Refracting Telescopes – Astronomy Essay



Model Meade NG70-SM Altazimuth Refractor Telescope Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope Celestron AstroMaster 90 EQ Equatorial Telescope Refractor 21064
Price $69.98 $119.98 $209.75
Manufacturer Meade Celestron Celestron
Entry level use Perfect Perfect Not recommended
Set up Can be easily set up as it is hand-held. Can also be mounted on a tripod Quick and easy no-tool setup. Pre-assembled tripod makes mounting very easy. Difficult as it requires mounting on a tripod and balancing on an Equatorial Mount
Use The user friendly Altazimunth (AZ) Mount makes it easy to use. Focusing is straightforward. Easy to use as it is fitted with slow-motion controls for smooth movements. Fitted with AZ controls for smooth and precise focus. Usage can be difficult for beginners as the Equatorial mount requires very small distance movements.

Meade NG70-SM Altazimuth Refractor Telescope

The Meade NG70-SM is a very cheaply priced telescope that is ideal for both terrestrial and celestial viewing. Despite its low price, this telescope features a sturdy design and portable design with sufficient optical abilities to enthuse any newcomer to the world stargazing. The telescope offers clear and sharp images of moons and planets. The Meade NG70-SM is best used on bright conditions as it has a small aperture that does not let in enough light (, para. 1).


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Optical Design Refractor
Aperture 70mm
Focal Length 700mm
F/ratio 10
Eyepiece 1 9mm
Magnification 1 78X
Eyepiece 2 25mm
Magnification 2 28X
Highest Useful Magnification 150X
Weight 7.85kg
Mount Type Alt-Azimuth

Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope

Designed for first time users, the AstroMaster 70 AZ telescope is designed for use for both land and sky viewing. The Altazimuth mount offers a convenient pan handle that enable a smooth motion which helps in making precise movements. Despite its small aperture size, the telescope offers breathtaking images of the Orion and other star systems (, para. 2). With its user-friendly features, the AstroMaster 70 AZ is definitely a must have for novice sky viewers.


Optical Design Refractor
Aperture 70 mm
Focal Length 900mm
F/ratio 12.86
Eyepiece 1 20mm
Magnification 45x
Eyepiece 2 10 mm
Magnification 2: 90 x
Highest Useful Magnification 180X
Mount Type Alt-Az
Weight 8.16kg

Celestron AstroMaster 90 EQ Equatorial Telescope Refractor 21064

Slightly more expensive than its predecessors, the Celestron 21064 is a dual purpose telescope suitable for viewing both terrestrial and celestial objects. With a powerful 70mm lens, the telescope allows more light through and this comes in handy in viewing distant objects, such as the moons of Jupiter. The telescope has two eyepieces with 50X and 100X magnification, making it possible to obtain clear and sharp images than its predecessors. The Equatorial mounts make it easier to have smooth movements and this helps when a stargazer is working under high magnifications, where even slight motion affects the image (Yahoo, para. 1).


Optical Design Refractor
Aperture 90 mm
Focal Length 1000mm
F/ratio 11.11
Eyepiece 1 20mm
Magnification 150 x
Eyepiece 2 10 mm
Magnification 2: 100 x
Mount Type Equatorial
Slow-motion Control Vertical Only
Weight 9.07kg


Being a relatively low priced telescope, the Meade NG70-SM offers limited viewing abilities with respect to clarity and sharpness of images both in terrestrial and celestial usage. Consequently, it can only be comfortably used by amateur stargazers and children. The AstroMaster 70 AZ offers a better alternative but with a small aperture, the viewing abilities are limited. The AstroMaster 90 EQ, with its Equatorial mount and large aperture, is a good choice as its use can be extended as compared to the other two models. This model brings into view clear images of star clusters, nebulae, and distant planets.

Works Cited

. Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope. 2011.

. Meade NG70-SM Altazimuth Refractor Telescope. 2011.

Yahoo. 21064 w/ FREE UPS. 2011.

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