Beginner and intermediate astronomers will find that they love exploring the night sky with this compact yet powerful telescope. It’s made with quality materials that you’d expect to find in a more expensive telescope used by professionals. If you have little ones who are curious about the night sky, you can purchase this for your explorers, and it’ll stay current and viable as they get older. Experienced astronomers love the ability to take this model everywhere they want to go, too.
Pros of the Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope
- Portable and compact
- 4.5 inch aperture
- f/4 focal ratio
- Stable base
- Altazimuth motion tracking
- Red dot sight
Cons of the Orion Telescope
- Box shows contents – gift giving challenge
- Focal length: 450 mm
- Optical diameter: 114 mm
- Focal ratio: f/4.0
- Optics: parabolic
- Lowest and highest magnification: 16x to 228x
- Optical design: reflector
What’s Included in the Box
In the box, you’ll find everything you need for stargazing from the telescope tube itself to the two separate eyepieces. One eyepiece is 17 mm while the other is a 6 mm Orion Explorer II telescope eyepiece. It comes with an Altazimuth base, collimation cap, tube clamp, Orion EZ Finder II reflex sight and the Starry Night software.
Setting Up the Telescope
When you receive the telescope, there isn’t much that you have to do to assemble it. There’s a solid piece for the base that swivels, the two eyepieces, the EZ Finder and the telescope itself. To attach the EZ Finder II, all you need to do is remove the thumbscrews, place the finder onto the two attached posts and secure it with the screws. The Orion StarBlast is one of the easiest telescopes to set up when it comes to the eyepieces, too. Within a few seconds, you’ll go from looking through one eyepiece to switching magnifications with the other eyepiece. This video can help you visualize the process if you’re better when seeing a process instead of reading it.
Red Dot Sight
The Orion telescope comes with an EZ Finder II red dot sight. It allows you to find objects in the sky much easier. It’s truly a telescope made for a beginner astronomer. To accurately find objects in the telescope, you could scan the night sky until you stumble across something that looks like the object you wanted. You won’t know for sure when you’re a beginner, though. Align the telescope with the red dot on the object in the viewing window, turn the telescope in the right direction. Voila! You’ll have the object in the eyepiece. This makes it simpler for children to operate, too.
When you first set up the telescope, you’ll want to scan the night sky in a broader view before honing in on certain celestial objects. There’s a medium magnification eyepiece of 17 mm that will give you a broad view of the sky. When you’re ready to view certain objects at a higher magnification, you can switch to the 6 mm eyepiece that will give you a more powerful magnification.
Starry Night Special Edition Software
Included with the telescope is software that teaches your little astronomer how to find objects in the sky. It has so much useful information, and you can use the software to find out what objects will be visible on certain days of the year. This makes planning your stargazing more productive. While time spent with the children is never wasted, you want them to be excited and see the stars and planets through the telescope. It’s never fun to disappoint the little ones.
Compact and Portable
This compact, portable telescope has a sturdy tabletop base and a handle that makes it a simple matter of placing it on the base to set up the telescope. When you want to take this bad boy camping with you, it’s easy to place this in a bag and place it in the trunk with other items. On your next camping trip, the fun doesn’t have to end because the stars come out in the sky. That’s when the delight and wonder really begins!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this really good for a beginner?
This is a great telescope for beginners while being a good option for children, too. It’s a terrific portable option even when you’ve advanced to a stronger, heftier option that sits in the backyard permanently.
Can you see galaxies and nebulae with the Orion StarBlast?
This is a good scope for the backyard moon or stargazing you want to do. It can be difficult to see galaxies from the backyard with the amount of light pollution visible. It’s perfect for camping and being away from the city, though.
What planets are visible with this telescope?
You’ll be able to see the moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn with this telescope.
As far as backyard, portable telescopes for beginners, we absolutely think the Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope is a good option. You’ll be able to see the stars in a broad way and magnify for viewing certain planets as well as the moon. The portability means that you’ll be able to take this camping or out of the city for better viewing.