Sunday, November 28, 2004

The best home telescopes

New small telescopes "seek out the stars themselves," said Joe Light in SmartMoney, though some still have a few bugs.

Celestron Nextar 4GT
All you have to do is input the closest city, the date and the time, and the new Go-To technology finds what you want to see "on its own" - when it works. No manual adjustment is provided. Price: $695.

Orion SkyQuest XT10 Classic
A Pyrex mirror is supposed to "keep the image clear," even during wide temperature swings. But "mind-boggling" assembly and "blurry optics" might raise the user's temperature. It also weighs in at 55 pounds. Price: $549.

Tele Vue-60
The top choice. It lacks Go-To technology, but you get large, "razor-sharp optics" in a scope weighing only 3.3 pounds - and setup is a cinch. Price: $1,017.

Meade ETX-90AT
Its 7.8 pounds offer both Go-To technology and manual positioning. The setup is complicated but the views are crisp. Price: $645.

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