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Meade Instruments Polaris 130EQ MD Reflector Telescope with Motor Drive
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- Everything you need to start viewing the wonders of the night sky in one box
- Larger stable Equatorial mount with slow motion controls for smooth tracking of objects across the night sky
- Comes with 3 eyepieces that provide low, medium and high powered magnification for viewing a wide range of objects (Moon, planets, or deep-sky)
- Bonus Autostar Suite Astronomy planetarium DVD with over 10,000 celestial objects (Windows PC only)
- Meade Polaris Optical Tube, German Equatorial Mount, Stainless-steel tripod with accessory tray
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|Sold By||Amazon.co.uk||Tring Astronomy Centre||Carmarthen Cameras||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk|
|Max Focal Length||—||0 mm||—||1,250 mm||—|
|Lens Diameter||130 mm||0 mm||—||125 mm||—|
Size Name: 130mm MD | Colour Name: Metallic Blue
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Meade Polaris Series Telescopes. Journey into the depths of the universe from the comfort of own back garden with Meade Polaris Telescopes. Developing and delivering high-quality optics for over 4 decades, the Polaris proves to be yet another success story in the age-old, respected Meade legacy, featuring impressive apertures and high-resolution optics for delivering strikingly bright and clear views of the night sky. Allowing the entire family to share in the wonders of astronomy, the Polaris Series come with everything you need to get started in a single box. With preassembled tripod and easy to follow set-up guide you can be observing the night sky within minutes. Whether you intend on observing the lunar surface, distant planets, stars and galaxies or other space phenomenon, the Polaris Series feature a range of apertures and interchangeable eyepieces for detailed observation of variety of interesting objects. Working in line with the Earth’s natural rotation, stable German Equatorial mounts and slow motion controls make the Polaris particularly suited to deep space observations and smooth tracking of objects as they move across the night sky. The included red dot finder scope aids the location of the desired objects with precision and ease. Included in the box, Meade’s Autostar Suite Astronomer Edition DVD Software will help expand your celestial knowledge away from the field, providing information on more than 10,000 space objects, including planets, stars, galaxies and more. Included in this special Polaris 130MD package is a RA Motor drive that, when installed onto the telescope and switched on, allows the telescope to automatically move at the sidereal rate to track and centre any celestial object and in the your field of view for 10 to 20 minutes. Variable speed adjustment allows quick and easy adjustment of the tracking speed, whilst the convenient N/S switch permits full compatibility in both Northern and Southern hemisphere locations.
1 x Meade Polaris Optical Tube
German Equatorial Mount
Stainless-steel tripod with accessory tray
MA25mm Eyepiece;1x Red-dot Viewfinder with Bracket
Slow Motion Control Cables
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Some parts are cheap plastic ones like the view-finder - overall, good quality.
I managed to attached my Canon 100D DSLR camera with a T-Ring adapter and I took a photo of the moon and I have to say, I am very pleased with the quality!
The Meade Motor Drive, has wrong polarity on the hemisphere N/S switch !!!
I could not track anything on the sky in UK as I have set the motor to Northern Hemisphere ... once I flipped the switch to Southern Hemisphere, the tracking was spot on!!!
Other than that, I am very pleased with the whole setup.
This review is for the Polaris reflecting 130EQ telescope with motor drive. I have a few telescopes that I have picked up over the years and the last one I bought is somewhat more advanced than this one but much more expensive. I will say that the most powerful/expensive telescopes are not necessarily the best for beginners/home/back-garden situations.
I will be uploading several photographs within the next few days and over the next several weeks hopefully a few photographs taken through the telescope with a camera/smartphone via a special mount to show you what you can see.
A telescope such as this one here (or even a decent set of binoculars) is more than adequate for the young or older new stargazer. I wouldn't go to the highstreet and buy a cheapo junk scope for 30 quid as they haven't been calibrated - have crappy parts and will just wreck your eyes in the long run.
I have had my 7 year old nephew over to have a look through this on several occasions now and he was amazed just looking straight up at any area of night sky with stars. Why? Because when we look up we do not see anything but the brightest stars. When you look through a telescope and see a hundred stars were you thought there was only a few - It changes your real life perception of space - the universe and life in general. He is also massive Dr Who fan which is always a help :)
So what's in the box?
You will receive a heavy box about 14kgs which has everything very well packed/protected inside. . .
- The telescope/optical tube - focal length 650mm - primary mirror diameter 130mm or 5.1 inches - focal ratio f/5.
- German equitorial mount - this attaches to the optical tube and enables the scope to be precison directed towards astronomical objects.
- Tripod (telescopic legs) with tray to hold your eyepieces during use.
- Counterweight - this stabilises the scope.
- Red dot viewfinder.
- Motorised drive unit with battery - self assembly for this part - dead easy just one screw (Note: see more about this below).
- Eyepieces - 1 x Barlow lens which gives 2 x magnification - 1 x 26mm lens - 1 x 9mm lens - 1 x 6.2mm lens.
- Windows pc instructional DVD
Note: Motor unit - The motor unit is really easy to fit - just one screw to fix it to the mount and one to tighten onto the Right Ascension axis. What this motor does is track the movement of the object that you have fixed on by matching the roation of the earth - so it appears that the object isn't moving. What this is really handy for is astro photography to stop the movement of the object and enabling long exposures of deeper sky objects. Of course you can leave the motor off and still adjust the Right Ascencion by hand.
The optical tube is robust as they come holding collimation well and is flat matt black coated inside therefore reducing any loss of light/image. The focuser is ok and can handle heavier eyepices other than the lightweight ones supplied. After experiencing a few telescopes over the decades I will say that the light gathering ability of this one is excellent bringing faint sky objects into good view on dark nights.
Note: If you live in a light polluted area there are a few diy adjustments you can do to try to reduce this problem. One is to get a tin can big enough to over the scope tube - spray paint it inside/outside with light trap black paint (matt black with a flat finish) and attach over the front of your scope to reduce any light pollution from reducing your sky image.
The tripod is very good indeed and solidly built. The tripod is best used as collapsed as possible to supress vibration during use. If you're that way inclined you can add additional weight hanging down from the centre of the underside of the tripod to reduce vibration further when outdoors as even the slightest of breezes can effect the image. A 10kg weight or 10 litre water container filled and hanging down from the underside of the centre of the tripod can acheive this.
The mirror is parabolic and provides a great image at the sweet spot (as do all reflector telescopes). There is some coma/aberration on the outer edges of the image but this sweet spot is large so this isn't an issue for me with a starter scope like this one.
How well does it work?
One thing to remember is that we all have different eyesight! Personally my eyesight ain't what it used to be (maybe that's because I've been looking through telescopes for 30 years!) But the images I've been getting from this scope are very good in my experience.
Note: To get to know this scope and how it works - use it in the daytime! Try to focus on say the top of a faraway building or even a lampost and practice using the focus - different lenses to see what magnifications you have - adjust the inclination - declination controls - tilting - locking the scope into position and such. Get to know everything about it.
Encouraging is that I have been able to faintly pick out nebula even in my Liverpool light polluted back garden which is a good sign of things to come. The object you may look at the most and I have for 30 odd years as it never fails to astound me is - The Moon. No matter where you live you can nearly always observe the moon. After looking at it all my life it never seems to look the same twice up close. Using this scope you will be able to pick out features of the moon in good detail. I would suggest using a lunar map with all it's named features so you know what you're looking at. Don't forget to turn your map upside down though! And a full moon is not the best time to look. The line of darkness on a half/quarter moon makes the features near it's border stand out in bold relief - shadows are stronger and details can be easily seen and studied.
Looking at one of the most recognisable sections of the night sky Ursa Major you can easily spot The Plough/The Big Dipper made up from the seven brightest stars in the consellation of Ursa Major named Alioth - Dubhe - Alkaid - Phecda - Megrez and Mizar which consists of two double stars - take a look!
This area of the sky also contains several well known deep sky objects. Two of which are The Pinwheel Galaxy (Messier 101) and The Whirlpool Galaxy (Messier 51) located under the big dipper's handle!
Jupiter - If you have never seen it's four moons then you will be blown away - I guarantee it! With just 30x magnification you can see these as jewels of light. With this scope you can see Jupiter's colorations (it's banding).
I personally have not been able to see saturn . . .yet. Due to weather and position in the night sky but I will and I know it's rings will be visible. This scope is powerful enough to see them.
I could go on forever and bore you to death but the bottom line here is that this is a good entry level telescope at under 200 quid - robustly built - great light gathering qualities and the lenses give a sharp enough image. It's easy enough to put together and complicated enough to learn a hell of a lot about telescopes and how to use them. As a young lad if I'd have woken up to this on Christmas Day I'd have been more than happy.
Don't forget that this is not hubble! And locating what you want to look at in the night sky is not as easy as you might think! Practice makes perfect and this is the perfect practicing tool.
Worth a go if you're looking for a telescope.
Quick update 8-Nov 1am . . .
Just cycled home from work and noticed that the Pleiades star cluster – also known as the Seven Sisters or M45 is looking very good tonight. Got the scope out and using the 26mm lens was astounded by the clarity of the cluster on this frosty November night! The icy blue suns looked really bright embedded within literally hundreds of stars of all magnitudes of brightness. Through a good pair of binoculars the Seven Sisters look amazing but through a telescope I would say spellbinding. Pleiades will be showing off throughout the whole of November!
Update 19th June 2017 - Looking at Jupiter and Saturn last night around 1am. Beautiful night here in Liverpool. Jupiter was outstanding with highly visible colorations with the four largest Galilean moons (it does have 69 moons!) of Io - Europa - Ganymede - Calisto looking good!
Saturn was at its highest around midnight but it took me nigh on an hour to get it bang on and in pinpoint focus! The rings are nearly at 27 degrees inclination now and look amazing. With this scope you can't make individual rings out but what you see will take your breath away. If you're lucky you might catch a glimpse of Titan.
Clear skies to all!