The Celestron FirstScope 76 ticks the entire packing containers on a novice skywatcher’s wishlist once they’re selecting their very first telescope: it exudes portability, ease of use and a worth that is not going to interrupt the financial institution.
What’s extra, this tabletop telescope is equipped with the entire 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 caused from utilizing binoculars for lengthy intervals of time.
Celestron FirstScope 76 key specs
Optical design: Newtonian reflector
Aperture: 2.99″ (76 mm)
Focal length: 11.81″ (300 mm)
Focal ratio: f/3.95
Eyepiece 1 focal size: 20 mm (15x)
Eyepiece 2 focal size: 4 mm (75x)
Total package weight: 4.3 lbs. (1.95 kg)
Mount sort: Dobsonian
Celestron FirstScope 76: Design
- Already assembled, no instruments wanted
- Tabletop design good for youngsters
- 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 equipped with two eyepieces — 20 mm and 4 mm — and possesses a quick focal ratio to offer a large area of view that is superb for not simply viewing the planets and the lunar floor, but additionally permits the observer to view diffuse, wide-angle targets corresponding to star clusters.
Weighing in at a mere 4.3 lbs. (1.95 kilograms), the FirstScope is good 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. However, contemplating what you get for the value, we did be aware that the telescope’s plastics should not shiny and low-cost in comparison with different devices that fall in an identical worth vary.
You’ll discover that the telescope’s base is brief, which means that you will want to position it on a desk with a purpose to use it comfortably: a hindrance for some observers, nonetheless, you probably have kids who’ve been pestering you for a telescope, the FirstScope is the right resolution, particularly given its small construct and ease of use.
With Newtonian designs, the 2 mirrors throughout the tube ought to be aligned and astronomers normally obtain this course of — often known as collimation — utilizing thumbscrews to regulate the optical system. Unfortunately, these aids are solely normally on the dearer fashions, which means that it was fairly a process attempting to collimate the FirstScope, because the main mirror is not adjustable and a collimation cap or eyepiece is not included with the telescope. Navigation shall be tough too, since a finder scope isn’t equipped both.
Despite the shortcomings, we could not wait to see what the FirstScope was able to — particularly provided that we may get began in astronomy with a fast slew of the telescope tube.
Celestron FirstScope 76: First gentle and performance
- Provides a “wow factor“ for younger observers
- Optics wrestle to pick element
- No finder scope, making star-hopping tough
- Views are blurred on account of unfastened focuser tube
A transparent December sky supplied 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 gentle air pollution to hinder our view of different targets.
With the eyepieces equipped by Celestron, you will not get massively close-up views of the floor of the moon, however you’ll 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 sector of view because the focuser tube is kind of unfastened, however even such fundamental observations are positive to thrill those that have all the time needed to get a more in-depth have a look at the lunar floor with out straining their eyes.
The second planet from the solar, Venus, made for a simple goal within the southwest, shining at a surprising magnitude of -4.9. Visible as a vivid white “star” to the unaided eye, we hoped for good views by way of the FirstScope — however, as suspected, we did not see a substantial amount of element with glare making it tough to tell apart a phase. Saturn was small, faint and fuzzy within the area of view, but it was doable to make out the fuel large’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. Each of the younger, scorching member stars on this open cluster sat neatly and clearly within the area of view with some minor changes of the focuser.
Navigating with no finder scope did show fairly cumbersome throughout our observations, making star-hopping particularly tough. The FirstScope must be outfitted with a light-weight 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 purple dot finder — particularly in light-polluted areas.
Waiting till daybreak was worthwhile as Jupiter, which shone at -1.9, rose within the southeast. While it was tough to identify any particulars on the fuel large, corresponding to its belts and Great Red Spot with out using a filter, the Galilean moons — Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto — appeared as vivid factors of sunshine both facet of its equator. While the FirstScope’s choices aren’t as spectacular as these achieved by way of a devoted ‘scope, they’re positive to offer a “wow factor” 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 interest. Better suited as a newbie telescope, this Newtonian reflector is a worthwhile low-budget buy for youngsters — particularly if you happen to 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 equipped with a fundamental construct that is appropriate to start informal excursions of the night time sky. However, in case you are trying to take advantage of its optical system whereas enhancing navigation, we suggest introducing a purple dot finder, investing in a set of eyepieces which might be respectful of the telescope’s highest helpful magnification of 180x and filters that can enhance the distinction of photo voltaic system targets.