Meade Telestar DS-2114AT-TC
Meade's Telestar Newtonian Reflector is an ideal telescope for the amateur. One of the major difficulties in the practise of astronomical observation is locating an object in the sky before using the scope to get a good look at it (the magnification isolates such a small piece of the sky that "eyeballing it" is not effective). Fortunately the Autostar GoTo computer eliminates the need to read star charts; this device has a database of approximately 1500 celestial objects, any of which it can locate and track by controlling the alignment of the telescope. Stargazing has never been easier.
As for the scope itself, the resolving power is just as ideal for an amateur. With a practical magnification of 325x, one can easily view planets in detail, even getting a chance to check out the moons of the larger, more distant planets, as well as the rings of Saturn. The large (114mm) aperture, which gathers 3.6 times more light than 60mm telescopes, makes this high level detail possible. Furthermore, as a Newtonian reflector, this telescope suffers from no chromatic aberration, which the typical refracting telescopes are prone to. Consequently colors in images will not blur.
The beginner may have some minor difficulties with this model. Reflectors use two internal mirrors that must be in a very precise alignment to reliably produce an image. Re-aligning them may be difficult (although experts insist it is an easy skill to pick up), but nevertheless this problem only arises when the telescope is being transported around too much.
The major problem with this model is it has been discontinued by Meade, and replaced by a version in the new DS-2000 series. Availability is limited to used purchases, so the physical condition of the telescope may be questionable. On the other hand, buying it used will cost a fraction of the price its analogue in the DS-2000 series, so if one manages to find this telescope available somewhere it would be wise to snatch it up while its still around.
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