What is a Barlow Lens and How To Use It?

A Barlow lens is an intermediate optical device that goes between the eyepiece and the objective lens or primary mirror. It is named after Peter Barlow, so you will often see it capitalized. The photo shows a typical Barlow lens. The eyepiece is slipped into the top and the Barlow lens is slipped into the focuser … Read more

Meade Lightbridge Mini (82, 114, 130) Review

Meade’s Lightbridge Minis are some of the best beginner telescopes available for under $200. Unlike many cheap instruments which include complicated and wobbly equatorial mounts, poor optics, unusable finderscopes and plastic eyepieces, the Lightbridge Mini telescopes all come with easy-to-use and stable tabletop Dobsonian mounts, decent red dot finders, and good MA eyepieces with glass … Read more

Meade Infinity 90AZ Review

Meade’s Infinity 90AZ is my favorite of the three larger Infinity AZ scopes. It has enough aperture to show you a fair amount of things, but its slightly longer focal ratio makes for lower chromatic aberration and thus better planetary performance. It seems to be the least-purchased of the “big” three Infinity refractors, a pity … Read more

Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Telescope Review

Orion’s SkyQuest XT4.5 is the smallest of their XT-series Dobsonians. While arguably my least-favorite scope in the XT line, the XT4.5 has a number of features that make it appealing, particularly to children. Overview Of Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Unlike most other tabletop scopes the XT4.5 is tall/long enough that it doesn’t necessarily need a table, … Read more

Orion 7” Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope Review

The Orion 7” Maksuov-Cassegrain is a telescope manufactured and sold by Orion telescopes in the USA. It is not very commonly known amongst dedicated astronomers, but it may be interesting for a few looking for a specific purpose telescope. It is based on the unusual Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope design typically only seen in smaller telescopes due … Read more

Zhumell Z100 Telescope Review

Zhumell’s Z100 is about the lowest price telescope we would highly recommend for an adult user. It offers nearly all the features of a larger reflector except in a much smaller package and much lower price. The Z100 is similar to the Orion SkyScanner, which we have also reviewed, but the focuser and finder are … Read more

Orion StarBlast II Telescope Review

If you don’t mind the slight inconvenience and increased complexity of using an equatorial mount, Orion’s StarBlast II is certainly a great choice for the beginning astronomer or a serious enthusiast looking for a smaller and more lightweight instrument to complement a larger telescope. The StarBlast II uses the same optical tube as Orion’s regular … Read more

Meade’s Infinity 80AZ Telescope Review

Meade’s Infinity 80AZ is probably the cheapest serious tripod-mounted telescope I would really recommend to a novice. It offers extreme convenience, simplicity, and portability with the only drawback being poor planetary and double star performance. 80mm of aperture is also about the minimum size you really need to start getting into deep-sky observation. Choice.. ☆☆☆☆☆ … Read more

Celestron’s PowerSeeker 70AZ Review

Celestron’s PowerSeeker 70AZ continues the grand PowerSeeker tradition of great expectations and huge letdowns. Generally, we recommend steering clear of sub-$100 telescopes, as well as sub-$200 tripod-mounted instruments, and scopes like the PowerSeekers are part of why. The 70AZ is actually one of the better PowerSeeker scopes but still falls short of delivering a really … Read more

Glossary of Telescope Terms for Newbies

This telescope glossary is designed to help you understand any acronyms or terms you may not be familiar with when reading our articles. It is arranged in alphabetical order. A B C D E F G H I K L N M N O P R S T U V Z Alt-azimuth mount (Altaz, alt-az) … Read more