introducing the novice to the wonders of the night sky. The Observer 70 features a 70mm fully anti-reflection coated achromatic objective lens, which provides 36% more light-gathering ability than a 60mm. Its 700mm focal length (f/10) will show you the stark beauty of the lunar surface, Saturn's rings, Jupiter's atmospheric belts, or the billowy clouds of the Orion Nebula. The included EQ-1 equatorial mount comes equipped with dual slow-motion controls for manual star tracking and adjustable aluminum tripod. Includes an EZ Finder II finder scope to help you zero in on your celestial targets, two eyepieces - 25mm (1.25") and 10mm (1.25") - and 90-deg star diagonal. One year limited warranty.
Product Features
  • A great entry-level refractor telescope at a very affordable price
  • Reveals detailed views of the Moon and bright planets such as Jupiter and Saturn
  • 70mm (2.75") aperture and 700mm focal length provides great views of bright night-sky objects
  • Includes sturdy tripod and equatorial (EQ) mount for convenient manual slow-motion tracking of celestial objects
  • Includes two eyepieces, finder scope, focuser, 90-degree mirror diagonal for comfortable viewing
  • Free Starry Night astronomy software and DVD, and more!

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