If you’re looking for an affordable telescope that’s built for both celestial and terrestrial observations, the Cestron 21061 AstroMaster is a popular choice. It’s a favorite for beginning stargazers, but it’s not a toy. It delivers solid performance in a durable package.
- Refractor telescope
- 70mm aperture
- 900 mm focal length
- 45 x magnification, or 90 x magnification with eyepiece 2 (included)
- 165 x maximum usable magnification
- Weighs 18 pounds
- 2-year limited warranty
Features and Benefits
The Celestron 21061 AstroMaster is built sturdily enough and weighs enough to be stable when you’re looking through the eyepiece. It has a handy built-in shelf that lets you keep your stargazing accessories close at hand, which is especially handy for low-light outdoor conditions where it’s easy to lose items.
The Celestron is priced right. It’s suitable to be given as a gift to a budding astronomer without worrying if they’ll outgrow it right away. While there are many more powerful models available for more money, the Celestron 21061 will give a clear view of all the features on the moon, and is powerful enough to capture Jupiter and Saturn, including its brilliant rings.
If you want to use your telescope for terrestrial viewing, the AstroMaster does a great job at bird watching and other long-distance spotting. The unit breaks down easily using a quick-release attachment that doesn’t require tools. That allows you to move quickly to a new viewing location and set up in an instant.
- Easy to set up and use without tools
- Equipped with a permanent star pointer
- Sturdy tripod base for a less jittery image in the viewfinder
- Coated glass lenses give crisper, clearer images
- Telescope swivels more smoothly horizontally than vertically
The Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ is a Number 1 best seller, and users rate it very highly in reviews. Over 84 percent of reviewers give the AstroMaster at least 4 stars, with a notable 60 percent giving it 5 stars. Users like how clear the view is through the coated glass optics, and are amazed at being able to spot multiple planets in the night sky with such an inexpensive unit. Reviewers appreciate the viewfinder that makes it easier to aim the telescope in approximately the correct direction to pick out a single object. The AstroMaster delivers great value for the money, and it should be considered a best buy.