PowerSeeker 50, 2" Altazimuth refractor

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We can’t claim that the 50mm altazimuth PowerSeeker 50A is a serious telescope for the serious amateur, but it is an exceptionally inexpensive starter scope for the young budding astronomer or naturalist. Its refractor optics and simplified mount make it an easy-to-use instrument for a youngster to begin his or her explorations of the Moon and planets in the night sky and the nature that surrounds us here on Earth.

The PowerSeeker 50A has all-glass optical components, with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity. Unlike a reflector-type scope, which needs occasional recollimation (aligning) of the optics to perform well, the PowerSeeker 50A’s refractor optics are permanently aligned for the sharpest images.

The mount is a simple altazimuth that you push by hand to move up and down, right and left, to find and track objects across the sky and daytime landscape. It has no slow motion controls, but is totally manual in operation. Once you have scanned your way across the face of the Moon, and marveled at Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s four Galilean moons, you can use the PowerSeeker 50A to look at things closer to home. The altazimuth mount will let you easily track objects on the ground and allow you to get a closer look at nature and your surroundings.

The PowerSeeker 50 has a light grasp 51 times that of the sharpest eye. Combine that light grasp with its three eyepieces (20, 12, and 4mm) and 3x Barlow lens, and you have the ability to see many, many celestial that are simply invisible to the unaided eye. The supplied 1.5x image erecting eyepiece gives you terrestrial images with all three eyepieces that are upright and right-reading (printing can be read normally and is not reversed as it is during astronomical observing). The PowerSeeker 50A is well equipped to open up a whole new world to the beginning astronomer, at a price that is well within reach and reason.

This Telescope’s Optical System . . .

  • Refractor optical tube: 50mm (2”) aperture air-spaced two-element crown and flint glass lens. 600mm focal length f/12 all-glass optics. No plastic lenses.

  • Coated optics: The objective lens has antireflection coatings on all surfaces for high light transmission and good contrast.

  • 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.

  • Rack and pinion focuser: The 0.965” focuser has dual focusing knobs for precise image control with either hand. The large focus knobs are easy to operate, even while wearing gloves or mittens in cold weather.

  • Star diagonal: The 90° viewing angle 0.965” 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). This is not a problem when observing the stars and planets, but may be disconcerting during terrestrial observing, as printing (license plates, the names on boats, etc.) will be backwards. That is why the 1.5x image erecting eyepiece discussed below is also supplied to give you correctly oriented images and more comfortable extended terrestrial observing.

  • Three eyepieces: You get a high power .965” 4mm (150x) eyepiece, a medium power 0.965” 12mm (50x), and a low power 0.965” 20mm (30x) with a 1.37° field of view (almost three times the diameter of the full Moon). All eyepieces have antireflection coatings on their lens surfaces for sharp images and good contrast.

  • Barlow lens: A 0.965” 3x Barlow lens is included that triples the magnification of the supplied eyepieces to 90x, 150x, and 450x. The 450x magnification of the 4mm eyepiece/Barlow combination is realistically far beyond the scope’s usable magnification capability, however. Do not count on using that optical combination very often, if at all.

  • Image-erecting eyepiece: You get a 1.5x 0.965” image-erecting eyepiece adapter for terrestrial observing. This auxiliary lens fits between the telescope and the 20mm eyepiece for straight-through viewing at 45x. It can also be used with the 12mm eyepiece to give you 75x. Images are upright and correctly oriented (printing reads correctly).

  • Finderscope: A low power 5x24mm finderscope attaches to the side of the optical tube. The straight-through viewing refractor finderscope provides a traditional inverted mirror-image astronomical view. If properly collimated (aligned) with the view through the main telescope, its crosshairs will help you center distant objects in the telescope so you don’t have to search for them using the narrow eyepiece field of view.

This Telescope’s Mount . . .

  • Altazimuth mount: The altazimuth mount provides right/left and up/down motions. You simply push the telescope tube to the objects you want to see, using the finderscope to help you locate them. This is suitable for casual astronomical observing, and will let you easily follow objects on the ground to allow you to get a closer look at nature and your surroundings. Knobs at the base of the mount allows you to lock the tube in place or to adjust the drag on the scope to control how smoothly the mount moves as you manually push the tube to follow objects moving through the sky or on the land.

  • Tripod: The lightweight aluminum tripod easily adjusts for standing or seated observations through the telescope. The tripod includes an accessory shelf that holds your eyepieces and Barlow.

  • Software: A copy of Celestron’s TheSky Level X – First Light Edition CD-ROM is included for use in your PC or Mac. This planetarium and star charting software will let explore the Universe on your computer. It can print out custom star charts from its database of over 10,000 objects in the sky to help you find the brighter deep space objects by star-hopping in easy steps from a known star to the object.

  • Two year warranty: As an expression of Celestron’s confidence in the quality of their products, the PowerSeeker is protected by Celestron’s two-year limited warranty against flaws in materials and workmanship.
Highest Useful Magnification:
This is the highest visual power a telescope can achieve before the image becomes too dim for useful observing (generally at about 50x to 60x per inch of telescope aperture). However, this power is very often unreachable due to turbulence in our atmosphere that makes the image too blurry and unstable to see any detail.

On nights of less-than-perfect seeing, medium to low power planetary, binary star, and globular cluster observing (at 25x to 30x per inch of aperture or less) is usually more enjoyable than fruitlessly attempting to push a telescope's magnification to its theoretical limits. Very high powers are generally best reserved for planetary observations and binary star splitting.

Small aperture telescopes can usually use more power per inch of aperture on any given night than larger telescopes, as they look through a smaller column of air and see less of the turbulence in our atmosphere. While some observers use up to 100x per inch of refractor aperture on Mars and Jupiter, the actual number of minutes they spend observing at such powers is small in relation to the number of hours they spend waiting for the atmosphere to stabilize enough for them to use such very high powers.
150x
Visual Limiting Magnitude:
This is the magnitude (or brightness) of the faintest star that can be seen with a telescope. The larger the number, the fainter the star that can be seen. An approximate formula for determining the visual limiting magnitude of a telescope is 7.5 + 5 log aperture (in cm).

This is the formula that we use with all of the telescopes we carry, so that our published specs will be consistent from aperture to aperture, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some telescope makers may use other unspecified methods to determine the limiting magnitude, so their published figures may differ from ours.

Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account light loss within the scope, seeing conditions, the observer’s age (visual performance decreases as we get older), the telescope’s age (the reflectivity of telescope mirrors decreases as they get older), etc. The limiting magnitudes specified by manufacturers for their telescopes assume very dark skies, trained observers, and excellent atmospheric transparency – and are therefore rarely obtainable under average observing conditions. The photographic limiting magnitude is always greater than the visual (typically by two magnitudes).

11
Focal Length:
This is the length of the effective optical path of a telescopeor eyepiece (the distance from the main mirror or lens where the lightis gathered to the point where the prime focus image is formed). Focallength is typically expressed in millimeters.

The longer the focallength, the higher the magnification and the narrower the field of viewwith any given eyepiece. The shorter the focal length, the lower themagnification and the wider the field of view with the same eyepiece.

600mm
Focal Ratio:
This is the ‘speed’ of a telescope’s optics, found by dividing the focal length by the aperture. The smaller the f/number, the lower the magnification, the wider the field, and the brighter the image with any given eyepiece or camera.

Fast f/4 to f/5 focal ratios are generally best for lower power wide field observing and deep space photography. Slow f/11 to f/15 focal ratios are usually better suited to higher power lunar, planetary, and binary star observing and high power photography. Medium f/6 to f/10 focal ratios work well with either.

An f/5 system can photograph a nebula or other faint extended deep space object in one-fourth the time of an f/10 system, but the image will be only one-half as large. Point sources, such as stars, are recorded based on the aperture, however, rather than the focal ratio – so that the larger the aperture, the fainter the star you can see or photograph, no matter what the focal ratio.

f/12
Resolution:
This is the ability of a telescope to separate closely-spaced binary stars into two distinct objects, measured in seconds of arc. One arc second equals 1/3600th of a degree and is about the width of a 25-cent coin at a distance of three miles! In essence, resolution is a measure of how much detail a telescope can reveal. The resolution values on our website are derived using the Dawes’ limit formula.

Dawes’ limit only applies to point sources of light (stars). Smaller separations can be resolved in extended objects, such as the planets. For example, Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn (0.5 arc seconds across), was discovered using a 2.5” telescope – which has a Dawes’ limit of 1.8 arc seconds!

The ability of a telescope to resolve to Dawes’ limit is usually much more affected by seeing conditions, by the difference in brightness between the binary star components, and by the observer’s visual acuity, than it is by the optical quality of the telescope.

3.32 arc seconds
Aperture:
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
2"
Weight:
The weight of this product.
6 lbs.
Warranty:
2 years
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  • 50mm aperture achromatic refractor optical tube with fully coated optics and 0.965” rack and pinion focuser
  • Altazimuth mount with locks on both axes
  • 4mm (150X), 12mm (50x) and 20mm (30X) 0.965” eyepieces
  • 90° 0.965” star diagonal
  • 3x 0.965” Barlow lens
  • 1.5x 0.965” image-erecting auxiliary eyepiece
  • 5 x 24mm straight-through finderscope
  • Operating instructions
  • TheSky Level X CD-ROM software
  • Adjustable height aluminum tripod with accessory tray.
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Celestron - PowerSeeker 50, 2" Altazimuth refractor

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Celestron - PowerSeeker 50, 2" Altazimuth refractor
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Our Product #: PS50A
Manufacturer Product #: 21039
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The PowerSeeker 50A altazimuth refractor is a very, very economical introduction to casual astronomy and nature study for the beginning astronomer, but one that can supply good images of nature, the Moon, the planets, and some of the brighter deep space objects . . .





. . . our 34th year