PowerSeeker 80 EQ, 3.1" Equatorial refractor

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This Celestron telescope is a good choice for a beginning astronomer who wants to do some more-than-casual looking at the heavens, but at a surprisingly inexpensive price. This Celestron PowerSeeker 80 EQ has 80mm achromatic refractor optics with 77% more light gathering capacity than a 60mm scope. That means visibly brighter deep space images and the ability to see many more faint objects than a 60mm scope could ever hope to show. It has a third high higher resolution than a 60mm scope as well, to let you see more sharper and detailed views of the Moon, planets, binary stars, and star clusters.

The construction of the optical system is first rate, as the Celestron PowerSeeker has all-glass optical components, with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity. The equatorial mount has slow motion controls in both axes, to let you easily track objects across the sky.

The PowerSeeker 80 has a light grasp 131 times that of the sharpest eye. Combine that light grasp with its two eyepieces (a 20mm and a 4mm) and 3x Barlow lens, and you have the ability to see celestial sights that are simply invisible to the unaided eye. And it does it at a very down-to-earth price.

This Telescope’s Optical System . . .

  • Refractor optical tube: 80mm (3.1”) aperture air-spaced two-element crown and flint glass lens. 900mm focal length f/11 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 well-made 1.25” 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 1.25” star diagonal (eyepiece holder) allows comfortable viewing when looking overhead at the sky. It has a built-in image erecting prism that provides right-reading images that show you the sky and lunar features oriented the same way you see them through binoculars or with your unaided eye.

  • Two eyepieces: You get a high power 1.25” 4mm (225x) eyepiece and a low power 1.25” 20mm (45x) with a 1° field of view (twice the diameter of the full Moon). Both eyepieces have antireflection coatings on their lens surfaces for sharp images and good contrast. The 4mm eyepiece is realistically beyond the scope’s usable magnification limit on all but the very rare nights of absolutely perfect seeing conditions. An optional 6mm or 7mm eyepiece comes closer to providing the highest useful power on a regular basis.

  • Barlow lens: A 1.25” 3x Barlow lens is included that triples the magnification of the two supplied eyepieces to 135x and 675x. The Barlow/20mm eyepiece combination gives 135x, which is a reasonable maximum power on most nights of average to so-so seeing conditions. The 675x 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. A lower power eyepiece, such as a 40mm (22.5x; 67.5x with the Barlow), would provide a pair of magnifications more useful than the impractical 675x of the 4mm and Barlow combination.

  • 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 . . .

  • Equatorial mount: The 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. A counterweight on the opposite side of the mount from the telescope balances the weight of the optical tube and makes it easy to move the scope effortlessly from one part of the sky to another.

  • 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 finderscope 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 connected to the mount by long flexible cables 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 sky. 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 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 X – First Light Edition CD-ROM is included for use in your PC or Macintosh. This planetarium and star charting software will let explore the Universe on your computer. It can print out custom star charts of the sky from its database of 10,000 objects to help you find faint 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.
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).

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.

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.

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.

1.45 arc seconds
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.
The weight of this product.
18 lbs.
2 years
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Visual Accessories
Accessory Kits (1)
Visual accessory kit for Celestron PowerSeeker scopes
by Celestron
$29.95 On Sale 
Eyepieces (2)
Omni 9mm 1.25" Plossl
by Celestron
Omni 40mm 1.25" Plossl
by Celestron
  • 80mm aperture achromatic refractor optical tube with fully coated optics and 1.25” rack and pinion focuser
  • Equatorial mount with setting circles, manual slow-motion controls, and locks on both axes
  • 4mm (225X) and 20mm (45X) eyepieces
  • 90° 1.25” erect image star diagonal
  • 3x 1.25” Barlow lens
  • 5 x 24mm straight-through finderscope
  • Operating instructions
  • TheSky X CD-ROM software
  • Adjustable height aluminum tripod with accessory tray.
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Celestron - PowerSeeker 80 EQ, 3.1" Equatorial refractor

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Celestron - PowerSeeker 80 EQ, 3.1" Equatorial refractor
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Our Product #: PS80E
Manufacturer Product #: 21048
Price: $149.95  FREE ground shipping - Click for more info
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MSRP: $195.95

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The Celestron PowerSeeker 80 equatorial refractor is a visible step up in performance from the typical 60mm beginner’s scope, at a price not much higher than a typical 60mm toy store scope . . .

. . . our 34th year