The Orion StarBlast is one of Orion’s line of reflector telescopes. Offering one of the largest apertures of the series, it boasts correspondingly strong optics that make it an appealing choice for both beginning and seasoned astronomers. Perhaps almost as important, the StarBlast possesses a compact tabletop design that allows it to be easily transported and used without requiring a heavy and cumbersome tripod. The result is a portable and powerful scope for anyone looking to enjoy the nighttime sky.
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The specs on the Orion StarBlast are only part of its overall appeal. However, they reveal the scope’s ability to expose the beauty of nearby celestial objects to the interested viewer and its ability to efficiently gather light to produce these views.
• Optical design: Reflector
• Highest useful magnification: 300x
• Lowest useful magnification: 21x
• Focal length: 750mm
• Focal ratio: f/5.0
• Optical diameter: 150mm
• Length of optical tube: 28in.
• Aperture: 6in.
• Assembled weight: 23.5lb.
The Orion StarBlast possesses a number of features that make it a desirable scope for anyone wanting a convenient and portable viewing instrument. First, and perhaps most noticeable, is its tabletop design. Instead of a tripod, it comes with a sturdy reflector base that offers the owner an easy way to place the scope on a table or car hood to view the sky. This smaller base also comes pre-assembled out of the box, allowing even beginning astronomers to set up their scope almost immediately. In fact, many reviewers comment on the scope’s ease of set up, which can be accomplished in as little as 20 minutes.
The StarBlast’s tabletop design also improves its portability by keeping its weight and size down. The scope can fit relatively easily in the back seat of a small car, even when the optical tube is extended upward to its maximum height. It weighs only about 23 pounds when fully assembled, and sits at a compact size with built in carrying features for increased portability. The height is perfect for children, and by placing it on a table or the hood of a car, adults can enjoy the nighttime views this scope provides in comfort.
Its grab and go design is not its only appealing feature, however. While a great scope for beginning astronomers, the Orion StarBlast offers views and optics that will also delight experienced stargazers. The 6-inch aperture lets in 73 percent more light than the smaller-sized 4.5 inch model. In addition, the scope comes with reflector technology which uses mirrors to capture the light and deliver it to the eyepiece. This technology allows for more accurate images because the colors of the light have less chance to get distorted as they pass through the telescope. Other optical features you will find in the StarBlast include two eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) for greater magnification and sharper views, as well as f/5.0 focal ratio.
While the optics sound good, they are also proven to deliver. Reviewers almost always comment on the clarity and detail present in the views they enjoy through this scope. For instance, the Orion StarBlast provides views of Jupiter and its moons, clear views of Saturn’s rings, and even views of objects further out. These views are sufficient to satisfy even long-time stargazers, who will be impressed by the amount of detail they can enjoy through this telescope.
The StarBlast’s ease of use includes an easy method of locating and focusing on celestial objects. This method involves an EZ Finder scope that simplifies the process of locating and focusing on celestial objects. In addition, reviewers report that although purchasing additional eyepieces can improve the views from the StarBlast, the included eyepieces are more than sufficient for enjoying clear views of the nighttime sky.
The Orion StarBlast is small, portable, and easy to use. However, these qualities do not detract from its overall strong optical features, including a wide aperture, wide field of view, and high-quality eyepieces. Because of the combination of these features, this scope offers beginners and experienced astronomers alike the opportunity to enjoy the kind of clear, detailed views of celestial objects that makes stargazing such a fascinating pursuit.