Main technical features
Geared for the intermediate-level stargazer, the Meade Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 provides a complete setup for viewing the different celestial objects. It has an aperture of 130mm, a focal length of 650mm and a focal ratio of f/5.0. It comes with three eyepieces with a variety of magnifications to support your viewing applications. For low power, there’s a 26mm eyepiece. For medium power, the 9mm is ready for use, and for high power viewing, the 6.3mm objective is on hand, all giving you different options for any viewing situation.
This telescope also ships with other highly useful accessories that should make your celestial exploration and observation truly magical. It comes with a red dot viewfinder that projects what seems like a red dot against the sky for easy locating of targets. The accessory tray keeps your observing essentials within easy reach. The rack-and-pinion focuser provides a means to fine tune your views of the night sky.
The German Equatorial mount is made large and stable to ensure that it provides more than enough support for the whole telescope tube. It comes with slow motion controls and is supplemented by a stainless steel tripod, cradle mounting rings, setting circles and latitude adjustment. The scope also comes with an instructional DVD and Astronomical Software so you can enjoy optimal use of the unit.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($174.99)
This telescope carries a Newtonian Reflector design, which, compared to lens telescopes, carries no lenses. This means there won’t be any color fringing around particularly bright objects. The high aperture ratio/focal ratio makes this telescope optically fast. As the largest telescope in the Meade Polaris series, this model offers over 5 inches of light collecting capability. Coupled with its affordable price, this telescope is a real steal. You can view the planets and deep-space objects including the stars and star clusters, galaxies and nebulae. The three eyepieces deliver 25X, 72.2X and 103x magnifications. The 2X Barlow lens further doubles those magnifications to give you more detail as well as a broader range of observation options. The quality eyepieces boast anti-reflection multicoated optics to prevent stray light from interfering with your views so you get bright and detailed images every time. They also come with fold-down eyecups that help reduce peripheral light. This model accommodates standard 1.25-inch accessories and eyepiece filters.
The red dot viewfinder helps you aim the telescope at objects you would like to observe and explore further. This component also offers variable intensity for optimal viewing performance, helping you hone in on objects easily. You can view objects comfortably with the diagonal that provides an erect image. The accessory tray provides a means of storing your astronomy essentials within easy reach so you won’t have to rummage through a drawer or a bag just to find what you need. The 1.25-inch rack-and-pinion focuser enables you to finetune your views till you obtain the clearest and the brightest for fantastic observing experience.
The large and stable German Equatorial mount comes with flex arm slow motion controls with large knurled knobs that make tracking of celestial objects in motion simple and smooth. The precise Right Ascension and Declination indicators make it easy to find target objects using their known coordinates. Once the object is found after proper northern/southern hemisphere alignment, it can be easily tracked through slight adjustments to the RA dial. The stainless steel tripod offers a means of adjusting the height of the scope from a minimum of 39.5 inches to a maximum of 54 inches. The latitude control with scale helps you position the scope properly. The included AutoStar Suite Astronomer Software for Windows helps you plan your observing sessions by showing more than 10,000 celestial objects, with printable star charts for field use.
Once fully assembled and setup, the scope can be quite cumbersome to move around, as you would have to either raise and lower the legs of the tripod or loosen the screws and rotate the tube. This is not a huge issue when you are just viewing targets that are close together. The assembly of the scope can be quite tricky for customers to figure out, especially for first-time telescope users. In addition, there’s no shut-off for the red dot finder so it tends to use up batteries really quickly.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($174.99)