Celestron's value priced PowerSeeker 60 is an affordable entry level telescope with some nice extras like a correct image prism and "The Sky" astronomy software included. The package also includes an Alt-Azimuth mount with adjustable aluminum tripod, high and low power eyepieces, a 3X barlow lens, and a 5 power cross hair finder scope.
The PowerSeeker 60AZ comes disassembled in a compact box, but the fully illustrated quick set-up guide makes it easy to assemble. Go ahead and try it out in the daytime, that's the best time to align the finder scope while looking at a distant tree or telephone pole.
The optics of the PowerSeeker 60AZ are surprisingly good, especially when I use the low power 20mm eyepiece. The correct image prism and the 20mm eyepiece give me a magnification of 35X, so backyard birds seem five times closer than with my seven power binoculars. My first view of Saturn's rings and globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules came with a 60mm telescope similar to the PowerSeeker 60, and the new PowerSeeker 60AZ is just as good showing me literally hundreds of craters on the Moon.
The PowerSeeker 60 can be upgraded with standard 1.25 inch telescope eyepieces. A 25mm plossl eyepiece for example gives a true field of view of almost 2 degrees for delightful views of star clusters like the Pleiades, while a 6mm eyepiece provides a magnification of 117X, just right to see the rings of Saturn or the cloud bands on Jupiter. The Alt-Azimuth mount included with the PowerSeeker 60AZ is lighter and easier to use than an Equatorial mount, but it does not track stars and planets. As soon as you get the Moon centered in the eyepiece it starts drifting toward the edge, this is caused by rotation of the Earth. The Moon may stay in the low power eyepiece for two or three minutes, but with the high power 4mm eyepiece (175X magnification) a star will disappear in only twenty or thirty seconds.
Celestron's PowerSeeker 60AZ is a real value because it has surprisingly good optics in a package that's light, portable and affordable. The drawback is that it has a lot of plastic parts, including the finder scope and the 3X barlow. For a more rugged alternative, take a look at Celestron's AstroMaster 70AZ which has more powerful optics, better eyepieces, and a much sturdier Alt-Azimuth mount. --Jeff Phillips
- Surprisingly good optics
- Correct image prism
- Easy no tool set-up
- Light, portable, and affordable
- Does not track stars and planets
- Plastic finder and barlow lens
- Light weight tripod
Celestron PowerSeeker 142x60 Telescope 21041 Binoculars