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This is my first telescope, bought after staring at the skies far too often.
The Powerseeker 127 EQ has an aperture of 127mm, a focal length of 1000mm and is an f/8 telescope. It also comes with a manual German Equatorial Mount, which once polar aligned properly allows you to track objects across with sky using the slow motion controls fairly easily. It is a newtonian reflector telescope.
The telescope comes in one large box and contains the tripod, the mount, including counterweight and slow motion hand controls, the optical tube assembly, 2 tube rings which attach to the mount and a 4mm eyepiece, a 20mm eyepiece and a 3x barlow lens.
It was incredibly easy to assemble following the enclosed instructions and most of it was common sense actually. It was a case of attaching the mount to the tripod with a large screw, then attaching the finderscope to the OTA, putting the OTA in the tube rings and then attaching them to the mount. The final part was fitting the slow motion controls which simply screw on. It was a fast and easy process which gave a beginner like me no problems at all.
The first thing that struck me was that, even though this is actually a small scope - it is still physically larger than you may expect if you have no experience of telescope.
USE OF THE SCOPE.
I tend to move the telescope in the garden in two parts. Firstly, I move outside the tripod and mount and then take out the OTA, attaching that. I would recommend allowing the scope to cool down to the outside temperature for at least half an hour prior to use to get the best possible views. The make sure that the tube is balanced nicely. On this scope it very easy to achieve. Not at all complicated.
Polar aligning the scope is a fairly straightforward process and instructions can be found in the documentation or online. I would recommend watching someone do this on youtube as it's quite a daunting task for the first time.
The after loosening the lock screws it is easy to move the scope around the skies and find an object that you are looking for, provided that you are willing to take the time to learn what you are doing and commit to spending time moving it across the skies. Learn to star hop and learn the constellations and major stars. It will make you life much easier as this is a manual scope and will not automatically take you to what you want to see using GOTO.
Once the lock screws are tightened you can can adjust the scope using the slow motion controls to centre the object in your finderscope (which you will of course have to make sure is aligned properly). One of the few issues I have with this telescope is that I do find the finderscope moves about a lot and needs aligning frequently, but then again, I do take mine out and about in the car a lot. Once your object is centered in your (aligned) finderscope, pop your eye to the eyepiece, focus it and you are away. Focusing can cause the tripod and assembly to wobble, so make sure you take you time. Remember that this is a beginner scope and nowhere near as sturdy as other scopes that cost many times more than this.
WHAT CAN I SEE?
I've been amazed with what I can see through this telescope. I'll briefly talk through some of what I have seen and how it looks so that you can get an insight into what to expect.
THE MOON: The moon is beautifully clear. You can make out wonderful shadows on the terminator and see craters in a fabulous amount of detail.
ALBEIRO: This double star looks great - you can easily resolve it into 2 stars and the colour difference between them is striking.
M57 ' THE RING NEBULA': This appears as small circular smudge best seen with averted vision. Still very cool indeed.
M13 "THE GREAT GLOBULAR CLUSTER IN HERCULES' : This appears a smudge of stars. I've not spent too much time on this yet, but it's easy to find and make out and more eyepieces will definitely bring more out of this.
M31 "THE ANDROMEDA GALAXY' : I was definitely able to make out the core of the galaxy and as I learn more will be returning to this object to spend some more time on it.
SATURN: Saturn looks great - you can make out the rings and a couple of moons. It's an awesome sight and will blow your mind the first time you see it with your own eyes.
NGC457: THE ET CLUSTER: This little cluster in Casseopeia looks great and will definitely bring a smile to your face when using this telescope.
EPSILON LYRAE: The 'double double' near Vega looks cool though this telescope and it easy enough to split into a double. I have, during good seeing, been able to split it again into 4. Fab.
Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this telescope to anyone wanting to get started in learning the night sky and find that actually having to find out where things are is much more beneficial to me at the moment than simply punching things into a handset.
It's reliable, well made and really doing a fab job for me at the moment.