PowerSeeker 60AZ Telescope
- Product Review (submitted on February 21, 2012):
This is a great telescope for a beginner. It's easy to set up, and it gives great magnification. You can see the bands on Jupiter and several of its moons, the rings of Saturn, decent detail of the Orion Nebula, etc. With the high-magnification eyepiece you can just barely make out features on the surface of Mars (such as the polar ice cap).
The fine-grained altitude control (the shiny horizontal rod in the picture) is a huge time-saver for tracking an object once you've found it, but there's a small amount of wiggle room in it which makes coarse-grained adjustment a little trickier. I'm sure I'll get used to it, though.
The high-magnification eyepiece requires constant slewing to keep things in view (this is because the earth is rotating under the telescope, causing the direction it points to constantly change). This is fine for a single person viewing something, but if you want to have a star party and have a bunch of friends view objects, you should stick to the low-magnification eyepiece (which is still enough magnification to see the things I listed above). The Barlow lens has similar requirements. I'm sure they're both excellent for viewing terrestrial objects, though.
If you intend to really get into astronomy, you'll eventually want a motorized/computerized mount (which slews automatically for you, so you can use the high-magnification eyepiece and Barlow lens more easily). Some equatorial mounts can have motors added on later, but I don't think the altitude-azimuth mounts like this one can.