Celestron AstroMaster 70 EQ, 2.8" Equatorial refractor


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For no more than the price of a "toy store" 60mm telescope, the AstroMaster 70 EQ equatorial refractor provides you with enough crisp and detailed images of the Moon, the planets, and many of the brighter deep space objects to keep you happily observing for years to come . . .
Our Product #: AM70E
Celestron Product #: 21062
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Product Description

The Celestron AstroMaster 70EQ equatorial refractor is a very sensibly-priced alternative to a 60mm "toy store" telescope for the beginning astronomer on a budget. It provides you with detailed high-contrast views of the Moon and planets within the solar system, as well as sharp views of binary stars, star clusters, and the brighter nebulas and galaxies outside the solar system.

The AstroMaster 70 has a light grasp 100 times that of the sharpest eye. It can resolve details ten times smaller than you can see clearly with your unaided eye. Combine that light grasp and sharpness with its two eyepieces (a 20mm for 45x magnification and a 10mm for 90x), and you have the ability to see many, many celestial objects and details that are simply invisible to the unaided eye. Some chromatic aberration (a faint halo of violet light around the Moon and planets when observing at night) is visible in the AstroMaster 70, as it is in all achromatic refractor telescopes.

The scope's rugged and stable CG-2 equatorial mount has manual slow motion controls in both axes. These let you easily locate solar system and deep space objects and manually track them across the sky. The complete AstroMaster 70 EQ comes in a package that weighs only 18 lbs. It's a telescope you can pick up and carry outside with one hand - a scope almost any young astronomer can set up on their own.

This Telescope's Optical System . . .

Refractor optical tube: 70mm (2.8") aperture. 900mm focal length f/12.9 achromatic doublet lens with all-glass optics. No plastic lenses.

Coated optics: Each air-to-glass surface of the two-element objective lens has a layer of magnesium fluoride antireflection coatings for high light transmission and good contrast.

Dovetail mount: A quick-release dovetail bar on the optical tube fits into a dovetail slot on the mount. The optical tube can be installed and locked firmly in place in seconds using a single no-tool knob on the mount.

Dew shield: A dew shield (an extension of the optical tube that's threaded onto the front of the objective lens) slows the formation of dew on the lens in cold weather. This extends your undisturbed observing time. It also improves the contrast when observing objects on the ground during the day.

Rack and pinion focuser: The well-made 1.25" focuser has dual focusing knobs for precise image control with either hand. The good-sized focus knobs are easy to operate, even while wearing gloves or mittens in cold weather.

Star diagonal: The 90° viewing angle 1.25" star diagonal (eyepiece holder) allows comfortable viewing when looking overhead at the sky. It provides erect mirror image views (objects are reversed left for right).

Two eyepieces: You get a high power 1.25" 10mm (90x) eyepiece and a low power 1.25" 20mm (45x) with a 1.1° field of view (over twice the diameter of the full Moon). Both eyepieces have antireflection coatings on their lens surfaces for sharp images and good contrast.

Red dot finder: A straight-through red dot illuminated finder allows easy non-magnified views of the sky and ground, with a projected red dot of light showing exactly where the scope is pointed at all times.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

Equatorial mount: The AstroMaster's sturdy CG-2 equatorial mount is designed for astronomical observing. By aligning the mount on the north celestial pole, you only need to turn one slow motion control knob to follow planets and stars as they travel across the sky. Two counterweights on the opposite side of the mount from the telescope balance the weight of the optical tube and make it easy to move the scope effortlessly from one part of the sky to another. No tools are required to adjust the position of the counterweights to quickly and precisely balance the optical tube. A micrometer control lets you adjust the altitude of the scope mount for fast alignment on the north celestial pole with no tools required.

Dovetail tube mount: The optical tube is fitted with a dovetail slide bar that fits into a quick-release dovetail groove on the top of the mount. Installing the optical tube on the mount is quick and easy, even in the dark. The optical tube locks securely in place with no tools needed.

Setting circles: Setting circles (graduated scales marked in either hours and minutes or degrees) are provided in both right ascension (the east/west position of objects in the sky measured in hours and minutes) and declination (the north/south position measured in degrees). These allow you to align the scope on the approximate position of an object in the sky by using its r. a. and dec coordinates from a star chart - before you search for it in the red dot finder and eyepiece. Setting circles can reduce the time it takes for you to find the fainter and more difficult deep space objects.

Manual slow motion controls: There are two slow motion control knobs conveniently positioned on the mount so they are easy to reach while observing. One controls the scope's motion in right ascension (the east/west direction in the sky). Turning this knob enables you to follow the motion of celestial objects as they travel from east to west across the heavens. The second controls the scope's motion in declination (the north/south direction in the sky). Turning this knob enables you to correct for any north/south drift a celestial object may take as it drifts across the sky, due to an improper alignment of the scope on the north celestial pole when you first set it up. The two controls combine to give you complete access to any part of the sky. They give you the ability to star hop from a known object to any other object by using a star chart. They let you center objects in the field of view, and track them effortlessly with only an occasional quick turn of the r. a. knob.

Tripod: The very rigid tripod has 1.25" diameter stainless steel legs for vibration-free observing. The legs easily adjust in length to put the eyepiece at the most comfortable height for virtually any observer, young or old. The no-tool lock knobs that adjust the leg height of the tripod are on the inside of the legs so they won't snag on clothing in the dark, a thoughtful touch that's sure to be appreciated. The tripod includes an accessory shelf with cutouts to hold three eyepieces. A lip on the shelf keeps accessories from falling off during use.

Two year warranty: As an expression of Celestron's confidence in the quality of their products, the AstroMaster is protected by Celestron's two-year limited warranty against flaws in materials and workmanship.

Tech Details

Aperture 2.8"
Focal Length 900mm
Focal Ratio f/12.9
Highest Useful Magnification 150x
Lunar Observation Good
Motorized Controls Optional Motor Drive Is Available
Weight 18 lbs.
Resolution 1.65 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece 20mm and 10mm
Telescope Type Refractor
View Finder Built-On StarPointer
Visual Limiting Magnitude 11.7
Warranty 2 years


Review by:
I bought this telescope after catching the bug, looking through a pair of Nikon 8x42 binoculars; which are still invaluable and a must have, perfect for watching satellites whizzing by and generally seeing far more stars than the naked eye can resolve. I could barely make out tiny specks around Jupiter, and needed to get something on a tripod with more magnification. I quickly studied up on the ins and outs of amateur astronomy, and found that there were a few options in my budget, but some seemed to focus on the wrong things, specifically magnification.

I decided on the Astromaster 70 EQ, because the kit comes with the more robust CG-2 mount (EQ is a must), and better quality Kellner eyepieces than the Powerseeker models. The 20mm is quite good, albeit I have yet to compare it to anything else. I am hopefully getting the Celestron 8-24mm zoom for Christmas. But, am also looking at the Astro-Tech 32mm Plossl, as getting something with less magnification seems like a worthwhile investment. The 10mm isn't bad, and I get decent quality in the center, but look forward to a comparison with the zoom at its higher magnification end. I notice far more color fringing with it, but the moon still looks magnificent at 90x.

Now, the things still lacking with the scope. I am noticing the plastic diagonal is in need of an upgrade. I plan on getting it replaced sooner than later, and the Astro-Tech 1.25" Dielectric mirror seems like the best bargain out there. I am also disappointed with the red dot finder, it has already failed on me, and I had to buy a new one. I plan on going through Celestron support and try to get the faulty one replaced.

What I have already enjoyed with this scope? All 8 planets, with Jupiter and the Galilean moons, and Saturn being by far the most mesmerizing. The EQ mount makes keeping them in view easy, just generally point the mount north and you're good to go. The Moon is spectacular and spotting craters within craters is easy at 90x. Then there are the dark fuzzies. I knew going in I would be limited by the slow aperture, but have enjoyed seeing the Andromeda Galaxy, the Dumbbell Nebulae, and the Orion Nebulae.

As a beginner's scope, this has plenty to offer right out of the box. All the upgrades will translate well to other future scopes, as seeing Saturn's rings for the first time simply guaranteed my interest for astronomy for the rest of my life. Well worth the price if your budget is limited, or your interest level doesn't justify spending more at first. Have fun!! (Posted on 12/1/2019)
Review by:
Good beginner scope. Tripod is sturdy enough for the price. Easy to set up. (Posted on 9/9/2019)
Review by:
Tripod is sturdy, it is easy to assemble and set up. It is a good beginner's scope. My nephew is getting one for his birthday, he will be pleased. (Posted on 9/9/2019)
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Supplied Accessories

  • 70mm aperture achromatic refractor optical tube with 1.25" rack and pinion focuser
  • CG2 equatorial mount with dovetail bar quick release tube mount system, altitude adjustment micrometer control, setting circles, manual slow-motion controls, and locks on both axes
  • 10mm (90X) and 9 20mm (45X) eyepieces
  • Non-magnifying straight-through red dot finder
  • Adjustable height stainless steel tripod with accessory tray
  • Operating instructions
  • TheSky Level 1 CD-ROM star-charting software.