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28 Jun

Small telescope fun

Posted by Optics Blog Experts on

Using small telescopes of 60 mm to 90 mm in aperture (diameter of the telescope lens or main mirror) is fun. Larger telescopes have their place, of course, but some of us diehard astronomers tend to forget how enjoyable it is to grab a small telescope, now and then, for the sake of simplicity, or convenience, or ease of use or, heck, just to do something different. For darn sure, my small telescopes do not collect dust.

The moon is tailor made for viewing in small telescopes, since the moon is such a bright object and image brightness is where small telescopes struggle to keep up with larger telescopes. This week, the moon is in quarter phase, so time for some small telescope fun.

My 80 mm refractor telescope is no giant, in terms of telescope size – I can lift it tripod and all and walk out my door any time the mood strikes. Let me tell you, though, my small LOMO triplet refractor telescope is a giant as far as telescope optics go. Images of the lunar landscape in this small telescope are crisp, distortion free and free of false color. Images are so good, in fact, that I find it hard to tear myself away from the telescope eyepiece when viewing the moon in this telescope. With the help of a good moon map, I can stay busy for hours. It’s lunar observing – simple, easy and fun – the small telescope way.

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