Stargazing with Telescopes

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Amateur astronomy, or stargazing, is a pastime that has enthralled people for centuries. It is a hobby where participants view the night sky, either with the naked eye or with a portable telescope.

There are many good telescopes on the market that will enhance your views of the night sky. Let’s have a look at some you could consider:

C/21063 Astromaster 90 AZ
The Astromaster 90 AZ is a great starter telescope, giving crisp and clear views. The telescope includes low and high powered eyepieces, a tripod, and a finder scope to quickly locate your target as well as software for your computer that allows you to view and print out star charts.

C/31145 Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT
The Celestron Nexstar series offers computer control to your telescope enabling you to quickly locate over 4,000 objects in the night sky using the computer database supplied. The 130 SLT has a 130 mm mirror and a fully controlled Altazimuth mount.

The telescope has an input port to connect a GPS accessory and connects to your computer via an optional RS-232 cable. The CD included provides you with astronomy software and printable sky charts.

C/21041 Celestron Powerseeker 60 AZ
Another good beginner’s model, the Powerseeker 60 AZ has an equatorial mount with slow motion controls for easy and smooth tracking. Fully coated glass optics provide amazing clarity, while the 3x Barlow lens triples the power of each eyepiece used.The Powerseeker 60 AZ comes complete with planetarium software for your computer, containing over 10,000 objects and images to get you started on your new hobby.

C/21061 Celestron Astromaster 70 AZ
The Astromaster 70 AZ is a good quality telescope that is suitable for both stargazing and terrestrial viewing. A fixed mounted star pointer enables quick and easy object location.

The pre-assembled tripod frame is sturdy and no tools are required to set up the telescope.
 
C/11049 Celestron Nexstar 4SE
It is a top of the range computer-controlled telescope that includes a database of almost 40,000 celestial objects. You can also use your digital SLR camera to connect to the Nexstar 4SE to take pictures remotely.

If you want to get a bit more serious about your new hobby, then a trip to South Africa’s top stargazing spots is suggested.
 
How about the Johannesburg Planetarium, where there are publicly available lectures to increase your knowledge, or Olifant’s Camp in the Kruger National Park, which has a large telescope set up? The South African Large Telescope (SALT) in Sutherland, Northern Cape is also worth a visit.Across the continent there are countless places where the clear night sky allows magnificent stargazing opportunities, so remember to pack your telescope for that next holiday!

 

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