Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope

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4.5/5 on January 27, 2019

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Do you need a dual purpose telescope for land and sky viewing? Check out the Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ.

The Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope is a dual-purpose telescope that is perfect for both terrestrial and celestial viewing. This is a high quality telescope for beginners, whether you choose to stargaze or search out terrestrial objects. Images are right side up, due to the ‘erect image optics.’ It is a refractor telescope and has a lens in front and an eyepiece in the back. (Newtonian telescopes use mirrors and are called reflectors). The 21061 Astro Master 70 AZ Telescope by Celestron produces bright and clear images of the Moon and planets through the telescope ‘s Fully Coated Lens.

Why buy a Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ?

This Telescope has a 70mm Lens, taking in enough light to see the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter. Also, the Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Altazimuth Telescope Refractor is delivered with two eyepieces of 45X and 90X magnification, which can pull in objects both near and far away. It doesn’t suffer from the chromatic aberration known as blue fringing that larger refractors have – (unless they are made of expensive materials). The optical tube is 36”long for brighter and sharper pictures. 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.

The 45x or 90x magnification is achieved by switching out the plossl eyepieces. Note that there is no protective cap provided for the eyepieces when not in use – so you either need to remove them or find a protective cap. However, a removable tray snaps between the legs of the tripod to hold attachments. The AstroMaster 70 AZ Telescopes have an Altazimuth Mount that allow the user to easily move the telescope up and down or left and right. The alt-azimuth mount is sturdy and has a built-in clutch and a large pan handle that make for easy targeting. This alt-az mount also makes the telescope very easy to move when viewing terrestrial objects. This telescope is simple to set up and doesn’t require any tools. As it is compact and light, it’s easy to transport into the countryside, for incredible stargazing unhindered by light pollution.

While the tripod is sturdy, it is too short for most adults. Fortunately, the telescope will simply 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 lens. It contains a red LED light that’s accustomed to zero in on an object. It’s quite simple to align the red dot over the planet or star you want to see. Although the lithium battery for the Star-Pointer does have a long life, you can extend it’s life and ensure that it hasn’t died while in storage by turning it off before putting the telescope away.

The AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope is shipped with a CD-ROM called “The Sky” which introduces the beginner to the constellations and also has printable sky maps for field reference.

An optional yellow filter allows you to improve the contrast for lunar gazing. You get the best views of the moon when in its partial phases, rather than when it’s full. Keep in mind that surfaces such as parking lots or rooftops may produce heat waves that interfere with optimal viewing. In addition, these Celestron AstroMaster Telescopes are very kid’s friendly with its Refractor style, creating them easy to maintain and capable to withstand continuous use.

Overall, this is a fantastic telescope for beginners and the suggested retail price is not astronomical.

Features

Magnification: The Magnification 1 and 2 of the telescope is 45x and 90x respectively. The Astromaster has a highest useful magnification of 165x and a lowest useful of 10x. It has a focal length of 900mm with a focal ration of 12.86. The Aperture length is 70mm with a refractor optical design. The glass optics is coated to provide clear images.

Easy Setup: The Astromaster 70 can be set up easily once it arrives. It does not require that you use any tools for the process. The dovetail attachment can also be fitted with the telescope without the use of tools.

Easy Navigation: The Astromaster can be used to easily navigate the night sky by pushing it any direction towards the desired subject. The telescope is accompanied by pan handle control which allows you to accurately control the direction of your telescope.

Stable Design: The telescope sports a stylish design and can be balanced on a rugged tripod which provides a stable and firm platform.  The optical tube length is 36 in. The Altazimuth tripod has 1.25” steel tube lengths. An accessory tray is included designed to provide convenient storage for your accessories. The telescope weights 69 oz. Its lightweight design makes it easy to carry about and even easier to store.

The Sky: The Astromaster is accompanied by a First light edition of ‘The SkyX’. The SkyX is an astronomy program that includes several printable sky maps and over 5 dozen enhanced images. It also contains a rich object database with over 10000 entries that you can use as a reference point.

Specs

  • Optical Design: Refractor
  • Aperture: 70mm (2.76″)
  • Focal Length: 900mm (35″)
  • Focal Ratio: 13
  • Focal Length of Eyepiece: 1 20mm (.8″)
  • Magnification of Eyepiece: 1 45x
  • Focal Length of Eyepiece: 2 10mm (.4″)
  • Magnification of Eyepiece: 2 90x
  • Finderscope: StarPointer Finderscope
  • Star Diagonal: Erect Image Diagonal – 1.25″
  • Highest Useful Magnification: 165x
  • Lowest Useful Magnification: 10x
  • Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 11.7
  • Resolution (Rayleigh): 1.99 arc seconds
  • Resolution (Dawes): 1.66 arc seconds
  • Light Gathering Power (Compared to human eye): 100x
  • Optical Coatings: Fully Coated
  • Optical Tube Length: 914mm (36″)
  • Mount Type: Altazimuth
  • Tripod: 1.25″ steel tube legs
  • Software: Starry Night Basic Edition

Pros

√ Dual Purpose telescope for celestial and terrestrial viewing

√ Clear Crisp images

√ Easy set up – no tools required

√ Very portable

√ Rugged tripod

√ Child friendly

Cons

⊗ It is too narrow for the more experienced astronomer

⊗ Too short for the average adult

Conclusion

The Astromaster 70 can be used to get clear views of the planets and moons. It can be used to see rings around Saturn and moons orbiting Jupiter. The Astromaster can however not be used for more distant objects like nebulae. The Astromaster has a stylish design that makes it a suitable option for beginners or anyone searching for a good keepsake. It is accompanied by a two year warranty and includes a Sky L1 CD.

 

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