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Different Types Of Mounts In Beginner Telescopes Discussed

17 Sep 2020, 19:22 UTC
Different Types Of Mounts In Beginner Telescopes Discussed
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We live in a time of unprecedented telescope availability. Viewing the catalogs of yesteryear–the 50s, 60s, even as recently as the 90s–one learns the incredible expense associated with telescopes of the time. Telescopes with two-inch-wide achromatic objectives, mounted even on simple altaz forks, would be a severe investment. Nowadays we can find similar offerings for 50 or 100 bucks, and large commercial Dobsonian reflectors with apertures of 6 to 12 inches are becoming very affordable. There are more telescopes than ever for beginners, and the sad fact is that a great many of them are rubbish.
The “Department Store Refractor” is an archetype of a generally very poor telescope, essentially a toy sold to parents who don’t know better, usually with poor optics and poorer mounts. But this term, related to the more descriptive “Hobbykiller Telescope,” can also be applied to some big-name telescopes sold by Celestron, Meade, and Orion.
The truth is that a great many of these refractor telescopes are not horrible, optically. Most of them use glass achromatic (false-color-reducing) doublet lenses of long focal lengths and can produce some crisp images. The trouble is often in the accessories. Much ink has been spilled about the optical shortcomings ...

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