The Meade Polaris 70 EQ Telescope is a great choice for a first telescope. Whether you have no experience at all with astronomy or have done a little bit of research, Meade has created a quality, beginner-friendly telescope here.
- Refractor design
- 70mm objective lens
- f/12.9 focal ratio
- 100x highest ideal magnification
- 17lbs assembled weight
This is a basic yet durable refractor design that is not going to intimidate any new astronomers.
Despite the basic design, it has the ability to be a versatile tool and a great entry point into the field of telescopic stargazing.Check Latest Price
Perfect For the Beginner
Personally, I always find refractors better suited for beginner astronomers than reflectors.
The fact that Meade has put together a great refractor telescope makes it a perfect entry point for the new astronomer.
Refractors are much hardier than reflectors. They don’t have mirrors that need realigning or collimating, they don’t have many fragile pieces and they can be easily transported without worrying about them.
At these sizes, they are cheaper than reflectors and they are much less complicated in terms of their usage.
The refractor design means that there are a variety of eyepiece attachments that can be used immediately with the telescope. Reflectors have a smaller accessory pool to tap into.
Meade has tapped into all of these pros by delivering a durable, simple refractor with a large array of included accessories to get you started.
In terms of optics, this telescope is going to be great for viewing items within the solar system and other nearby bright objects.
With an ideal magnification level of 100x and a focal ratio of f/12.9, this is going to give you some great views of things such as the moon and Saturn.
If you are itching to see the rings of Saturn this telescope is going to be able to do the job for you. Jupiter’s red spot? Give it a whirl.
The decent magnification levels plus the high focal ratio means that this telescope is going to be able to focus in on planets, moons and other large objects very well.
If you are interested in some lunar gazing, this telescope has a great track record of grabbing some stunning shots of the surface of the moon.
The optical quality is good, if not great, and is more than enough to satisfy the novice astronomer.
Like all refractor telescopes, it is going to suffer from slight chromatic aberration, especially with brighter objects, than reflectors.
This is not a big deal other than causing a slight distortion around the edges of bright objects during viewing.
If this occurs it is important to know that this is not a fault of this specific telescope but is a physical feature of all refractor telescopes due to their design and the way that they collect light.
In fact, refractors are designed in such a way that they can be used for land-based viewing as well.
That means you could use the Meade Polaris 70 EQ Telescope as a spyglass as well as a space telescope that can appeal to a certain crowd.
Mead Setup Video
Equatorial What Now?
The EQ in the name Meade Polaris 70 EQ Telescope comes from the type of mount that this telescope comes with.
That would be the German-style equatorial mount. This is a mount that excels at tracking objects across the sky over the course of a night.
The equatorial mount aligns itself with the equator so that you can keep track of objects as they move across the sky.
This is a boon to this particular telescope since this scope is best at zeroing in on specific objects.
You are going to want to keep something like Saturn in view for more than a few minutes and that is where this mount comes into play.
The equatorial mount allows for tiny micro-adjustments of the scope to keep objects in view. This is done through a handy system of knobs.
Once something is in view and aligned properly you just have to twist a knob to keep the scope aligned throughout the evening.
This will also teach a new astronomer a valuable lesson in aligning telescopes to certain alignments. This is an important skill to learn for more long term or advanced viewing of objects.
A telescope with such a high focal ratio would struggle with a free altazimuth mount so this mount makes the most sense.
While it might be a little advanced for the completely new user it makes the most sense for this kind of scope.
Prepare to Recieve Accessories
One of the best parts of owning a refractor telescope is the sheer number of different kinds of accessories are available to them.
They can add on thermal scopes, dot sights, a variety of different eyepieces, light filters, distance finders and so much more.
This is because the refractor telescope was based off the original telescope designed for terrestrial use and has the longest history of tooling and accessorizing.
Meade has continued this tradition by adding in a bunch of great accessories included with this kit. The Meade Polaris 70 EQ Telescope includes the following pieces right out of the box.
The Meade Polaris 70 EQ Telescope has a latitude adjuster with a scale for the equatorial mount.
It includes three eyepieces, a 6.3mm, a 9mm, and a 26mm variety. It has a rack and pinion focuser, a 2x Barlow lens and a red dot viewfinder.
Oh and some beginner astronomy software to get you started.
The latitude accessories make learning and using the equatorial mount much easier for the beginner and are a nice touch.
What do the eyepieces give me?
The eyepieces give you a low, medium and high powered zoom level so you can look at the moon, Jupiter and Andromeda simply by swapping between the various eyepieces.
These are great quality and are fun to mess around with.
The focuser and red dot sight are great as well. They allow a new astronomer to more easily align and focus their telescope for the clearest views possible. These things will make easing into the world of astronomy both intuitive and fun.
This accessory suite both shows off how fun a refractor telescope can be while equipping a new user to be fully prepared to enjoy their new telescope right out of the box.
For the price, this is a great list of goodies and will make it so you won’t have to spend any extra money on this telescope for a while.
Not Great For the Journeyman
While this is an amazing first telescope for the novice, I feel like this telescope could leave a more advanced user wanting more out of it.
It does not have a ton of power and it is limited in what it can do outside of the nearby familiar objects and the solar system.
A completely new astronomer will be able to learn a lot from this scope and get hours of enjoyment but eventually, you are going to hit a wall.
It cannot see deep space objects very well and the high focal ratio is going to eliminate some different kinds of things you might want to see.
As you grow as an astronomer you might find yourself outgrowing the capabilities of this telescope.
That being said, if you want a casual scope on the cheaper end of the telescope market then you are going to be happy with this one.
It all depends on how much you are going to be using your telescope on a day to day basis.
If you are not going to be using it often, it will have enough in the tank to keep you entertained for a while but if you are going to be hitting it hard every day you are going to exhaust the new things it can show you fairly quickly.
There are more powerful telescopes out there, there are more complicated telescopes on the market but you are going to be hardpressed to find a telescope as intuitive and fun as this one.
If you are someone looking to get into astronomy and want a simple scope that can do a lot without breaking the budget this is a great kit.
It is strong enough to show you some of the most stunning sights in the solar system. Few people forget aligning their telescope and seeing the rings of Saturn on their own for the first time. This telescope is capable of delivering those seminal experiences and more for the beginner.
While the more experienced telescope user might not find this setup all that great, it was designed with the casual or novice user in mind, and in that respect, it does its job very well.
With a lot of accessories and ample opportunity for growth and fun, the Meade Polaris 70 EQ Telescope is a great affordable entry point into astronomy.Check Latest Price