The Celestron FirstScope Telescope is a cute and unintimidating telescope. It is the perfect entry point into the wider world of astronomy for people who are interested in the field but find the whole thing to be a little intimidating at first glance. The size, complexity, and price will all put you completely at ease.
This is not a super powerful telescope nor is it very customizable or versatile but what you’re giving up in those areas, you receive back tenfold in absolute simplicity that many will appreciate.
- Newtonian Reflector
- 76mm primary aperture
- f/3.95 focal ratio
- 180x highest useful magnification
- 4.5lbs assembled weight
This is the perfect telescope to dabble with. It is the telescope for noncommittal people. It is an interesting little scope that will find broad appeal with those who want a telescope to play around with, without having to spend much money or having to learn complicated jargon.Check Latest Price
First Time For Everything
For better or for worse, astronomy can be a hard hobby to get into. The equipment is highly technical and can be extremely expensive and even after you do some research and invest sometimes the initial learning phase can be frustrating and not at all glamorous. Celestron’s solution to this problem is the Celestron FirstScope Telescope.
Billed as your first telescope experience, this bite-sized scope does everything it can to make your entry into astronomy as easy and unobtrusive as possible. For those new to the field or just want a telescope that you can set aside when you don’t want to use it anymore, this is a great product.
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The scope itself is a basic Newtonian Reflector with a modest 76mm aperture and a 300mm focal length. This gives it a low amount of light gathering ability but still more than enough to see some of the most basic sights in the night sky.
This small aperture and short focal length give this telescope a very low focal ratio. This means it will be great for broad views of the night sky that encompass large swaths of stars but it will not do a great job of focusing on single bright objects.
For example, you are going to find it difficult to get a good bead on Mars and a lot easier to get a great view of Orion.
The base is a solid, flat base, designed to be placed on a sturdy flat surface. This tabletop mount makes storing it easy and makes setting it up a breeze. Simply set it down on a flat surface and you are good to go. However, the lack of a tripod and tripod mount decrease this telescope’s ability to be finely adjusted on single objects in the night sky.
Due to the telescope’s small size and shape, plus the flat base, it is able to be placed on a desk or bookshelf or windowsill with ease. The body of the scope is covered with a clever and stylish wrap that highlights some of the most famous names in astronomy. That makes it a fantastic conversation piece or office ornament that will store safely out of the way and look great doing it.
What Can You Actually See?
The Celestron FirstScope Telescope comes with two handy dandy eyepieces included in the box. The first is a 20mm eyepiece with a magnification rate of around 15x. The second is a 4mm eyepiece with a magnification rate of around 75x. With this pair, you can actually see a fair bit.
With the lower magnification eyepiece, you get great, broad views of the night sky. This is perfect for looking at the moon or constellations. The low magnification allows you to search around the sky for recognizable or interesting patches without going into too much detail. This is the perfect setting for the night sky peruser who just wants to browse every once in a while.
The second eyepiece is a little beefier and is great for looking at farther and dimmer stars than its partner. If you know what you’re doing, you can catch good views of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars but the images won’t be as detailed as, say, a beginner level refractor telescope can produce.
This telescope is best for looking at stars and starfields but can be used to view the planets and other celestial objects when conditions are right.
Easy To Use, Easy To Enjoy
The best part about this telescope is that it is super easy to use. There is no complicated setup process, no fine tuning or calibration that needs to be done, and no complicated mounts to attach. The process literally takes seconds. Simply take your telescope, set it outside on a flat surface, and you are good to go.
Moving the telescope is easy but it is also easy to reposition for viewing. Simply turn it to the new area of the sky that you want to look at and you are good to go. This makes it a breeze for beginners or children to use.
Perfect for kids…
In fact, this is a great telescope for kids to try out for many reasons. First, it is small and light enough for kids to handle on their own easily. Some telescopes are heavy and complicated and require tall stands to use. This one can be placed as low as you want so that it easily rests at your kid’s level.
Second, it is not an expensive telescope which means you do not have to worry if your kids knock it over or accidentally damage it like you would with a much more expensive telescope. That means they will be free to play with it without you having to worry about it as much as if it were something more expensive.
Lastly, with no finderscope, focuser, or dot sights needed, the kids can easily point it at just about anything in the sky and get a view of something. This will allow them to explore the night sky without having any of the frustrations or hiccups that can accompany larger telescopes. This will give them the freedom to explore and learn on their own which can lead to a deeper interest in the hobby over time.
The same things that make this telescope a great buy for kids or young astronomers are the same reasons why it is perfect for beginners as well.
What’s In The Box?
The Celestron FirstScope Telescope comes with all of the basics that you need to get started. In the box, you get the telescope itself, the Dobsonian-style tabletop base, two eyepieces (4mm and 20mm) as well as a copy of Starry Night Astronomy Software.
Starry Night can be an invaluable tool for young and novice astronomers and can really stretch the use you can get out of this telescope. When used side by side, the software and the telescope work great to introduce anyone to the wonders of the galaxy. It’s a nice addition that you will appreciate it if you use it.
The biggest downside with this telescope is that there is no room to grow with it. You get what you get and there is nothing else to it. You might be able to find some attachments or accessories that will work with it but due to its limited size and functionality, you are going to hit a wall pretty quickly.
Other telescopes aimed at beginners have enough features and power to allow the astronomer to grow with the telescope and slowly get more competent and complex as they learn and adapt. For example, some refractors come with equatorial mounts which you can learn to align and track objects with and some medium sized reflectors allow you to slowly look deeper into space as your knowledge grows.
You will not find any growth opportunities with this telescope. It can be a great starting point for those who want to dip a toe in the water or those who really just want to break it out at a party or when they’re bored to tool around with but have no interest in really going deeper.
If you are buying this telescope with young kids or teens in mind, I would say this is a no brainer purchase. It is cheap, easy to use, and does not take up a lot of space when not in use. It is a fun way to spend some time with the family and requires no prerequisite knowledge to use and enjoy.
For adults who are truly interested in astronomy, I would caution you to look elsewhere only because for a little bit more money you can get a telescope that you can really grow into over the course of months or years. If you get this telescope as a complete novice and find that you have a true interest in pursuing astronomy further, you are guaranteed to have to upgrade at some point anyways.
All in all, this is a solid telescope that is surprisingly good for how small and affordable it is but it is not for everyone.Check Latest Price