The Celestron FirstScope 76 ticks all the containers on a novice skywatcher’s wishlist once they’re selecting their very first telescope: it exudes portability, ease of use and a value that is not going to interrupt the financial institution.
What’s extra, this tabletop telescope is provided with all the equipment you want for a fuss-free tour of the night time sky, offering improved and extra snug views of the planets and lunar floor in comparison with straining the unaided eye or arm fatigue led to from utilizing binoculars for lengthy intervals of time.
Associated: Finest telescopes: High picks for freshmen, viewing planets, astrophotography and all-arounders
Celestron FirstScope 76 key specs
Optical design: Newtonian reflector
Aperture: 2.99″ (76 mm)
Focal size: 11.81″ (300 mm)
Focal ratio: f/3.95
Eyepiece 1 focal size: 20 mm (15x)
Eyepiece 2 focal size: Four mm (75x)
Whole package weight: 4.Three lbs. (1.95 kg)
Mount kind: Dobsonian
Celestron FirstScope 76: Design
- Already assembled, no instruments wanted
- Tabletop design good for kids
- Good high quality construct for the value
When unpacking the FirstScope, you may discover that it’s already preassembled with solely a finder scope needing to be affixed to the telescope tube. The Newtonian reflector is provided with two eyepieces — 20 mm and Four mm — and possesses a quick focal ratio to offer a large area of view that is best for not simply viewing the planets and the lunar floor, but in addition permits the observer to view diffuse, wide-angle targets resembling star clusters.
Weighing in at a mere 4.Three lbs. (1.95 kilograms), the FirstScope is right for these searching for a “grab-and-go” instrument. On shut inspection of the general construct, we found that the end is not good with traces of glue obvious on the tube. Nonetheless, contemplating what you get for the value, we did notice that the telescope’s plastics should not shiny and low cost in comparison with different devices that fall in an analogous value vary.
You will discover that the telescope’s base is brief, which means that you will want to position it on a desk as a way to use it comfortably: a hindrance for some observers, nonetheless, if in case you have youngsters who’ve been pestering you for a telescope, the FirstScope is the right answer, particularly given its small construct and ease of use.
With Newtonian designs, the 2 mirrors inside the tube ought to be aligned and astronomers normally obtain this course of — referred to as collimation — utilizing thumbscrews to regulate the optical system. Sadly, these aids are solely normally on the dearer fashions, which means that it was fairly a activity making an attempt to collimate the FirstScope, for the reason that major mirror is not adjustable and a collimation cap or eyepiece is not included with the telescope. Navigation shall be difficult too, since a finder scope just isn’t provided both.
Regardless of the shortcomings, we could not wait to see what the FirstScope was able to — particularly provided that we might get began in astronomy with a fast slew of the telescope tube.
Celestron FirstScope 76: First mild and performance
- Supplies a “wow issue“ for younger observers
- Optics wrestle to select element
- No finder scope, making star-hopping tough
- Views are blurred as a result of unfastened focuser tube
A transparent December sky provided a gaggle of photo voltaic system targets together with Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the moon to check the telescope’s optical system. Our lunar companion was at 22% illumination, which means that there wasn’t an excessive amount of pure mild air pollution to hinder our view of different targets.
With the eyepieces provided by Celestron, you will not get massively close-up views of the floor of the moon, however you can see craters and get a really feel for the rugged terrain alongside the terminator (the purpose the place night time meets day). The optics don’t present pin-sharp sights by way of the sphere of view for the reason that focuser tube is kind of unfastened, however even such fundamental observations are positive to please those that have all the time wished to get a more in-depth take a look at the lunar floor with out straining their eyes.
The second planet from the solar, Venus, made for a straightforward goal within the southwest, shining at a surprising magnitude of -4.9. Seen as a shiny white “star” to the unaided eye, we hoped for good views by way of the FirstScope — however, as suspected, we did not see quite a lot of element with glare making it tough to differentiate a part. Saturn was small, faint and fuzzy within the area of view, but it was doable to make out the fuel big’s rings and yellow coloration.
The FirstScope’s wide-angle views did present honest sights of the Pleiades (Messier 45), within the constellation of Taurus. Every of the younger, sizzling member stars on this open cluster sat neatly and clearly within the area of view with some minor changes of the focuser.
Navigating with out a finder scope did show fairly cumbersome throughout our observations, making star-hopping particularly tough. The FirstScope must be outfitted with a lightweight finder scope however provided that the least overbearing optical finder scopes fail to select up stars with magnitudes beneath naked-eye visibility, we suggest utilizing a pink dot finder — particularly in light-polluted areas.
Ready till daybreak was worthwhile as Jupiter, which shone at -1.9, rose within the southeast. Whereas it was tough to identify any particulars on the fuel big, resembling its belts and Nice Pink Spot with out using a filter, the Galilean moons — Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto — appeared as shiny factors of sunshine both facet of its equator. Whereas the FirstScope’s choices aren’t as spectacular as these achieved by way of a devoted ‘scope, they’re positive to offer a “wow issue” for first-time and younger observers.
Celestron FirstScope 76: Verdict
The FirstScope 76 promotes fuss-free observing however supplies views that can disappoint astronomers searching for a further piece of package to complement their passion. Higher suited as a newbie telescope, this Newtonian reflector is a worthwhile low-budget buy for kids — particularly when you suspect that astronomy is prone to be a passing part or fundamental however honest views of the moon, planets and stars are appropriate earlier than investing in an improve.
For the value, the FirstScope 76 is provided with a fundamental construct that is appropriate to start informal excursions of the night time sky. Nonetheless, if you’re trying to benefit from its optical system whereas enhancing navigation, we suggest introducing a pink dot finder, investing in a set of eyepieces which are respectful of the telescope’s highest helpful magnification of 180x and filters that can enhance the distinction of photo voltaic system targets.