Refractors have long been touted as great telescopes for studying the planets and Moon. But with its shortened focal length and generous aperture, our new Orion AstroView 120ST (for "Short Tube") Equatorial Refractor Telescope takes refractor usage to new depths—as in deep sky!
It's a compact, rich-field refractor designed for observation of nebular clouds, star clusters, and even galaxies. It has the same 120mm (4.7") clear aperture as our standard AstroView 120, but the 120ST's multi-coated achromatic objective telescope lens has a focal length of just 600mm (f/5) compared to 1000mm (f/8.3) for the standard model. That translates to a 66% wider field of view for any given eyepiece. With the included 25mm Plossl, the 120ST covers a sprawling 2.1° swath of sky — enough to display the entire Double Cluster, Pleiades Cluster, or North America Nebula! The fast f/5 optical system also makes it an excellent telescope for astrophotography.
The Orion AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope has a well-baffled optical tube to ensure good contrast. The cast-metal 2" rack-and-pinion focuser accommodates either a 1.25" or 2" diagonal, so you can use optional 2" telescope eyepieces for an even dreamier wide-field effect! The 6x30 finder telescope features an aluminum dovetail bracket with easy, two-screw adjustment. The two 1.25" Sirius Plossl telescope eyepieces provide good, sharp views at 24x (25mm focal length) and 60x (10mm focal length). A 1.25" mirror star diagonal is also included.
The optical tube measures just 26" long including dew shield, so it earns high marks for portability. It comes with the AstroView equatorial mount, which provides the stability and smoothness of motion you need for enjoyable wanderings through the heavens. A free polar-axis telescope gets you polar-aligned quickly and accurately, and manual slow-motion controls let you center objects and track them effortlessly. Add an optional EQ-3M electronic drive for automatic tracking. The aluminum tripod adjusts in height and includes a roomy accessory tray.
This telescope was not designed for high-power examination of planetary or lunar surface detail; for that we recommend the AstroView 120, with its longer focal length. Rather, the 120ST excels for breathtaking, wide-field images of deep-space delectables set against their stellar backdrops. A new refractor with a new purpose — that's the Orion AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope!
Weighs 36-1/2 lbs. total (optical tube 8 lbs., 9 oz.; mount 28 lbs.). One-year limited warranty.
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Beginner - Telescopes suited for beginners are easy to use and maintain. Very good optical and mechanical quality. A great first telescope that will show you the moon and planets.
Intermediate -Telescopes for the intermediate user are more robust in features and performance. Excellent quality in optics and mechanics, and more complex in use. An intermediate telescope will allow an enthusiast to "grow" in the hobby.
Advanced - Advanced telescopes are high performance, with exceptional quality. They may require more commitment to use in set-up time and technical savvy. Some advanced telescopes are easy-to-use but large and heavy. An advanced telescope is a purchase for a lifetime.
Expert - Expert telescopes offer uncompromising optical and mechanical quality for the most demanding amateur astronomer. They may be technically involved or designed for specialized use, such as astrophotography or detailed deep sky observation. They carry a premium price; but are designed to provide the ultimate performance in the field.